After all of the celebrating during the holidays, January is a great time to refocus on getting your family to eat healthy foods – this can be a bit of a struggle for children many of whom would rather eat pizza than broccoli. The following Healthy Kid-Friendly Recipes are here to help! These recipes are healthy, but still approachable for kids, and include options for mealtimes throughout the day.
Healthy Kid-Friendly Recipes From Breakfast to Dessert:
Healthy Kid-Friendly Breakfast
Peanut Butter Smoothie Recipe
While breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it can be a struggle to get kids to eat as they are rushing around getting ready for school. A smoothie is a great way to get some nutrition into your kids before they hop on the school bus, because they can down it fast and it tastes like a treat! This smoothie combines protein, fat and healthy carbs to keep your child full until lunchtime.
½ of a frozen banana
2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter (substitute other nut or
nut-free butters if there are allergy concerns)
1 cup of vanilla flavored soy milk
1 scoop of protein powder
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder (optional)
Small handful of ice
Combine all ingredients together in a blender. Serve in a tall glass
with a straw.
Healthy Kid-Friendly Snack:
Kale Chips Recipe
Kale is a nutritional powerhouse but it has a bitter taste that is hard for children to love. Making kale chips takes the bitterness out of the greens and it has a salty/crunchy factor that fans of popcorn and potato chips will love. The (small) amount of fat used in these chips helps you absorb the nutrients in the kale because the nutrients are fat soluble.
1 bunch of kale – stemmed
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Pinch of salt (or splash of soy sauce)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Tear the kale into large bit sized pieces (they will shrink up when baked).
3. Toss the kale, olive oil and salt (or soy sauce) in a bowl.
4. Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Let cool, then enjoy*
*These kale chips are delicate and do not travel well, so they are best served as an at home snack.
Healthy Kid Friendly Lunches
Roasted Red Pepper Soup – with Grilled Cheese
A bowl of soup in the winter is so warming and comforting. Skip the usual tomato soup and instead serve your kid a bowl of roasted red pepper soup. Like a tomato soup, this dish is still full of lycopine and vitamin C but the roasting of the red peppers adds a nice smokiness that’s unique.
4 large roasted red bell peppers (see instructions)
2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp of dried thyme
3 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of sour cream or plain yogurt
1. Roast the red peppers – Place the red peppers directly on the flames of your grill or gas stove. Turn often until the entire pepper is black. Remove from the grill and place in a paper bag for ten minutes. Remove from the bag, peel and remove the seeds. *Alternatively you can use jarred red peppers.
2. Sautee the shallots and garlic until translucent in the olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
3. Add the broth, dried thyme and roasted peppers – bring to a boil
4. Reduce the heat, bringing the soup to a simmer and leave for 30 minutes.
5. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.
6. Pour into soup bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream.
For a more substantial lunch, serve with a healthier grilled cheese. Instead of white bread use sprouted grain bread (Ezekiel is a great brand) and use low fat mozzarella instead of processed American cheese slices.
Here is another of my favorite Healthy Kid-Friendly Recipes because it is so easy!
Hummus Sandwich Recipe
A hummus sandwich is great for a packed school lunch. It’s light enough that they won’t feel sluggish after eating, but full of enough protein to get the, through the afternoon and after school activities.
2 slices of sprouted grain or 100% whole wheat bread
¼ cup of your child’s favorite hummus
1 small handful of alfalfa sprouts
1 small carrot julienned
1 small red or yellow pepper julienned
¼ of a cucumber julienned
1. Spread hummus on both slices of bread.
2. Arrange carrots, cucumber and peppers on the bread.
3. Place the sprouts on top of the vegetables, and sandwich together the slices of bread.
Healthy Kid Friendly Dinner
Pizza Pasta Recipe
This pasta combines all of the classic flavours children love in a pizza, so it will become an instant classic. The best part of this dinner is that it can be made in under a half hour, for a quick and healthy weeknight meal.
1. Bring a large pot of well salted water to boil
2. While waiting for the water to boil, in a bowl add the
tomatoes, cheese and olive oil together, sprinkle with salt and pepper and let marinade.
3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package’s instructions.
4. When pasta is cooked, drain, reserving a cup of the pasta water.
5. While pasta is draining in a colander, add the marinated tomatoes to the pasta pot. Add back in the
pasta, and mix together, adding a little pasta water to loosen the sauce.
6. Season to taste, add in basil, give a quick toss and divide into bowls.
Healthy Kid Friendly Dessert
Blueberry/Raspberry Frozen Yogurt Recipe
Frozen yogurt is ice-cream’s healthier, zippier cousin. Store brands can be full of preservatives and other chemicals, so consider making your own. It’s easy to whip up and you’ll know what you are serving your children.
3 cups of full-fat, whole milk plain yogurt
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon of sugar
½ pound of blueberries
½ pound of raspberries
½ a lemon, juiced.
1. If using an ice-cream maker with a bowl that needs to be frozen, be sure to put it in the freezer at least 24 hours before making the frozen yogurt.
2. Puree together the blueberries, raspberries and sugar.
3. Add the lemon juice and the yogurt, stir until smooth.
4. Strain the mixture into a bowl to remove seeds (optional step)
5. Refrigerate the mixture for at least an hour and up to overnight.
6. Pour in ice-cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
7. Consume right out of the machine for a soft-serve texture, freeze for a firmer consistency.
I hope you and your child enjoy these Healthy Kid-Friendly Recipes. There are so many ways to get your kids eating healthy foods and exposure to good food choices and explanations of what the foods do for them are an important part of helping that happen naturally. Enjoy!