Healthy Ingredient Swaps for Kids’ Meals

Making your little ones eat nutritious food does not have to be a bore for them. You can make healthy everyday foods more interesting and appetizing by substituting healthier ingredients with more flavor and color. Ingredient swapping is a smart and strategic way to make meal time a more enriching and worthwhile experience for a child and a parent, too! 1,

Here are some ways to make eating healthier and fun for your child:

  1. Mix up the milk

For strong and healthy bones in kids, milk delivers quality nutrition. But if your child dislikes the taste of milk or is lactose intolerant, alternatives are available in the form of soy, almond, and rice milk. Pediasure is another great option as it provides protein, calcium, and Vitamin D. To help your child build a habit of drinking milk, try mixing half milk and half Pediasure in a cup. Then begin to decrease the amount of Pediasure over time. 1,2


  1. Sweeten up food naturally

Instead of feeding your child sugar, try sweetening up their breakfast and snacks with fresh fruits. Fruits are natural sweeteners and a variety of these will make for a colorful meal. 1


  1. Add Toppings

Children find toppings fun and enticing. Putting nutritious and familiar ingredients on top of less appetizing food can make a meal interesting to a kid and introduce their palate to more exciting dishes. Toppings kids enjoy may include cheese on top of vegetables and banana or apple slices with peanut butter. 1


  1. Try Dips

Put a little action in meal time by making your kid dunk fruits and vegetables in sauces, dips, or dressings. Matching fresh fruits with a bowl of yogurt is a great example.


  1. Make it a Smoothie

A surefire way to make your kid eat more fruits and vegetables is to make smoothies out of them alongside yogurt and fresh milk. The delicious taste of yogurt or milk covers up the taste of fruit or vegetables that kids might dislike at first. 1