Sunday, January 3, 2010

More Rainbow Plate Ideas...

As we head into the new year, most of us have lofty goals for our own health. Many of us are trying to focus on eating healthier foods, so it’s an excellent time to model healthy eating for our children. In the Northeast, it’s a little more challenging to get great fresh fruits and veggies at this time of year, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t create some fabulous “rainbow plates” for (or with) your children.

As long as you have a nice selection of healthy foods on hand, and you have done some of the legwork in advance (ex: roasting veggies, making an egg/veggie scramble that can become the filling for a quick breakfast burrito, roasting some chicken breasts, etc.) then each of these plates should be made for your children in a matter of minutes. Totally doable, no matter how busy your days may be!

Though it annoys them to no end (because what they really want to do is just dig in and get back to playing), when I think of it, I’ve snapped a photo of some of my children’s recent meals.

Pictured above: corn (frozen, then steamed), freeze-dried strawberries, slivered almonds, dried cranberries, and part of a Trader Joe's Pesto Pasta Bowl (found in their freezer section). Here are several other “rainbow plate” ideas:

Protein Pancakes, a berry compote (made with organic frozen berries), sliced bananas and dried cranberries.
Turkey meatballs (which I make a big batch of, then keep in the freezer for busy days), cucumber slices, carrots (yes, I let them pick out the mini ones this week) and blueberries (not organic, not local...again, I pick my battles!)

Grilled cheese on whole wheat, tomato soup, apple slices, and grapes (and whole milk).

Apple slices, onion rings (my craving, not theirs that particular day), an Applegate Farms turkey hot dog, avocado chunks, bell pepper "swords" (don't ask), and a Feta-Fig Tartlet to try.

Annie's Mac & Cheese with chicken apple sausage and broccoli, grapes, bell pepper slices, and a piece of clafouti for a treat.

When I was downloading the photos above I came across a couple late summer ones I don’t think I posted…a little less relevant because of the fruits and veggies that were available then, but still good for some meal-making inspiration:

Roated zucchini, apple slices, cherry tomatoes (look at those neat colors!!), and grilled chicken with a side of homemade (though store bought would be just fine) pesto as a dip.

Watermelon, pear slices, chunks of kiwi, a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, and steamed corn on the cob...if I remember correctly, the request was "we want a dinner we can eat with our hands!"

(Store bought) Brown Rice California Rolls, sugar snap peas, cucumber slices and low-sodium soy sauce.

Yo Kids Yogurt, an apple, Snap Pea Crisps, and 1/2 of a Trader Joe's veggie lasagna (from the freezer section).

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