Nutrition for Kids: One-Dish Meals Can Be Enough

Nutrition for Kids: One-Dish Meals Can Be Enough

Article by Dr. Marta Katalenas

When planning a low calorie diet for the family, we must take into account certain rules that, if applied on a regular basis, could decrease the number of calories ingested and increase the quality of the meal. We often think about a good dinner as a combination of a main dish and some added-on side dishes, in an attempt to increase the amount of vegetables and create variety in the diet. The thought is right, initially, but we may end up liking those side dishes so much that we eat less of the main part of the meal, and what we have added is just a few hundred calories to the meal and some pounds to our waistline. Instead, get used to eating only one item at a time, which will provide fully balanced nutrition at the end of the day, if you do it right. Children, especially, are prone to loading on potatoes and rice and leaving behind the protein part of dinner.

I am not a fan of calorie counting but, as an example, one serving of mashed potatoes (1 cup) can add as much as 240 calories to a meal. One cup of cooked rice can approach 150 calories.

Think about dinner as a meal you are going to plan in advance, something you can also prepare in advance and put in the freezer until ready to eat. A good example would be a good bowl of lentil soup/stew. It is easy to make, and we can include some other nutrients to its preparation to add flavor and texture.

Recipe for Lentil Soup

Ingredients for 4 persons: