How To Make Kids’ FoodPosted: May 9, 2012
Feeding kids can be tricky. How do you make sure that they are filled with all of the nutrients that their little bodies need, yet make their meals appealing enough that they’ll actually want to eat it? Because, after all, if they don’t get the food into their mouths, it will never nourish their bodies.
Kids love food that is familiar, easy to eat, and doesn’t look like it came from one of mom’s health food books.
Favorites like pizza, spaghetti, grilled cheese, and mashed potatoes are on most kids’ list of LOVED foods, and there is a way to turn these often nutritionally lacking dinners into healthier versions that will pass kid inspection with flying colors!
Making pizza healthier is easier than you would imagine. Start off with a crust made from whole grains, and then top with organic tomato sauce and some soy or rice-based cheese, and you’ve got yourself the start to a wonderfully nutritious meal. Encourage your kids to try new vegetables by topping pizzas with mushrooms, whole tomatoes, and bell peppers, or you can always sneak them in by pureeing veggies into the sauce before baking.
Fresh fruit smoothies are delicious and easy snacks to make with kids. Most kids love chocolate shakes, and you can create a healthy version of this sweet treat that comes close in richness to its fatty, sugary counterpart. For a healthy chocolate “shake,” combine 1 cup non-dairy milk, 2 frozen bananas, 4 pitted dates, and 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder in a high-speed blender. Blend until creamy and indulgently thick!
There are so many easy recipes for kids that will tempt their taste buds and have them asking for these meals possibly every night of the week!
Mini “sliders” or Krabby Patties (thanks, Spongebob!) are a fun food to make with kids. You can make your own veggie burgers, or buy premade versions at your local grocery store, and then sandwich the patty between whole-wheat dinner rolls. This pint-sized version of a classic burger has proven to be one of the only ways to get many kids to eat lettuce, tomatoes, and onions!
Other easy recipes for kids include bean burritos and quesadillas. Homemade versions will be much healthier than fast food varieties, and take literally minutes to prepare. For both meals, start with a whole-wheat tortilla, add beans and non-dairy cheese, and serve with organic salsa on the side for dipping. Most stores sell refried black beans, which are extremely healthy and promote variety in dining.
If you’re looking for tasty breakfast recipes to make with kids, try this incredible banana bread recipe, courtesy of www.ChocolateCoveredKatie, that can be jazzed up with organic chocolate chips for a special treat!
Pajama Banana Bread
(Makes 10-12 slices)
- 2 c spelt flour (or white, or Arrowhead Mills gf, etc.)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 c nondairy milk (or oil)
- 1 and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup agave or maple syrup (Or, here’s a Sugar-Free Version.)
- 1 and 1/2 T lemon juice
- 1 stevia packet (or 1 T more agave or other sweetener)
- 1 and 2/3 c tightly-packed, mashed banana (measured after mashing)
- 1/3 cup berries of choice, or more banana (I actually used 1 full cup of sliced strawberries. The resulting bread was extremely gooey, but I loved it that way!)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine dry ingredients, and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients and mix into dry. (Mix by hand, and don’t overmix.) Pour into a greased loaf pan and cook for around 50 minutes. (Tip: If the top is cooked but the inside is still gooey, put tin foil over the top and continue to cook.)
After removing from the oven, let cool for ten minutes before slicing. After the first day, this bread is best stored in the fridge. Or cut into slices and freeze for later.
Serve and enjoy!