This post was written by Laura Evans. Laura is a Shaklee Key Coordinator and on her way to becoming a Master Coordinator. A busy mother of three, she is constantly on the move–either with her kids or building her Shaklee business. Thanks to the Shaklee 180™ Plan and her daily cardio workouts, she’s much lighter and healthier than ever.
I have three children, ages 8 to 17 years old. They are not only highly active, but they also have varying tastes in food and varying appetites. Because they are young, growing fast, and learning from my influence, I feel it’s especially important that I help them create healthful eating habits now. For me, it begins with creating nutritious meal options for them.
In general, I keep a supply of Shaklee Cinch® Snack Bars on hand for when my children need a low-calorie, high-protein snack. Of course, each of my children favors a different flavor, so we keep a Snack Bar Assortment Pack in our pantry at home.
My go-to strategies for creating nutritious meals for my children:
1. Use soy protein whenever possible. We always bake with Shaklee Instant Soy Protein. As a rule of thumb, we substitute about 1/3 soy protein for every cup of flour that a recipe calls for. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, we’ll change it to 2/3 cup of unbleached or wheat flour plus 1/3 cup of soy protein. And a favorite kitchen activity we can all do together is to make Shaklee protein snacks. Add a cup of soy protein to 1/3 cup peanut butter and ¼ cup of honey. Mix the ingredients together like dough and then roll into balls or snakes. Any shape will do. Cover with coconut or nuts and refrigerate until hard. My kids love these for dessert or as an afternoon snack!
2. Sneak veggies in everywhere. Either celery with peanut butter or baby carrots make a great snack. Soups are another great meal to pile with veggies, such as carrots, spinach, broccoli, or celery. For example, I like to cook carrots or celery in a stock pot and then puree in a food processor. This not only thickens the soup base, but my kids never even know the veggies are in there!
3. The more fresh fruit, the healthier. At home, we call fruit “nature’s candy.” Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, bananas, and apples are always on hand in our kitchen. The berries are easy to grab by the handful, and we often bag a variety of berries and other cut-up fruit to take on the go. Another specialty in the Evans household is to replace sugary jams or jellies in a traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich with fresh fruit. We put berries or even bananas in the sandwich and smush them into the peanut butter.
Probably the most important thing is getting my children involved in deciding what to eat and being creative with meals. The more they are involved, the more likely they are to make healthier food choices when I’m not around—and that makes me a happy parent!
Do you have your own strategies for creating nutritious meals with your children? Please share in the comments section below!