Halal Consumer - Issue 26 - page 7

“If you wait for them to get back and then ask them what they
would like, chances are they would shrug, grab a cookie and go
watch some TV,” says Ibrahim, mom of four in Elgin, IL.
She has some go-to favorites that her kids love and, from time to
time, she tries out new things to keep them interested. Usually,
an ethnic twist makes it easier for her kids
to enjoy their veggies. They often have
steamed Brussels sprouts sprinkled with
chaat masala
or any chopped vegetable
in a spicy
tomato paste. Just add a
fork and the after-school snack is ready.
She feels that most kids love anything
with dips. Homemade is always bet-
ter, but if you are pressed for time,
and the occasional store bought dip
entices your child to have a variety of
fruits and vegetables, it is worth the
splurge. Putting them out in dishes
with different sections gives them
the choice to try a variety of healthy
fruits, buffet-style. She also ensures
they have plenty of milk and water,
which is often side tracked when it
comes to re-fueling tired kids.
“When a child is hungry, he will most
likely eat anything he can get his hands on,”
Ibrahim said. “Just like when they have walked for three hours
at a theme park, they are willing to eat something they might
fuss over at home. Similarly, when kids come back from school,
they are very hungry, so accessibility and appearance makes a
big difference.”
Speaking of appearance, Ayesha Akhtar, MPH, a community health
educator for the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago and co-
founder of HEART Women + Girls, has been using fun plates and
straws to jazz up meals and snacks for her boys, 10 and 8.
“I’m definitely a believer in fun presentation,” Akhtar says. “I'm
also a smoothie machine. I will make any combo and always add
protein powder to balance out the glycemic
index. With some fun straws, we often have
a ‘liquid breakfast’. I also have plates with
sections and the boys have fun loading it
up with different food groups. It is so easy
and makes kids accountable for a balanced
meal. Even the regular healthy snack com-
bos like apples or celery with peanut butter
are more appealing when presented in a
fun way.”
Registered dietician and mom to three boys,
Shahana Khan believes it's a good idea to
talk to each of your kids and ask them what
fruits and vegetables they like. Take them
grocery shopping to a store with a huge
variety of fresh produce so they can see that
options are not limited to the bare basics.
“Have the kids make a list of healthy foods
they are willing to try,” Khan said. “Baked
sweet potatoes julienne cut are popular in my
house. I feel the way you cut vegetables can also
make a difference!”
Khan also suggests giving children some choices in how they have
their veggies. Whether it’s a salad bar at home or a variety of
When Sarah Ibrahim’s children come home from school, she has healthy
snacks waiting for them on the kitchen island. From piping hot lentil soup in
the winter to a medley of berries when it’s warmer, the key is to have every-
thing ready.
Fall 2013
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