Getting kids to eat vegetables and other new foods can be difficult. Research shows that often it takes someone tasting a food 10 to 15 times before they decide they like it. That requires some patience and sometimes being a little sneaky, too. Put new foods together with favorites and keep the portions small. For example add grated or chopped vegetables to spaghetti sauce. When time is limited and it’s dinner time, we often choose convenience food. This is when label reading is especially important because, nutritionally, many convenience items are high in fat and sodium.
You can make frozen and boxed foods more nutritious with these tips:
· Decrease the sodium content in stir-fry mixes and boxed dinners by using only half the packet of sauce or seasoning.
· Reduce the amount of butter or margarine by half in boxed macaroni dinners.
· Add extra vegetables to canned vegetable soup.
· Top frozen pizzas with chopped vegetables.
· Substitute half of the oil with unsweetened applesauce in boxed brownie mixes.
· Boost calcium by adding milk or dry milk powder to recipes calling for milk.
· Add chopped vegetables to casseroles.
Source: North Dakota Extension Service