How Yogurt Can Be Used to Encourage Your Child to Eat New, Healthy Foods

As a mother of 3 young children, I find that meal times can be challenging no matter what time of day.  I also work as a fitness professional who specializes in health and nutrition for women and children and still find that when dinner time comes, all my toddler daughter wants is YOGURT and not the fresh plate of produce that I’ve chopped up for her.  Yogurt is a nutritious choice, but if she could have it for every meal, snack and craving, she would.  So what do I  do when this happens?  I GET CREATIVE!

My children range in age from 7 months to 6 years and each child has his or her preferences ESPECIALLY when it comes to yogurt.  With the help of Chobani Yogurt, I’ve come up with a few ideas to encourage my children to try new, healthy foods by using the very yogurt that they want to have with every meal!

Babies: Chobani TOTS

tots-mango-spinach-banana-pumpkin-mangospinach-sqpack

 For my smallest, #ChobaniTots offers an INCREDIBLE collection of mixed yogurt pouches that I’ve begun to introduce to my tiny tot.  The Mango and Spinach option combines Chobani yogurt with mango & spinach puree with other natural ingredients to offer a nutritious yogurt option that includes foods to which my little babe may otherwise turn his little nose up.

cayden mama

Toddlers: Let Them Help YOU

My middle child is almost 2 years old and LOVES to help in the kitchen.  She is a strong-willed little lady who insists on having yogurt with every meal so when it comes to encouraging her to try new, healthy foods, I’ve decided to include her in the process of making her food.

adelie kitchen

My favorite new recipe came from a client of mine a few weeks ago for Almond, Coconut, Gluten-Free Pancakes.  As Chobani Greek Yogurt is also gluten free and comes in a variety of kid-friendly flavors, making this recipe with my daughter is not only fun, but also delicious!

kids-banana-tubes

The recipe:

Almond, Coconut, Gluten-Free Pancakes using Chobani Banana Greek Yogurt

almond coconut pancakes

1 1/2 cups almond flour

2 T coconut flour

3/4 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

6 eggs

1/4 cup Chobani Banana Greek Yogurt

2 T honey

1 T vanilla extract

1 T oil/fat (olive oil, butter, coconut oil, or ghee)

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together.

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until well combined and smooth.

4. Grease a griddle or skillet generously, and ladle batter onto griddle, forming 4-inch cakes.

5. When bubbles form, flip & cook until done.  Feel free to top with additional Chobani Banana Greek Yogurt along with Fresh Maple Syrup and a side of fresh strawberries.

Kids: Make Lunch Time FUN

I pack my 6 year old son’s lunch and snack everyday for lunch and one of things he requests is that his lunch is fun!  So does this mean that I make pinterest-worthy faces in his sandwich?  Well, tempting as that is, no I don’t.  Instead, I use yogurt as a way to continue to get creative.

logan school

Since Chobani Yogurts come in all flavors ranging from blueberry to chocolate, I include them in his lunch with several, different options:

Yogurt as a Dip for Fruit

Cut up an apple or a cup of strawberries and pair them with Chobani’s Indulgent Yogurts such as Double Chocolate Chunk

indulgent-double-chocolate-chunk-4pack images

Yogurt as a Healthy Snack

Each day, my son needs to have a morning snack packed for school that is quick & easy to carry with him.  We often decide to include a yogurt pouch with his morning snack so he gets a nice dose of calcium in a flavor that he looks forward to having.

kids-grape-pouch

Chobani Kids offers 7 incredible flavors:

  • Grape & Strawberry
  • Strawberry & Vanilla Chocolate Dust
  • Grape
  • Strawberry
  • Chocolate Dust
  • Banana
  • Grape and Watermelon

Getting creative is the number one thing I do on a daily basis to get my children to eat healthy foods as eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult!  Making the eating experience fun for my kids is what always draws them back in when meal time becomes frustrating.  For me, to reach my children often times means thinking like one.  I encourage you to try this and use Chobani when giving it your first go!

Want to Get Healthy? Reorganize Your Fridge!

Today, I made my first trip to The Container Store! I had hoped to walk in and walk out with just a few items but as you can imagine walking into a store like this as someone who appreciates organization left me with a few more items in my hands and I had anticipated.  Nevertheless, it was a very good trip. And as a result, I was able to organize my refrigerator for the kids the way I had intended in addition to a few other things around the house.

Items I purchased:

BPA Free Food Storage Containers

Buy from Amazon for $25

Umbra Square Crunch Can 

I bought this for my daughter’s room to pick up loose toys and stuffed animals.  The Umbra Crunch Can is durable as well as safe for those clumsy falls that inevitably happen with a toddler running about.

Buy from Amazon for $19.99

If your house is anything like mine, then efficiency is extremely important when it comes to packing lunches, snacktime, and having food available at the drop of a hat for hungry little mouths after school.  Since the birth of my third child, I’ve not had the opportunity to organize my refrigerator the way I had hoped to prior to his arrival. So after my jaunt to the container store, I came home and looked at the disarray that was my refrigerator. And I remembered, when I was a little girl, after each trip to the grocery store, it was my job to slice and dice all of the produce and put it into the appropriate Tupperware containers for easy access.  This was not a fun sure as it included chopping a 5 pound bag of carrots along with washing and drying every leaf of every head of Romain lettuce that was purchased for the week, however, it helps the entire family work more efficiently during the week.  So in short, in addition to helping my family, I’m turning into my father. Ha ha!

Organizing the refrigerator for children to be able to find their snacks is actually quite simple it’s just something that you have to keep up with every week. It’s definitely a commitment. But, it’s a commitment that I’m willing to make if it means saving myself 5 to 10 minutes in the morning or in the evening when it comes to preparing these foods for my children.

Here’s what I did:

1. Stock Up

I picked up a surplus of the produce items that my family enjoys knowing that by putting them in storage containers, they would stay fresher longer.

vegetablesfruit

2. Set Aside the Appropriate Containers

While shopping for produce, I made sure to match the right containers with the fruits and vegetables that I wanted so that they would not only fit, but match how I would normally store the original containers in my refrigerator.

organizes

3. Choose a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables

When I buy my produce, I am sure to choose the colors of the rainbow not only for variety, but also for the many benefits that come with eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in color.  Chop them up as you’d like and fill each container to the top.

chopped

4. Make These Foods Visible

Kids will choose snacks based on accessibility and visual appeal.  By choosing foods that are bright as well as nutritious, your child will most likely reach for these foods first.  Place these containers within reach so that they can easily grab a snack independently.

organizedfridge

My beautifully reorganized refrigerator

Starstruck Fruit Salad

This morning I needed to have  a dish prepared for my son’s Kindergarten Potluck Breakfast.  I volunteered to bring in a fruit salad but I wanted to bring one that was appealing to the eye so that the kids in the class would be more likely to dig in.  To make the salad more interesting, I added one cool and rare fruit: Starfruit!

fruit salad kindergarten

Starstruck Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 Starfruit
  • 1 container red grapes
  • 1 container green grapes
  • 1 container organic strawberries – sliced
  • 1 mini watermelon
  • 1 honeydew melon
  • 1 organic lemon

Recipe

  1. Chop all fruit except the starfruit and mix together.
  2. Slice the starfruit for a nice collection of stars to top the salad.  Arrange as you’d like for nice presentation.
  3.  Slice and squeeze fresh the lemon and drizzle the juice over the top to preserve the flavor and texture of the fruit.

For more fun posts or to share your own, please visit http://www.opalmom.com