My kids, especially my 5-year-old, like to eat things like bread, crackers, pasta, and cereal. And of course, they like sweets and desserts.
I totally understand; I love these things, too!( That’s probably why I’m carrying around an extra 10+ pounds on my petite (read: short) frame.)
It has recently come to my attention, as I cut back on the flour and sugar components of my diet, how much starchy stuff my kids eat. You know how it goes — cereal and fruit with breakfast, sandwich for lunch, something involving bread or pasta for dinner, not to mention any snacks-on-the-go like crackers, granola bars, or pretzels. (Every mom knows that these kinds of snacks travel well and are well received!)
I’m no doctor, nor a nutritionist, but I have to wonder whether it’s good for my kids’ bodies to be eating starches and sugars all day long. I think these types of foods tend to be very palatable (another serving, please!) and not very filling (ever notice how much mac & cheese a kid can eat at one sitting?). I should note that we buy 100% whole-grain products whenever possible, and things like juice, pop-tarts, fruit snacks, candy, and cookies are rarely in the house.
I’m not too concerned about fruit, since the accompanying fiber and the relatively low amount of carbs per serving make them a lot easier on the body than things like bread, cereal, or juice.
That being the case, I am now going through my days of SAHM-hood trying to figure out what to feed my kids besides starchy stuff. Protein is awesome; I fear no fat (except trans fat) for myself or my kids; and I would rather they eat almost any fruit or vegetable than bread, biscuits, or the like.
Here is what I’ve come upon so far as food choices, that my kids like, that emphasize protein and fat rather than carbs:
- Banana “sandwiches”, sliced lengthwise, with natural peanut butter as filling and banana as the “bread”
- Apple slices with cream cheese
- Chicken nuggets made with parmesan as the breading, fried in coconut oil
- Taco salad with full-fat sour cream, and/or served in hard-shell tacos. I am not nuts about taco shells, but they are less carb-dense than bread.
- Lettuce greens with full-fat dressing (my 5yo loves salad; my 2yo does not)
- Peanuts or almonds
- Full-fat plain yogurt with some honey stirred in
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to take all carbs out of my kids’ diet. I am just concerned that starches, starches, starches all day long is not good for them and is training them to expect these foods at every meal.