In the Fridge
Skim or 1 percent milk or fortified soy milk.
Fresh fruit. Keep at least one kind of fruit washed, cut, and stored in a clear plastic container where your kids can see and grab it.
Hummus. Dip carrots in this chickpea spread.
Low-fat yogurt. Mix fresh fruit into vanilla or plain.
100 percent fruit juice. Dilute it with water or seltzer. Try pre-diluted Wadda Juice single-serve bottles or Mott's for Tots boxes for car trips.
Bagged salad. Look for darker greens like baby spinach or a mix of multicolored lettuces like mesclun or field greens.
Lunch meats like turkey and lean roast beef.
Tortillas. They're a fun alternative to bread.
Fresh veggies. Buy your own to wash and chop. Or pick up prewashed, precut veggies like broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, snow peas, and celery to serve as a snack, toss into salads, or steam.
Low-fat cheese. Stock reduced-fat block cheese such as Cracker Barrel 2 percent milk cheese, reduced-fat string cheese, Laughing Cow minis, and part-skim shredded cheese.
In the Pantry
Whole-grain crackers. Choose brands with at least 2 grams of fiber (and no trans fats) like Ryvita, Wasa, Kashi TLC 7-Grain, and low-sodium Triscuit.
Whole-grain pasta such as high-fiber Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Blend Pasta or Barilla Plus, which has extra protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Reduced-fat salad dressing. Low-fat ranch makes a great dip.
Oatmeal. Choose whole oats or unflavored instant.
Whole-grain bread. Check labels for brands that have at least 2 grams of fiber per slice.
Applesauce. Look for an unsweetened brand.
Dried or canned beans. Chickpeas, black beans, and fat-free refried beans are rich in protein.
Whole wheat couscous cooks just as quickly as the regular kind.
Brown rice. A great source of whole grains.
Sweet potatoes have lots of vitamin A.
Whole-grain breakfast cereal. Aim for at least 3 grams of fiber. Ones to try: Raisin Bran, Multi-Bran Chex, or Kashi Heart-to-Heart or Mighty Bites.
Nuts and seeds. Go for almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.
Salsa. A zesty way to sneak in more veggies.
Canned fruit that's packed in juice.
Jarred pasta sauce. Add extra veggies like shredded zucchini.
Dried fruit. A half-cup counts as a serving of fruit.
Salmon and light tuna for salads and sandwiches.
Peanut butter or other nut butters.
In the Freezer
Boneless chicken breasts. Add to pasta, salads, and stir-fries.
Lean ground beef. Buy 90 percent lean.
Salmon and other low-mercury fish such as cod and tilapia.
Vegetarian chicken patties. One kid-friendly flavor is MorningStar Farms Parmesan Ranch.
Frozen veggies. Besides the basics, pick up high-protein edamame.
Ground turkey. Look for extra lean.
Veggie burgers made from soy protein.
Frozen fruit (no sugar added) to eat from the bag or add to smoothies.
Fast Meal: Chicken & Rice
Brown rice + precut veggies + chicken
Fast Meal: Pasta
Whole-grain pasta + ground-turkey meatballs + jarred pasta sauce
Fast Meal: Healthy Oatmeal
Oatmeal + milk + frozen fruit + almonds (for kids 4 and up)
Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the June 2008 issue of Parents magazine.
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