When Kids Plan the Meal, the Whole Family Can Eat Healthier

Most parents will agree that getting kids to try new foods and to eat healthy meals can be a struggle. Instead of telling kids what they should be eating, some experts believe that letting kids plan the menu can actually encourage them to eat healthier.

Last month, the White House hosted the first-ever Kids’ State Dinner, a celebration of a summer-long recipe contest for kid-friendly healthy, tasty recipes from The First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign. What’s the catch? The kids created and submitted their own recipes!

Kids between the ages of 8-12 were invited to submit an original recipe that followed the MyPlate nutritional guidelines and represented each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a meal. The contest received more than 1,200 recipe submissions – proof that there are endless ways to create healthy, balanced meals that kids want to eat!

Next time your family is struggling to decide on a healthy meal, take a look at the 54 winning recipes in the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Cookbook, including Yummy Cabbage Sloppy Joes, Stuffed Tomatoes, “Triple F” Fake Fast Food, and Sushi for Kids! Make mealtime family time by asking your children to be part of the decision-making process and to help you in the kitchen so that they will be more likely to eat – and enjoy – the final product.

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