Posted: Jan 14, 2013 6:00 AM
 
Tired of battling with your kids over meals? Discover fun, healthy food options your kids won’t challenge you over.

Struggling to feed your children a well-balanced diet? You're not the only one. Kids are notoriously picky, and even little ones with hearty appetites don't always enjoy healthy foods like vegetables and whole grains. Discover fun, healthy foods your kids will love.

Shapes

Go beyond cookie cutter sandwiches. Thanks to the rise of bento box popularity, there are hundreds of shaping tools on the market. Using small molds and mini cookie cutters, create fun-shaped food that doesn't come with not-so-fun preservatives or chemicals. Try cutting cucumbers, low-fat meat, wheat bread and low-fat cheese into exciting shapes for a platter of fun foods.

Smoothies

The first rule of smoothies is you don't talk about smoothies. Instead, call them milkshakes. No milk in there? No problem. Use fresh vegetables, frozen fruit, ground flaxseed and Greek yogurt to make a smoothie that's high on flavor and full of sneaky goodness. Unless your kid's adventurous, avoid ingredients that turn the smoothie green or you may end up drinking it yourself.

Finger food

Some kids just won't sit down for a long, big meal. During this phase of childhood, take advantage of your child's tendency to graze. Have small, super healthy snacks prepared and refrigerated so you can easily offer them during those "I'm hungry" whining sessions. Try cut grapes, baby carrots, diced bell peppers, chilled salad beans and a low-sodium salad dressing for dunking.

Fish

Cook your own breaded fish sticks using fresh fish from the grocery store and breadcrumbs. Bake them instead of frying them. Choose types of fish that are low in mercury. There's no reason not to start your kids on eating this healthy protein. Try using organic ketchup as a dipping sauce and fish tenders will become the new chicken.

Dipalmond butter

If you think dip means fattening, salty party dips, think again. Flavored yogurt, hummus and almond butter make great dips for kids who struggle with healthy eating. Find a protein-rich alternative your child likes and try a variety of dunking items, from whole grain crackers and toast to fresh-cut vegetables. Make your own dip or purchase dip from the organic section of your grocery, keeping an eye on all the ingredients.

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