Expert Q&A: Meal Makeovers

Advice for Moms of Picky Eaters

Q: What advice can you offer to moms of picky eaters? How can they get their families to like healthier food?

J&L: We hear this question all the time. The key with picky eaters is to present a variety of colorful foods and to make them taste and look great. For example, steamed broccoli may not wow many children but if that broccoli gets a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt (which, by the way, has half the sodium of table salt), it will taste awesome. We also recommend parents become good role models by eating all those healthy foods they want their kids to eat. Finally, when moms offer new foods over and over again without getting discouraged or fueling a battle at the dinner table, they'll have better success getting kids to take that very first bite.

Q: What's your favorite healthy snack food?

J&L: Some of our favorite healthy snacks include a fruit smoothie (made by blending 100-percent fruit juice, 1/2 ripe banana, a handful of frozen berries, and 1/2 cup of vanilla or fruited low-fat yogurt), peanut butter on apple wedges, and our Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins and Blueberry Snack Cake from The Moms' Guide to Meal Makeovers.

 

Q: Are there any frozen foods or TV dinners that you'd recommend for moms on the go?

J&L: We have a very helpful chapter in our book called, The Best of the Bunch. In it, we evaluate the top 10 kid convenience foods on the market and recommend the best tasting and most nutritious products out there. So yes, some frozen foods can indeed be part of a healthy diet as long as you choose "the best of the bunch." For example, when choosing frozen chicken nuggets, we suggest a product with the most protein (a tip-off: it contains real chicken meat), and no hydrogenated vegetable oils, because these add cholesterol-raising trans fats to the diet. With the nuggets, it's also important to serve super-nutritious side dishes such as a salad, our Sweet Potato Fries, or fresh fruit.

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