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We all want our children to be healthy. We want them to grow to their fullest potential.

We know they need certain vitamins and minerals to do this. But sometimes it is so difficult to get them to eat anything but boxed macaroni and cheese, hot dogs and ice cream. All these foods are high in fat. Even children are at risk of high cholesterol from too much fat in their diets and studies are showing that many children are developing hardening of the arteries at earlier ages.

We need to be careful and mindful of what we are feeding our kids. It seems like a constant battle in many families to keep kids interested in healthful foods. There are ways to disguise some really nutritious foods so that your kids will love them and even ask for them!

Always have healthy foods available and in a ready to eat form. For example, baby peeled carrots in a bowl of ice cold water they can grab out of the refrigerator without much hassle. Or, individual containers of lowfat yogurt, applesauce or mixed fruit. Freeze yogurt or pudding (prepare with 1% milk) in popsicle containers for a frosty treat. Kids need milk for calcium their bones and teeth need.

If your kids won’t drink their milk, put chocolate powder in it; the added sugar is the lesser of two evils when it comes to lack of calcium or too much sugar. And lastly, don’t forget a bowl of fresh fruit; always have one on the counter. You will be surprised at how readily your kids will grab an apple, banana or orange if they are easy to get to.

Here are some other delicious recipes your kids will love:

Use any flavor low fat yogurt and mix in the blender with fresh or canned fruit. Freeze your yogurt and a bananas to make it extra cold like a milk shake.

Orange Julius
Use lowfat ice cream or lowfat frozen yogurt and calcium fortified orange juice. Add a few ice cubes. Crush and mix in the blender until smooth.

Homemade Pizza
Whole grain English muffins spread with tomato sauce or catsup. Reduced fat cheese and chicken or lean ground beef. Top with veggies if they will let you! Microwave or bake in the oven.

A favorite at our house. Tortillas layered with low fat cheese, kidney beans, zucchini strips, tomato. Dip in salsa and sour cream. You can do a lot of different things with quesadillas, replace chicken with the kidney beans for example.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Sometimes as adults we forget that children like their food simple. We try to serve spicy or complicated foods that they just don’t like. Tuna Noodle Casserole is a favorite with my kids.
3 cups macaroni
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
2 - 6 ounce cans of tuna
2 tablespoons of low fat mayonnaise
top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees 20 minutes or microwave for 8 minutes.