SOURCE: Chobani

March 14, 2011 05:00 ET

Healthy Can Be Yummy

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - March 14, 2011) - (Family Features) It's not impossible to get your kids to eat nutritious foods. While some people advocate the best way to do it is by sneaking good-for-you ingredients into kid-friendly foods, like chicken nuggets, burgers, and brownies, registered dietitian Nicki Briggs of Chobani has some other ideas.

"Doing things like hiding veggies in junk food doesn't give kids enough credit," she said. "It just perpetuates the myth that what tastes good can't be good for you."

One thing Briggs recommends is teaching your kids about food labels to help them better understand what they're really eating.

  • Start by looking at the serving size and the number of servings in an item. Often times, there's more than one serving in a package, especially in some snacks like chips, soda, and cookies.
  • Next, turn their attention to the ingredients, which are listed in descending order by weight, from most to least, so a food has the most of the first two or three ingredients and the least of the ones at the end of the list.
  • Ask kids if they recognize all of the ingredient names they see listed. They're often surprised -- and grossed out -- by some of the things in their favorite foods, so it's an eye-opening way to get them to think twice about what they're eating.

It's also important to give kids plenty of healthy choices, especially those that include nutrition superstars like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Briggs recommends options that offer a balance of both protein and carbohydrates. One of her favorite go-to snacks for kids is Chobani Champions, a wholesome blend of low-fat Greek yogurt made with only natural ingredients like real fruit, without any preservatives, artificial colors or sweeteners. Each cup contains calcium and an excellent source of vitamin D. 

While delicious on its own, Briggs suggests incorporating Champions into some of these family-friendly snacks:

  • Graham Cracker Sandwich Surprise: Freeze one container of Champions for 15 minutes. Spread between two graham crackers for an easy, tasty treat.
  • Wonderful Waffles: Toast two mini whole-grain waffles; top each with a spoonful of Champions, colorful cut-up fruit, and a dash of cinnamon.
  • Pretzel Pops: Combine four containers of Champions and berries in a bowl. Distribute into popsicle molds; stick one pretzel rod (thick enough for holding) into the center of each. Freeze until firm and serve.
  • Heavenly Honey-Nana Dip: Add a dash of cinnamon to one container of Honey-Nana Champions, and serve with sliced fruit.
  • Oatmeal Magic: Mix 1/4 cup of Champions and fruit into a bowl of prepared oatmeal. Top with cinnamon and savor.

For more ideas and recipes like these Perfect Pancakes, visit www.chobani.com.  

For a delicious breakfast treat, try these Perfect Pancakes using Honey-Nana Champions:

Perfect Pancakes
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
 
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) Honey-Nana Chobani Champions Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup milk
  Vegetable oil cooking spray
  Maple syrup and mixed berries

Mix all dry ingredients together in large bowl. Whisk egg, Chobani Champions and milk together.

Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and whisk until smooth.

Heat skillet over medium high heat. Spray pan with cooking spray. For each pancake, scoop 1/4 cup batter onto skillet. Flip when bubbles appear on top and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute.

Serve with syrup and berries. You can also top recipes with a dollop of Chobani.