Substitutions are Your Child’s New Best Friend

We are welcoming another one of our Family Week partners to guest post on our blog today.  Learnvest is a leading personal finance site for women with practical tips and useful tools you can implement into your daily life.

I’ve never been the kind of mom who was caught sneaking veggies or whole grains into my childrens’ foods. They’ve been front and center on my kids’ plates since they were eating solids.

Now, at 5 and 8, both of my children are excellent eaters. I believe that serving a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains at each meal taught my kids to be good eaters, and it enabled them to make healthy choices and try different foods each day.

I’ll share a little secret of mine that I’ve honed over the years, though: I make easy, healthy substitutions in certain recipes, or for foods that my kids are drawn to that are either high in fat, refined sugar or sodium.

It’s easy enough–take out something that has either no nutritional value or is literally bad for you, and replace it with something that is good for you.

How I Got Started

Over the years, as I experimented with recipes, I have come up with some great substitutions. My children, Samara and Simon, don’t even miss the fat and sugar. If you start your kids out on the right track, they get used to tasting the actual food, without the added bad stuff that’s so unhealthy for them.

In fact, now my kids often find things too sweet or salty when they eat in restaurants. Experimentation is key, and don’t be afraid if every substitution doesn’t work. Keep trying, and I promise you’ll have success.

You can even include your kids in the process. If your child loves yogurt, try brainstorming together about all the things you can put yogurt in. Your kid may love your famous cake that’s made with sour cream, but replace it with low-fat yogurt, and you’ve cut a huge amount of fat from the recipe while keeping the flavor and texture.

This post originally appeared in the LVMoms section of LearnVest, the leading personal finance site for women. LV Moms is dedicated to helping moms manage their household finances in style by providing helpful tips and tricks for family budgeting.

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