Sneak healthy into your meals

(NC)-For many families, keeping kids healthy while satisfying their ever-changing tastes can seem like an ongoing battle. However, with some creativity, parents can accommodate selective eating habits while still ensuring their children get the right nutrients at mealtime.

Sneaking citrus into meals is a simple way to help support a child's healthy immune system while adding the natural sweetness that kids crave. For example, one 250 mL glass of orange juice is an excellent source of vitamin C and other nutrients that can be easily incorporated into marinades and sauces for extra flavor and health benefits.

"In addition to helping the body's natural ability to fight infection, Vitamin C is important for your child's healthy growth," says registered dietitian Lydia Knorr. "Vitamin C is needed to form collagen, a protein that gives structure to bones and muscles."

This recipe incorporates Florida orange juice into a simple recipe for kids:

Sweet Sticky Orange Chicken

2 cloves garlic, minced

15 mL (1 tbsp) chopped parsley

10 mL (2 tsp) Italian herb seasoning

1 mL (1/4 tsp) ground pepper

8 boneless chicken thighs (about 1 ½ lbs)

10 mL (2 tsp) canola oil

250 mL (1 cup) Florida orange juice

25 mL (2 tbsp) liquid honey

25 mL (2 tbsp) unseasoned rice vinegar

15 mL (1 tbsp) soy sauce

15 mL (1 tbsp) cornstarch

In bowl, combine garlic, parsley, Italian herb seasoning and pepper. Add chicken and oil. Coat chicken evenly.

Heat skillet over medium-high heat and brown chicken on both sides. Place in ovenproof dish; set aside.

In bowl, whisk together orange juice, honey, vinegar, soy sauce and cornstarch. Return skillet to medium-high heat and add orange juice mixture and bring to a simmer, stirring. Pour over chicken and place in 200 C (400 F) oven for about 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

Makes 4 servings.

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