It is said that kids are picky eaters and nothing could be more right. When it comes healthy, we cannot compromise children’s nutrition. but what about fun and taste. The following is a list of healthy and fun recipes that children will love to eat, but also to make!
Chocolate chip cookies are definitely kid-friendly, but it can also affect nutrition value because of its high sugar, fat and carbohydrate content. However, it is also not good to deprive children of one of their favorite treats. In this recipe we propose substituting regular flour with the whole wheat variety and other smart ingredient choices. Check out this recipe from The Skinny Chef.
1 ½ cup whole wheat or spelt flour
¾ cup softened transfat-free margarine
2 egg yolks
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup dried cherries
Beat the margarine with the brown sugar in a large bowl until they are well-combined. Mix in the egg yolks and the salt, forming a smooth mixture. Sprinkle in the flour and the baking soda until the mixture turns into a stiff dough. Fold in the chocolate chips and the cherries. Form into a 3-inch log, wrap in plastic wrap, and then refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and then prepare two lined or coated cookie sheets. Cut the log into cookies and then place them on the sheets at 1-inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
9. Sweet Potato Wedges and Chicken in Apricot Sauce
Sweet potatoes are not only great for pies and other desserts, they are also great to make into a snack. They are packed with vitamins and nutrients, in addition to being fat-free and cholesterol free. This recipe from Parenting.com is a great dish that children can also help making.
8 wedges of peeled sweet potatoes
4 skinless chicken breast fillet
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 ½ tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cornstarch
¼ tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup apricot preserves
2 minced large garlic cloves
1 tbsp fresh parsley
coarse black pepper
a sprig of mint
Toss the potato wedges with olive oil and salt, make sure that they are well coated. Bake the potatoes for 18-20 minutes or until tender.
Combine juices, cornstarch and ginger in a large bowl. Stir in the apricot preserves. Mix well and then set aside.
Prepare the chicken breasts by seasoning it with salt and pepper. Pre-heat the pan with olive oil; sauté the chicken until golden brown. Remove chicken to rest. Add the garlic to the pan, and then stir in the apricot mixture. Stir until the sauce thickens.
Arrange the baked potato wedges on a plate. Top with chicken breasts and then drizzle with the apricot sauce. Garnish with parsley and the mint.
8. Cinnamon Rice Pudding
The good thing about rice pudding is that there are many ways to make them. Be creative by adding flavors that children will love. In this recipe from The Skinny Chef, introduce the kids to the friendly but exotic flavors of the coconut milk mixed with cinnamon.
3 cups non-fat, skim milk
1 15-ounce can light coconut milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup short grain white rice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a large saucepan bring the milk, coconut milk, and cinnamon to a near boil. Stir in the rice and cover. Cook the rice for 45 minutes to an hour over low heat while stirring occasionally. Once most of the liquid are absorbed, stir in the sugar and the vanilla. You can serve it warm or cool.
7. Grilled Cheese
These sandwiches are a snack staple, but you can serve them with more fun and taste that kids will enjoy. Use whole grain sandwich bread and mild cheddar cheese. Add flavor with a thin layer of yellow mustard and thinly sliced plum tomatoes and roasted bell pepper. Cut the sandwiches into fun shapes by using cookie cutters.
6. Dessert and Savory Crepes
Another way to have another variety from the usual sandwich is to wrap the yummy fillings in whole wheat crepe. Although a crepe may sound too fancy, it is actually easy to make. Simply combine 1 ½ cup water, 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 2 egg whites, ¼ teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons of olive oil to make a batter. After refrigerating the mixture for at least eight hours, spray a flat cooking griddle with non-stick cooking spray. Pour about a fourth of a cup of the batter into the griddle, and then evenly and thinly spread out on the surface. Cook for a few minutes until the crepe is brown around the edges and solid but moist. Cool the crepe, and you can fill it in with a combination of fruits or favorite sandwich fillings like BLT and ham and cheese.
