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Healthy tips for feeding your grandchildren



Spending time with your grandchildren can be lots of fun! But making them meals and snacks that are nutritious and tasty can sometimes be a challenge. Here’s how a little planning can make feeding your grandchildren fun and easy.

Ask the parents about your grandchildren’s eating habits

  • When do they normally eat meals and snacks?
  • What food do they like/dislike or have allergies/intolerances to?
  • What are the rules at home for mealtimes, snacks and treats?
  • Are there any more suggestions to help mealtimes go well?

Use a meal plan to keep visits relaxed and enjoyable

  • Plan meals and snacks with healthy choices your grandchildren like to eat. Offer meals with food from at least three food groups in Canada’s Food Guide. Plan snacks with food from at least two food groups.
  • Make a grocery list based on your meal plan.  Have everything you need on-hand to feed your grandchildren. That gives you more time to relax and enjoy.
  • Avoid using treats as a way to show your love.  Limit treats and offer them in small amounts.

Easy meals your grandchildren will love

  • Cheesy scrambled eggs, whole grain toast, fresh cut up seasonal fruit, yogurt-fruit smoothies. 
  • Spaghetti and tomato-meat (or lentil) sauce, raw vegetables (carrots and cucumbers) with creamy salad dressing for dipping, milk or fortified soy beverage.
  • Quesadillas with beef, chicken or beans, raw cauliflower and broccoli with hummus for dipping, banana slices over vanilla yogurt, milk or fortified soy beverage.
  • Shrimp or egg fried rice made with frozen mixed vegetables and bean sprouts, apple slices sprinkled with a mix of brown sugar and cinnamon, milk or fortified soy beverage.

Try these winning kids’ recipes

Invite your grandchildren in the kitchen to help make these winning recipes from the EatRight Ontario Kids Recipe Challenge. 

  • Tuna Grilled Cheese: Cut up into quarters, this makes a great snack with some raw vegetables and a glass of water.
  • Breakfast Burrito: This makes a great dinner too. Just add some fruit and a glass of milk or fortified soy beverage.
  • Mini Pizza Sandwiches: This is a healthier choice than many store-bought frozen pizzas. Serve with frozen peas, carrots and corn on the side.  Add a fruity smoothie for a terrific meal.

Tips for cooking together

  • Make something that shows your family food traditions.
  • Teach your grandchildren how to make one of their parent’s favourite dishes. 
  • Go through a cookbook together to pick out a recipe to try.
  • Have fun together. Expect a mess and some mistakes too. Always supervise children while cooking.

Tips to help manage low energy or difficulty shopping

  • Need help getting groceries? Ask your adult children for help. You can also have your groceries delivered to your home.
  • Skip washing and chopping fresh vegetables and fruit. Buy plain frozen ones or fresh pre-cut options. Unsweetened canned fruit or no-added salt canned vegetables are handy too.
  • Use a slow cooker or make one pot/pan meals (chili, soup, stew, stir fry, omelets).
  • Ask the parents if they can send along some prepared meals or snacks.
  • Ask your grandchildren to help set and clear the table with you.    

Helpful tips for picky eaters

  • Eat together and keep the mealtime cheerful.
  • Offer your grandchildren healthy foods they like to eat. Let them choose what and how much to eat from the healthy choices your offer.
  • Help your grandchildren come to the table hungry. Keep kids active and snack portions small. Only offer water between meals and snacks. Plan for about 2 hours between snack and meal times.
  • Involve your grandchildren in making meals or snacks. They may be more likely to eat it! 

For more information on picky eating, read Say Goodbye to Picky Eating!

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Last Update – October 10, 2016

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