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Mealtime Makeovers

  • Adrian: Dream Eater

    Adrian Hale, 5, of Bedford, MA, is an adventurous eater  -- in part because his mom, Jean, resists preparing special meals for him and his sister, 3. "I always serve Adrian and Jaqueline what Mike and I are having for dinner because it's important to expose them to new foods." If they don't try them the first time, they may the second  -- or the tenth. One of Adrian's favorite dinners: grilled salmon teriyaki, broccoli, pasta, and milk.

    The family's culinary open-mindedness has a downside: Adrian relies on an ever-changing menu. He's a fickle customer. Says Hale, "It's tough to keep up  -- I never know what he'll reject next."

    Problems  -- and solutions. Variety gives Adrian a big nutritional boost: He gets plenty of iron and zinc even though he takes in fewer calories than suggested for his age. (Because Adrian's growing properly, calories aren't an issue.)

    More milk would give him more calcium and vitamin D. Since plain milk isn't his favorite, he could try low-fat chocolate milk and smoothies made from low-fat milk and fruit. Cheese and calcium-fortified orange juice are also good choices, although they lack vitamin D. Adrian could eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, though he still does better than most kids.

    One month later. Adrian has doubled his whole-grain consumption and cut his juice intake by half. When he does drink juice, it's often orange juice with added calcium. Fortified drinkable yogurt has supplied some missing calcium and vitamin D. Adding chocolate bumped up Adrian's milk intake for a while, but then he lost interest; fruit smoothies didn't fly. Neither did gazpacho or cucumber salad. But Adrian does like sliced cucumbers and celery. He's also increasingly interested in learning about the links between eating right and feeling strong.


    Adrian's Typical Day




    • 1 hard-boiled egg white


    • 1/2 slice whole-wheat toast with 1/2 teaspoon butter


    • 5/8 cup 2% milk


    • 1/4 cup chopped watermelon




    • 1/2 peanut butter-and-rhubarb-jelly sandwich on whole-wheat bread


    • 1/2 cup 100% grape juice


    • 5 jelly beans




    • 2 oz steak teriyaki


    • 1/4 cup edamame (soybeans)


    • 1 cup cooked pasta with 1 teaspoon grated parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon butter


    • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt




    • 1/2 cup Bran Flakes cereal with 1/2 chopped banana and 1/2 cup 2% milk
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