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February 18, 2020 Tuesday 12:14:35 PM IST

How to sneak nutrition into meals

Parent Interventions

Children’s National Hospital dietitian Erika Davies, MS, RD, LD writes the ways to sneak nutrition into meals.

Dietary recommnedations:

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics dietary recommendations, children from the ages of 9-13 should be eating:

5 ounces of protein


1.5 cups of fruit

1.5-3.5 cups of vegetables

5-6 ounces of grains

3 cups of dairy daily



How to sneak nutrition into meals:-

Replace junk food: Try replacing junk food with more healthful versions of the snacks your kids already enjoy:

Replace buttered popcorn loaded with fats and sodium with air popped popcorn.


Make your own trail mix with dried fruits and nuts instead of store-bought trail mix, which is filled with refined sugars and preservatives.

Be sneaky: Slip in nutritious foods and alternatives into meals.

Add fruits and fruit purees to baked goods, cereals, and pancakes.

Prepare homemade goodies with whole grain flour or a gluten-free substitute such as rolled oats.


Add vegetables to homemade pizza.

Replace mayo with avocado, which is full of good fats, and try Greek yogurt, which is packed with protein, instead of sour cream.

Substitute leaner meats such as ground turkey instead of beef.

Find low fat, high fiber alternatives 


Try reduced fat or skim milk instead of whole milk.

Replace white bread with whole wheat.

Emphasize a “rainbow” plate: Encourage kids to include a variety of colors on their plates, for example:

Green broccoli and spinach


Yellow squash

Orange and red peppers


(Content Courtesy: https://riseandshine.childrensnational.org/four-ways-to-sneak-nutrition-into-any-meal/) 



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