What My Kids Eat – Meal Ideas from a Naturopathic Doctor
I’ve written up another example of what my kids eat, including some new recipes. This day is mostly in line with the principles I explained in my previous post. It was a more recipe heavy day than my last example, but I try to space out my cooking so that I’m not doing it all at once. And if I am cooking more recipes for the week, I will stick to my simple dinners to take some of the burden off my shoulders at the end of the day. The dinner in this example, my spaghetti and meat sauce, is another one of my quick and easy dinners that I always keep ingredients on hand for so I can whip it up on the spot without much effort or thought. In a perfect world I would add a salad to it to make it a bit more vegetable heavy, but honestly sometimes I don’t feel like making the effort, so it’s often just the spaghetti and meat sauce (with the spinach hidden in the sauce!).
The granola and fudgsicles are recipes I will make during a less busy week and then store in the freezer so we can use them as needed. The granola usually lasts a few weeks if the kids are eating it once or twice a week. The sausage patties and the brownies I would typically make on a Sunday night so I have them ready for lunches for the week.
Time in the kitchen can sometimes seem like a chore, especially if I’m tired or have a busy week ahead. But I always remind myself that I’m making an investment in my kids’ (and my own) health by cooking from scratch more often. AND I bought a blue tooth speaker so I can stream music or podcasts from my phone while I’m cooking, so that helps make it more enjoyable and motivating as well.
Here is a quick recap of my principles for meal planning for my kids:
- Whole foods as much as possible
- Lots of healthy fats, protein, and vegetables
- Less grains and fruit (1-2 servings per day max)
- As little added sugar as possible
Meal Plan for Kids – One Day
Kids and a Paleo Style Diet
The carbohydrate, fat, and protein is of a similar proportion to my last example, and in line with a paleolithic style of eating. Something to keep in mind if you are feeding your kids a paleo style diet, is that when you decrease carbohydrate intake, you need to increase fats in order to keep their calories, and hence energy, at a healthy level. Kids who are hungry all the time are probably not eating enough healthy fat.
Fibre was a bit less today (1/4 as opposed to 1/3) but still within the range I consider healthy.
CHO – 23%
FAT – 60%
PRO – 17%
Fiber – 19g (~1/4 of CHO intake).
Grains/Starches: other than a bit of rice flour in their bean chips, there were no grains in my kids’ diet today. They did get some starch from legumes, however, both in the bean chips at lunch and the bean pasta at dinner. There would also have been some starch in the yams in the brownies. Grains are not always necessary but they are easy, quick, and common in our standard diet. I think it’s good to experiment with other ways of getting starch so you don’t become too reliant on one type of food.
Fruit: today my kids had some strawberries at lunch and some banana in their fudgsicles for dessert, so probably about 1 serving today.
Protein: there was a good mix of plant and animal proteins today, from nuts and seeds in the granola, to beans in the chips and pasta, to meat in the sausage patties and spaghetti sauce.
Veggies: today was a lower veggie day than what I usually aim for, which is probably why their fiber intake was on the lower side of normal. But that’s life, I aim for lots of veggies each day but some days I’m just not on my game and I fall short. It’s one of the reasons I try to put veggies inside many of my recipes. It’s good insurance for days like this one!
Sugar: no added sugar today so that 16g of sugar comes from naturally occurring sugar in whole foods. I used erythritol in my baking to replace regular sugar. My goal is less than 10g of added sugar and less than 25g of total sugars, so this is in line with those goals.
Fats: lots of good fats today, from the nuts and seeds in the granola, to the oils in the brownies, the avocado in the fudgsicles, and the animal fat in the grass fed pork for the sausages.
Meal Plan Recipes
All Natural Sausage Patties – Get the recipe for All Natural Sausage Patties here.
Veggie Brownies with ‘Cream Cheese’ Icing – Get the rceipe for Vggie Brownies with ‘Cream Cheese’ Icing’ here.
Spaghetti and Meat Sauce – Get the recipe for Spaghetti and Meat Sauce here.
Hungry for more ideas for healthy kids meals? Here are the recipes from the original blog post, Kids Meal Ideas from a Naturopathic Doctor
Breakfast Porridge – Get the recipe for Breakfast Porridge here.
Grain Free Muffins – Get the recipe for Grain Free Muffins here.
Hamburger Soup – Get the recipe for Hamburger Soup here.
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