HealthONE - June 17, 2019

Like most parents, you're wondering how to get your kids to eat better. Well, wonder no more. Here are some fun, easy ways to boost their nutrition that they will love.

If you start making these quick and easy changes today, you'll be helping your children avoid obesity, heart disease and diabetes. That's something we all want to help our kids avoid, right? So, start now, it's never too soon. The American Heart Association strongly urges parents to teach their children healthy eating habits as young as two years of age.

According to Dr. Debra Berry, chair of pediatrics at Sky Ridge Medical Center, here are five fun ideas to help elevate nutrition in some of their favorite everyday snacks and meals.


What kid doesn't love these tasty treats? You may already be blending in soy powder, fresh or frozen fruit, and even antioxidant-rich cocoa powder to increase the nutrients, and that's a great start.

Fun bonus

Mix in a splash of omega-3-rich flaxseed oil as well. Kids won't taste it. The omega-3s will help boost their immune system and benefit their hearth health, fight against cancer and also promote brain growth.

Spaghetti Sauce

Kids love spaghetti. If you're already using tomato-based sauce sautéed in olive oil and using whole wheat pasta, then you already have a great start to a healthy meal.

Fun bonus

Elevate the nutrition of the sauce by adding in some minced steamed carrots or even stirring in pureed baby-food carrots. The extra veggies won't even be noticed.

Tuna Salad

Start by using less mayonnaise, then add in some very finely chopped celery.

Fun bonus

Do the same thing restaurants do to theirs by smashing some white beans to stir in as if they were mayonnaise. You have instantly increased the fiber and protein in your sandwich. Be sure to serve it on whole wheat bread.

Chicken Nuggets

All across the country you can count on kids loving breaded chicken pieces. The fast food versions tend to lack in nutrition and flavor, but the good news is that they are easy to fix at home. Simply use whole wheat bread crumbs and bake (not fry) the chicken. If you make a large batch, you can freeze them in pint-sized containers for future enjoyment.

Fun bonus

Add in some healthy omega-3s by grinding up walnuts, an excellent source of good fats, and adding them to the bread crumb batter.


Who wants pancakes? Chances are good your kids do too. Adding in blueberries will boost the vitamins and healthy plant nutrients.

Fun bonus

Stir-in delicious nutty-tasting flaxseed meal into the pancake batter to increase the fiber content as well as protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Most health food stores and healthy sections of your grocery store carry flaxseed meal.