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Incorporating healthier options into your daily meal plan can be tricky if you are unsure of where to start. The younger you introduce your children to making nutritious choices in eating – whether snacking or at meal time – the faster the entire family will be on their way to wellness for life! Whole Foods Market offers 4 great tips on how to create “nutrient-dense” meals that help fuel the body and brain.

How to Create Healthier Meals at Home or While On-The-Go

TIP #1: Serve whole foods. Avoid artificial ingredients and processed foods with high fructose corn syrup and preservatives and opt for fresh, whole foods.

TIP #2: Choose healthy fats like nuts, seeds and avocado. Minimize extracted oils and processed fats.

TIP #3: Focus on plant-strong foods. Think more veggies, fruits, grains, beans and legumes at every meal.

TIP #4: Choose nutrient dense foods. Choose foods with higher ANDI* scores since they have more micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants) per calorie.

Here’s a terrific nutrient-dense lunch that is kid-approved and won’t break the bank: a whole wheat tortilla wrap with almond or peanut butter, sliced strawberries and fruit-sweetened jelly; carrot sticks and sugar snap peas; Lemon Treats and a bottle of water.

*Image and tips courtesy of Whole Foods Market.*

No cooking needed! These lovely, refreshing treats are easy to make and great for an activity with the kiddos in the kitchen after-school. Just a whirl in the food processor and the mixture is ready to go!

Lemon Treats

Ingredients

1 cup chopped pitted dates
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes

Preparation

Place dates, walnuts, sesame seeds, lemon juice and zest in a food processor. Pulse and blend until completely mixed. The mixture will be slightly sticky. With dampened hands, roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls. Roll in coconut and chill until ready to serve.

Makes about 18.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Whole Foods Market.*