5. Whole Wheat Pizza
Kids will eventually turn into adults who love pizza, and even at a young age, pizza is already in-demand among the young ones. To make a delicious and healthy pizza, you can start by making a whole wheat crust. You have the option to buy ready-made dough, but you can always make it at home.
3 to ¾ cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. active dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
Approx. 2 tbsps cornmeal
Mix the yeast with water, and then set aside for five minutes, or until the yeast begins to bubble.
Sift the flour and the salt. Combine the dry ingredients into the yeast. Mix until it forms a dough. Add some olive oil and flour until the dough forms a soft ball. On a floured surface, knead the dough for 5-8 minutes until soft and elastic. Shape the dough into a bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and then set aside in a warm place for about an hour. The dough will rise twice its size.
Take the dough out of the bowl and then punch it to deflate. Reshape the dough into a ball and then set aside for about 20 minutes or until the dough rises again. Finally, divide the dough in half. You can make two pizzas or freeze the other.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it forms a round shape at about ½ inch thick.
Prepare your toppings of choice. You can choose the usual tomato sauce as a base or you can opt for a roasted red bell pepper sauce instead. Top with fresh mozzarella and a mixture of chopped vegetables and meat. Bake for eight minutes in an oven preheated at 450 degrees F.
4. Fish Fingers
Many parents are probably wondering how to effectively introduce fish to their kids’ diet. The perfect solution is fish fingers, but many frozen fish fingers are filled with transfat and other preservatives. This recipe from The Skinny Chef will make fish fingers an easy home-made task and a regular favorite.
1 pound fish filet, (wild salmon or tilapia) skinless, boneless, cut into long strips 3-4 inches long or nugget sizes
1 cup of whole wheat or white breadcrumbs
1/4 cup yellow corn meal
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
non-fat cooking spray
Season the fish with salt and pepper. Prepare the two dipping stations for the fish. Combine the cornmeal, Parmesan, paprika, garlic and onion powder and breadcrumbs in a container, and then beat egg in a shallow dish. Dip the fish in the egg and then coat it with the breadcrumb mixture.
Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and then heat the olive oil. Brown the fish on one side for 3-4 minutes until golden brown, and then cook the other side for 2-3 minutes.
3. Turkey Burgers
Turkey has been a favorite meat because it is lean and delicious. You can make burgers using turkey meat and grill them for added flavor. For the burger, simply combine a pound of lean ground turkey meat with ½ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 egg white, 1/8 cup reduced sodium soy sauce and ½ cup skim milk. Top your patties with tomatoes, lettuce, onions and mild cheddar.
2. Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
This well-loved breakfast dish will sure drive the kids for more before hitting the books or running to the waiting school bus. Fortified with the fiber-goodness of oatmeal and vitamin-and-potassium-packed banana, these pancakes is a complete morning boost that will make any kid’s day off to a great start.
To make the pancake batter, mix 1 ½ cups of all purpose flour with 1/3 cup of wheat germ, 1/3 cup cooking oats, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Combine with 1 ½ cups of milk, two eggs, and 2 tablespoon canola oil. Top the pancake with sliced bananas and good maple syrup.
1. Oven-Baked Chicken Fingers
Kids love chicken, but with this recipe, they will love it more for the taste, the tender meat, and the less grease. Start off by preparing 2 large chicken breast fillets cut into 1-inch strips and then soaking them in about a pint of buttermilk overnight with 2 cloves of garlic and a sprig of fresh rosemary or thyme. Afterwards, dip the chicken in a shallow dish with two beaten eggs. Roll the fillets in a breadcrumb mixture made of 2 cups whole wheat crumbs, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ¼ cup reduced fat Parmesan, ½ teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and a tablespoon of dried or minced fresh parsley. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare the cookie sheets by spraying them with canola oil or cooking spray. Bake the chicken for 8 minutes or until golden brown, and then turn to the other side and bake for 5 minutes. Serve with sweet potato mash or garlic sauce.