Food Fun!

Make fun food!

Can healthy food be fun? Of course it can! As a parent, I am sure you are concerned about making sure your kids get enough calcium and other vitamins and minerals that are found in dairy foods. It might be difficult if you have finicky eaters, so you may need to think of some creative ways to get them to eat and drink the three daily servings of dairy they need. Here are some creative ideas:

Add some excitement to regular milk. Add a touch of flavoring–strawberry or chocolate syrups are a couple of ideas. (These don’t add a significant amount of sugar or calories.)  Even try adding a garnish to the glass like a strawberry on the rim to make it more interesting. You can add some excitement to cereal by adding chocolate or strawberry milk to it for a change of pace as well. Graham crackers or a cookie served with a glass of milk is also a favorite sweet treat.

More cheese please!

Cheese is a great source of calcium and makes food taste great. Put some cheddar in an omelet or on a sandwich. Some other “cheesy” ideas are:

  • Create mini-pizzas by topping whole-wheat English muffins or bagels with pizza sauce, low-fat mozzarella cheese, and toppings like mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes, or chunks of grilled chicken.  Kids love to have their hand at being a chef, so let them make their pizza with the toppings you provide them.
  • Cut cheese into fun little shapes by using cooking cutters. You can serve it by itself or with whole-grain crackers.  Do the same with a grilled cheese sandwiches by cutting it into a heart or other fun shape.
  • Top vegetables (usually ones that your kids turn their nose up at) with melted low-fat cheese or serve up raw veggies with cream cheese as a snack
  • Use whole-grain tortillas to make wraps. Fill them with eggs and cheese for breakfast; turkey, cheese, choice of vegetables for lunch; and beans, salsa, taco sauce, and cheese for dinner.

Put a cherry on top – or any other fruit!

Serve cottage cheese with fresh fruit or applesauce or try frozen yogurt topped with fruit.  Create parfaits with layers of plain yogurt, fruit, and whole-grain cereal.  

Other ways to zest up of your food. You may not even have to do anything special to the food you are serving to make it exciting. Change how you serve it. Use a colorful or oddly shaped dish. Make fun names for everyday foods. For example, a treat for Halloween could be “Frankenstein’s Fruit Parfait” or “Witches Stew.” 

 Remember that kids love to make their food and have choices in what they eat.