Getting children to eat healthy food can be a challenge, so parents and caregivers often resort to tried-and-tested easy meals. Unfortunately, many of these go-to meals are high in sugar, high in unhealthy fats and calories, and low in nutrients. Laager Tea4Kidz partner dietician, Mbali Mapholi, is passionate about coming up with creative solutions and tips to help kids get the nutrients they need. She has shared some delicious yet simple substitutes that will help boost the nutrient intake of kids’ favourite meals, so mealtimes can be a win-win for parents and kids!
“Being a parent and caregiver is difficult as you have to balance the demands of work and home with the needs of young children, and it’s often easier to resort to quick and easy meals,” explained Candice Sessions, Laager Marketing Manager. “With the rising cost of food, planning wholesome yet delicious meals is even more challenging. That’s why we’re supporting our partner dietician, Mbali, in promoting these healthy alternatives which are better for children – and parents!”
Mapholi explained: “Instead of eliminating popular foods entirely, you can try cutting back on certain food items, and when you do offer them, try opting for the healthiest choices possible. Finding the balance between nourishment and fun foods that children love is important to helping them harness a healthy relationship with food from an early age.”
Slap chips/French fries
Baked fries grilled in the oven or air-fryer and salted lightly.
Frozen yoghurt, sorbet or fresh fruit smoothies*
Fried chicken nuggets
Baked or grilled chicken OR baked or grilled fish fingers
Homemade Rooibos iced tea (brew, add ice and fruit and sweeten lightly)*
Store-bought ice lollies
Frozen fruit sticks or frozen fruits (such as grapes) OR homemade ice lollies*
Home-made popcorn salted lightly
Add canned tuna or pilchards, chicken pieces or eggs to instant noodles, cooked tomato sauce and some frozen vegetables, and season well
Fill bread with peanut butter, egg mayo or tuna mayo
Add vegetables as toppings such as well-seasoned, shredded cooked cabbage or peppers. You can even add avocado to the hot dog - children will love it!
*Suggested recipes are available at www.joekels.co.za.
Mapholi said it was important to use children’s food and beverage choices as teaching moments: “Speak up when you see unhealthy choices and direct children to healthier options. You can also insist that they have a little of one thing, but not too much. Talk to them about why an overly salty or heavily sugared snack is not the best choice, but avoid making them feel guilty about their food or beverage choices. Trying new recipes and involving children in meal preparations helps a lot in guiding them to choose better and healthier options.”
Laager Tea4Kidz has a range of Rooibos teas designed specifically for kids, that can be enjoyed hot or cold. The range also carries two flavours with added Vitamin C for even more health benefits.
Parents and caregivers can also access a range of healthy recipes, advice and tips via the Joekels website, www.joekels.co.za, and via free parent/teacher workshops in partnership with an educational training expert.
Follow @Tea4Kidz on Facebook and @LaagerRooibosTea on Instagram for health tips and advice, as well as healthy recipes and ideas for the whole family.
Joekels pack, blend and distribute some of South Africa’s most popular household tea brands including Tetley, Laager, Tea Time, Tea4Kidz, and Society Coffee. Started in 1994 by businessman, Joe Swart and Master Tea Blender, Jonathan Kelsey, Joekels is an award-winning business with both Halaal and Kosher accreditation, as well as the highest global food safety and quality certification, FSSC 22000. The Laager Rooibos brand is accredited by the Heart & Stroke Foundation of South Africa. Visit www.joekels.co.za
About Laager Tea4Kidz
Tea4Kidz is Laager’s range of Rooibos teas created especially for kids. Providing parents with a healthier drink option for their young ones, Tea4Kidz is available in five flavours, including the new Tea4Kidz+ range with added Vitamin C. The beverage has all the associated benefits of Rooibos, including boosting immunity and relieving symptoms of allergies. Visit www.joekels.co.za for more info.