Kids won't eat their veggies? Try these tips

Local moms share ways to make healthy food fun

LONGWOOD, Fla. - We all know kids need energy to get through the day.

There are plenty of products out there to make packing your kid's lunch a snap.

Unfortunately, many of these prepackaged items come loaded with saturated fat, empty calories and sodium. 

So what is the best way to ensure you child is getting a healthy lunch -- and more importantly, one that they will eat?

To find out, we asked Shannon Kidwell, who runs Fit Piglet, promoting what she calls the "freshitarian" lifestyle.

Simply put, she tells her clients to avoid anything with a label. She eats ingredients, not products with ingredients.

Kidwell says that while most of her clients come to her for themselves, they quickly realize it's easier when the whole family gets involved.

"If everybody is eating the same stuff, everybody's on board, then when mom is making her own lunch for the next day, she's also preparing theirs at the same time. So that saves time, it saves money," she said.

Kidwell says the easiest way to get kids to try new things is to get them involved in the process.

"Bringing the kids into the kitchen is important, having them help make their lunches, having them decide, 'Well here's what you can pick from.' Give them some healthier options and allow them to have a voice in what they are eating. Start to teach them and educate them," she said.

Kidwell says make sure to keep the food fun. She says fresh fruits and vegetables provide bright colors that can then be used for a sort of culinary art project.

"I try to incorporate as much live food as I can without turning off a child, without giving him a spinach salad with sprouts all over it. I mean, that's not going to be appetizing for a kid," Kidwell said.

She says make sure you mix sweet flavors with salty ones. 

"I think keeping the food colorful, fresh, making sure you have a little bit of sweet, a little bit of salty every day with every meal is important," Kidwell said while showing her take on the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. "That way, you're satisfying all the cravings that you may have."

She makes her PB and J with fresh ground peanut butter, fresh berries and honey mixed with a touch of  pink Himalayan salt. 

Kidwell says take it slow. As you run out of one thing replace it with a healthier option. She uses the peanut butter as an example. Once you run out of the brand name stuff, let your kids help grind their own next time.

If you would like to see some of her other lunch favorites click here for a video extra.

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