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The Busy Parent's Guide to Feeding Kids Better by a Dietitian Mom

As pediatric dietitians, we understand the hustle and bustle of family life. Between work, school, and extracurricular activities, finding time to ensure your child gets the nutrition they need can feel like a daunting task. I'm here to share some practical tips to help boost your child's nutrition, even on the busiest of days. The best part is, you can implement all these recommendations in just 5 minutes a day.


Prep Ahead for Success: We all know the saying, "fail to prepare, prepare to fail." This can't be more true for busy parents. Get ahead by making a little time each week to do some prep. Wash and chop fruits and veggies, portion out snacks like nuts or whole grain crackers, and even pre-make smoothie packs for a quick and healthy breakfast option.


Use Hunger to Your Advantage: Taking advantage of when appetite is highest is an easy way to increase fruit & vegetables intake.The first thing my daughter does when I pick her up from school is ask for a snack. I show up prepared with a snack she can eat in the car. This might look like yogurt, string cheese or half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, along with a cup of sliced fruit or vegetables. Here's a photo of a recent pick-up-line snack.


Offer an Appetizer: When you're rushing to cook dinner nothing is more frustrating than kids asking when it will be ready or going to the pantry to grab another snack. Stay ahead of this by setting out an appetizer for the family to snack on while they wait. Think: something nutritious and not filling enough that they'll spoil their dinner, like baby carrots & store bought hummus, some extra sliced cucumbers from the salad you prepped or a handful of rinsed berries.


Freshen Up Snack Time: Prepackaged snacks like granola bars are great when we need a snack on the go, but even better along side fruit or vegetables. This is why we're always recommending snack containers like this one or this one. Throw a bar or nuts in one side and fruit in the other and you instantly have a more balanced, nutritious snack.


Make it a Frequent Occurrence :  Another way to achieve improved vitamin & mineral intake in kids is to simply offer fruits and vegetable more frequently. We suggest offering a fruit and/or a vegetable at every meal. Some of my go-to ways of doing this for my 4 & 7 year old include: setting out a bowl of berries at breakfast, simply storing the bowl of what's left in the fridge for later, offering baby carrots or snap peas at lunch which don't require any chopping, and throwing some steam-in-the-bag vegetables in the microwave for an easy dinner side.


We aim to help parents be intentional about feeding their kids while keeping it simple and efficient. If this is something you struggle with, we're here to help! We offer tele-health nutrition counseling nationwide and we're in-network with most major insurance carriers. To find out if we're a good fit for you book a free discovery call.

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