FAYETTEVILLE, AR – “So, I have a two-and-a-half-year-old and a three-month-old.” Brittany Sharp, is an outpatient dietitian with Washington Regional. “So that’s kind of what stems coming up with for family-friendly meals. Typically, I try to make sure that there’s a protein and a fruit and a grain. Since those are kind of the things that our bodies work best with. So I try to make sure that the most balanced fuel goes in. Sometimes that works. And sometimes it doesn’t, but that’s ultimately kind of how I start the base of a meal.” 

“Some of those old staples like the peanut butter and jelly or the turkey and cheese sandwich, a good way, to make sure that those are a nutritionally sound as possible with you to make sure they’re on some kind of like whole grain. Making sure that you can change it up to keep it exciting for the kiddos, especially for throwing it in the lunch, by utilizing like cookie cutters or changing up the shape of it. You can always change up the side, the different fruit that you put or something like that as well, try to make it a little bit more exciting. “

“So another great option to really get kids involved is to let them have control. And a good way to do that would be like a kid’s charcuterie board. You can basically throw on anything. Sometimes they need to build with themselves depending on what the ingredients are. We will sometimes also do a little dinner buffet and kind of, let her play her own food based on what we’ve prepared already. It’s not an extra step is just letting her put it on the plate, and that tends to really open up avenues for them, wanting to try things. So for the charcuterie board, we will use sometimes the spreadable cheeses. We might use cheese cubes, (and/or) the little hummus things. I usually put a couple of different kinds of fruit on there as well. Again, utilizing dippers like the pretzels or pretzel thins or something along those lines.”

“But putting them in control, letting them have a little bit of say go a long way.”