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What if I told you – you could have your cake and eat it too?

In this case, cake means nutritious dinner on the kitchen table, and your kids are the ones eating and enjoying it.

Let’s face it. Finding solutions for young picky eaters is a highly trending topic among parents. And getting kids to eat nutritious meals can become one more unnecessary stress to add to your daily life. The good news is kids are more likely to take an interest in trying healthy food if they play a part in getting it on the kitchen table.

So, snag some quality time with your kiddos and help them discover a love for nutritious food – while they help you get dinner on the table.

Here are a few tips on how to nurture a love of nutritious food with your kids:

1. Every dinner starts at the grocery store – take your kids along for the ride. Kids love being given a choice, so let them pick out their favorite foods. If they have an active hand in choosing foods for the week’s menu, they’ll be more likely to eat it. Spending some time in the colorful produce aisle is also a good way to grab their attention. The more fruits and vegetables they’re exposed to, the more likely they are to have a positive experience toward that food group. Shop the perimeter of the store with your kids to avoid the bulk of processed foods and focus on fresh produce, lean meats, seafood, whole grains and dairy.

2. Inspire your kids to crave adventure. Adventurous eating, that is. If at first you don’t succeed with a new food, try, try again. Experts suggest repeated exposure to new foods – up to 15 times – to encourage them to accept it. Offer your kids new, fun flavors, textures, sizes and shapes to grab their attention and interest. The new Chobani Champions® Flyin’ Dragon Fruit Greek Yogurt Tubes are a grab-and-go way to feed the imagination and explore new ingredients with kids. This exotic fruit from the cactus family tastes like a refreshing blend of kiwi, pear, watermelon and mango with a decidedly tropical twist. It’s a new fruit to many kids, but it’s also a recognizable flavor profile – so after they try it and like it, they may be even more encouraged to try other new things next time.

3. Make kitchen time party time, and invite your kids. By associating the kitchen and dinner preparation with having fun, kids may more likely view their nutritious meal in a positive light. Ask your kids to help out with the food prep by washing (and chopping if old enough!) fruits and vegetables. Have them measure out ingredients for you ahead of time or let them stir the pot for a change. Put them in charge by having them read off the recipe to you as you go. Choose a kid-friendly recipe like these Baked Chicken Tenders with Greek Yogurt Honey Mustard or Chewy Strawberry Banana Granola Bars, and they’re sure to have a blast.

4. Make healthy food fun by adding some pizzazz! Serve up nutritious food in creative ways, and kids will be more apt to engage. Cut produce and sandwiches into fun shapes and sizes, or try new ways to eat old favorites. How about as kebabs for some serious dipping potential? Try placing berries or other seasonal fruit on a stick and use Chobani Champions Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Greek Yogurt for a delicious, nutritious dip. For more dipping fun, try our recipe for Mini Pancake Skewers. Also, use a variety of colors on the plate. It not only helps make the meal visually appealing, bright colors are a good cue of food with good nutrients.

SEE ALSO: Randi’s Toddler Snack Creations

5. Get online for more ideas.  There are hundreds of recipe sites, so it’s a great idea to find ones that work for your family’s style. As an example, Weelicious is perfect for dinner menus that will make the whole family happy, and Super Healthy Kids helps find recipes based on ingredients. Find even more nutritional advice and ideas, visit Kids Eat Right, and connect with Chobani Champions at www.chobanichampions.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/chobanichampions.

GIVEAWAY: Win One Of 20 Chobani Boxes!

For one week after 7/28, tweet to @Champions AND @Dotcomplicated to share your child’s favorite food of the moment for a chance to win a delicious box of Chobani Champions Tubes. They’ll be giving away 20 boxes, so let’s get chatting!  Tweet to us before 8/4 for a chance to win. Winners will be notified on August 4th, 2013.

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Posted on 7/28/2013

Written by Kara Lydon

Kara Lydon, RD, LDN, is Health Communications Manager for Chobani. Chobani sold their first case of yogurt in 2007 and 5 years later had earned over $1 billion in revenue, growth on pace with companies like Google and Facebook and unheard of in the packaged goods industry (source).

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