Healthy Summer Meals That Will Get Your Kids to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
By Jessa McClure
By Jessa McClure
Getting your kids to eat healthy can be a challenge. But, it's important that children get the recommended amount of nutrients, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. The American Heart Association recommends that the average person eats around 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day, but the typical American only gets about a half a cup a day.
One of the best ways to get enough fruits and vegetables is to include them in each of your daily meals. The Choose My Plate program, which is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture, has some great meal options and sample menus that can help you create healthy meals that your little ones will want to eat.
Here are few meals you might want to try:
Avocado and apple salad with boiled eggs and toast strips
– create the avocado and apple salad with one avocado, one apple, a tablespoon of raisins, ½ a tablespoon of honey, a teaspoon of vanilla and ¼ a teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix ingredients together, microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds, and add nuts if desired. Toast some whole grain bread and cut boiled eggs into strips.
Whole grain chicken tacos with bell peppers, blueberries, watermelon and strawberries
– use whole grain tortillas and grill or bake the chicken. Roast or sauté the bell peppers and provide a yogurt dip for fruit as a special treat.
Turkey burger on a whole grain bun, strawberries and a handful of baby carrots
– grill or broil ground turkey and serve on a whole grain bun. Offer lettuce, tomato and onions on the side so kids can build their own burger. Add a few fresh strawberries and carrots to the mix and you've got a well-balanced meal your kids will love.
While grocery stores provide great produce options all year long, you can make meals even better by using locally-produced fruits and vegetables that are in season. During the summer foods like apples, avocados, bell peppers, blueberries, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes and watermelon are all in season.
A great place to find these fresh fruits and vegetables is at local farmers' markets. Here a few that might be near you.
- Waco Downtown Farmers Market – located at 400 South University Parks Drive and is open year round, Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Belton Farmers Market – located on the corner of Central Ave. and Penelope and is open May through September, Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Harker Heights Farmers Market – located at 850 Central Expressway and is open May through October, Saturdays 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- The Green Avenue Farmers Market (Killeen) – located at 717 N. Second Street and is open year round, Tuesday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information about keeping your family healthy and providing well-balanced meals, visit choosemyplate.gov
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