As a mom of two, I know how challenging it can be to feed your kids well. One of our rules, especially with my son, is to make it fun. He drinks soups with a long straw, and orange juice with crazy straw "glasses," and sharpens carrots in a new pencil sharpener; whatever works. The important thing is to involve kids in the kitchen and what follows are some fun ways to do it. Relish Editor Jill Melton
Start a garden to teach kids the various life cycles of their favorite veggies. And if you aren't a green-thumbed mom, don't let that stop you. Tomatoes and herbs are easy to grow; even in small plots or indoors!
Consumption of milk decreased by 35 percent when flavored milk was eliminated for school lunches, resulting in a decrease in calcium, vitamins and protein. A little sugar may be a small price to pay for these nutrients. Plus milk, even when it's flavored, is caffeine-free.
Instead of serving your kids soda, let them come up with their own fizzy drinks by mixing 100 percent fruit juice and sparkling water.
Place a Hershey's kiss on top of hot oatmeal and watch it melt. Kids love most anything with chocolate.
Cut Green onions or bell peppers with kitchen shears. It's safer than chopping with a knife and teaches kids that there are many ways to cook.
Use chopsticks to eat anything. It's fun, it slows kids down, and it will help them savor their food more.
Get a chalkboard and let your kids write the menu on it each night. They'll learn about food and meal planning and get a little spelling and writing practice too.
Keep raw asparagus, carrots, bell peppers strips, apple wedges, grapes and cherry tomatoes handy for snacking. It's amazing how quickly they'll disappear when kept in plain sight.
When it comes to fruit, cut it into fun shapes and you'll be surprised how quickly it will go. Slice an apple into circles or into wedges for bite-size nibbles.
Kids love sushi. Try the California rolls or crunchy shrimp rolls, where everything is cooked. Sushi is made fresh daily at most supermarkets and is low in fat and super nutritious.
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