Making Fruits and Vegetables Simple, Fun, and Delicious!
For kids to develop healthy habits, it’s important for them to learn to love a variety of fruits and vegetables, in a variety of ways. Serving fruits or vegetables in different forms, textures, and temperatures will actually help children develop a mature palate, which is more accepting to a wider variety of new foods. Don’t hesitate to offer fruits and veggies fresh, frozen, dried, canned, juiced, pureed, blended, etc! Parents should be in the business of training their kids tastes and appetites for real food, rather than a love for a specific vegetable.
We love the focus on fruits and veggies for our kids as a way to teach them healthy habits. Not only does it encourage a positive relationship with food by focusing on what they should be eating, without sending negative food messages that often is accompanied by guilt and shame.
First, it sounds as though you do know the importance of calories, as energy. Yes, calories are truly the energy needed for our bodies to sustain life and more are needed, depending on age, activity levels, building and repairing during times of growth, illness and injury. A child of 10 years, namely a boy who is active, needs on average 2300-2500 calories per day. What are the best ways to add more calories to your child’s intake? Offer healthy, nutrient dense snacks and serve up more veggies during regular meals.
When we design our meal plans, we base it on a healthy, active individual; no particular age or sex of the individual. We typically try to make all meals around 400-500 calories, and snacks around 100-200. Do our meals fluctuate? Absolutely! Our main focus with Super Healthy Kids has always been about getting more fruits and veggies onto your family’s plates during all meals and snacks so oftentimes, for instance, we will simply have a veggie for a snack that is prepared differently than you normally would have presented it to your family. In essence, that snack will run low on the calories, yet very high in nutrition.
When there is a meal or snack that you personally feel is offering less than calories than what will sustain the appetite of a growing child or even a highly active adult, yes, it is a good idea to add to that meal or snack. To answer your question regarding whether or not to add something to the smoothie recipe included in your meal plan, I would have to say, yes! Your son is at a critical age of bodily growth as well as puberty. Some great ideas for additions to your smoothies would be adding a few slices of avocados, more oats, flax meal, nut butter, or plain Greek yogurt. All of these are great ways to add good fats, more protein and loads of extra nutrients and not “just calories.”
Now, to answer your other question about leaving out foods for your kiddos to grab. I, as well as the team here at Super Healthy Kids, feel that meals and snacks should be served and then we should be done (I know I always love shutting down my kitchen because I am not about cleaning up all day!) It is not a good idea to leave food out for the taking, even if it seems like a healthy choice, such as fruit. On the short term it could lead to tooth decay if we are constantly eating food of any kind. In the long run, it could lead to eating disorders and yes, unwanted, unhealthy, weight gain. Again, realize that our intent at Super Healthy Kids, is to get more fruits and veggies into your meal plans at home, and not be so specific on calories. If you are looking for a specified, personal meal plan, please reach out to your local Registered Dietitian who will take all your concerns into consideration.
We strongly feel that the entire family should be eating all the same meals. Our meal plans are followed from 1 years to 99 years. Teenagers and toddlers can both eat the same foods as mom and dad, so we create our plans with that in mind.
Yes, you can sign up for the three month subscription, and upgrade it to the annual one if you decide you like it!
At this time, we do not. The meal plans are written for a typical family with no dietary restrictions. Although you can make changes to the plan, We hope in the very near future to hire more dietitians that can write a variety of programs for our members.
The only way to continue using the meal plans after your membership expires is by saving them to your hard drive or printing them. You can click the print button, and use a “print to pdf” feature to save the PDF to your computer. If you add recipes to your recipe box, your membership expires, and you rejoin at a future date, your recipe box will still have your recipes saved.
If you found the recipe browsing the member recipes, there will be an “add to recipe box” at the bottom, or in the right hand side bar. If you found a recipe via blog post, and there is no “add to recipe button”, this simply means we haven’t added it to our database yet. The ingredients need to be individually added in order to make the shopping list. This is most common with our blog posts that are older than our membership site. If you see a blog post you’d really like added to the database, please email me and we’ll get it entered right away (firstname.lastname@example.org)
At the very bottom of your meal plan, there is a red button that says: “Clear meal plan customizations”. This will return your meal plan to the way we wrote it.
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There will always be 30 days worth of recipes and meals posted, no matter when you begin. At the end of each week, one will drop off and another posted so you can plan ahead! You can save the URL for the meal plans or recipes you want to keep, and you can always return to it while you are a member.
We do plan to re-use some of the best recipes, especially when it comes to snacks, and breakfast.
Because our meal plan is used by such a wide variety of ages, at this time we do not have a set calorie amount. Caloric need varies so much with age and activity level that we provided nutrition information so that you can adjust according to personal need. The best way to adjust is by increasing number of servings. This allows more flexibility within the meal plan because you can increase servings from you favorite meals.
We tried to include everything possible for preparing all the meals, which means- 4 meals per day, 7 days per week. So up front, as is, this is a LOT of food! I spend just over $200 when I buy it all. However, we imagine most of you will eliminate some of the meals before you go shopping. If you eat cereal every morning, and just want to follow the plans for lunch and dinner, your shopping list, and costs, will be reduced drastically. . We are assuming you already have some staples like condiments, herbs, spices, baking supplies, etc. So you may not have to purchase as many of the items as are on the list. As you stick with us, the meal plans will use foods you may have already purchased in prior weeks!