Healthy Food Recipes for Kids
The bedrock for lifelong health begins in infancy and the key to this is that of good nutrition. Healthy eating can stabilize children’s energy, sharpen their minds and even out their moods. However, kids nowadays are bombarded with constant television advertising commercials for junk food. Peer pressure does not always helps if your kids friends are not healthy eaters. Parents can take simple steps to instill healthy eating habits in their kids without turning mealtimes into a battlezone. Parents should encourage healthy eating at an early age as healthy eating habits have a huge impact on children’s lifelong relationship with food. It also gives them the opportunity to grow into healthy and confident adults.
Develop Healthy Eating Habits
It is only natural that children develop a preference for the foods they enjoy the most. So, the challenge for parents is to make healthy choices appealing. Although parent’s intention is good, trying to convince an eight year old that an apple is as sweet a treat as a cookie is not a recipe for success! However, one can ensure that children’s diet is as nutritious and wholesome as possible.
Tips to promote healthy childhood eating
Below are some tips which can be used to promote healthy eating among kids and children.
- Have regular family meals . Knowing dinner is served at approximately the same time every night and that the entire family will be sitting down together is comforting and enhances appetite. Breakfast is another great time for a family meal, especially since kids who eat breakfast tend to do better in school.
- Cook more meals at home . Eating home cooked meals is healthier for the whole family and sets a great example for kids about the importance of food. Restaurant meals tend to have more fat, sugar, and salt. Save dining out for special occasions.
- Get kids involved . Children enjoy helping adults grocery shop, selecting what goes in their lunch box, and preparing dinner. It's also a chance for you to teach them about the nutritional values of different foods, and (for older children) how to read food labels.
- Make a variety of healthy snacks available instead of empty calorie snacks . Keep plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grain snacks, and healthy beverages (water, milk, pure fruit juice) around and easily accessible so kids become used to reaching for healthy snacks instead of empty calorie snacks like soda, chips, or cookies.
- Limit portion sizes . Don’t insist your child cleans the plate, and never use food as a reward or bribe.
4 large potatoes, cleaned and scrubbed
Steamed frozen peas
Drained & steamed sweet corn
Mixture of diced tomatoes and white onions, chopped finely
Baked beans, warmed
Reduced fat cheese, grated
Light sour cream
Reduced fat plain yoghurt
- Pierce the potatoes several times.
- To cook the potatoes in a microwave oven, place them on a microwave ovenproof dish. Cook on high until tender which is about (15 – 20 minutes). To cook the potatoes in a conventional oven, place them on an oven tray and bake at 180°C until tender which takes about 1 hour.
- Cut potatoes in half and then scoop out the flesh from the centre, leaving about 1 cm shell.
- Place the potato flesh in a bowl and mash with fork or potato masher.
- Add the filing ingredients to the mashed potato and mix to combine thoroughly.
- Spoon the filing into the potato shells.
- To finish cooking the potatoes in a microwave oven, put them back on the microwave ovenproof dish and cook on high for 5 – 10 minutes. If cooking on a conventional oven, put them back on the baking tray and bake at 180°C until heated through and golden brown. This should take about 15 minutes.
Iced Fruit Kebabs
1 kg watermelon
3 large mangoes
- For the watermelon, remove the rind and seeds and then cut the watermelon into 1.5 cm thick slices and use a star cutter (or any shape that you desire) to cut shapes from the flesh of the watermelon.
- Remove the skin and cut the mango into thick slices.
- Cut the strawberries in half.
- Remove the skin from the kiwifruit and cut into 1.5 cm thick slices.
- Thread the fruit onto bamboo skewers and place on a paper lined non stick baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid.
Coconut Banana Bites
2 medium sized bananas
½ cup desiccated coconut
Chopping board and knife
Grease proof paper (optional)
1. Squeeze the juice from the orange using the lemon squeezer. Pour the juice into the small bowl.
2. Peel the bananas and cut off the ends. Cut the bananas into bite size pieces.
3. Spread the desiccated coconut onto a sheet of grease proof paper or onto a cutting board.
4. Using a skewer or fork, dip the banana pieces into the orange juice.
5. Roll the banana into the coconut.
6. Serve immediately or keep chilled in the refrigerator.
To make this banana bites appealing, we can substitute orange juice with dipping chocolate. The recipe for the dipping chocolate is given below. After dipping in dipping chocolate, the coconut can be substituted with chocolate rice or colored sprinkles.
Dipping chocolate recipe
1 package chocolate chips or 12 oz chocolate chips (dark or milk chocolate)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
Combine all ingredients in a double boiler and allow to cool once the dipping chocolate consistency has been reached.
Tropical Pizza Fingers
2 French sticks, halved lengthways
400ml tomato pasta sauce
4 large ripe tomatoes, diced
2 green capsicums, seeded and diced
2 x 440g canned pineapple pieces, drain excess water
200g mozzarella cheese, grated
200g cheddar cheese, grated
Pre heat oven to 180°C and then stand the French stick cut side up on a paper lined baking tray. Spread the tomato pasta sauce on the bread halves. After that, top with tomatoes, capsicums, canned pineapple pieces and sprinkle cheddar and mozzarella cheese last. Bake in an oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Cut each pizza into 4 fingers. This should make about 16 fingers.
The French bread can be substituted with a foccacia slab which is split horizontally. For the topping, mushrooms chopped into thin slices can be used. Lean ham and chicken slice can also be added as toppings if desired.
Pancakes with Blackberry & Honey
1 ½ cups self raising flour
½ cup wholemeal self raising flour
40g reduced fat polyunsaturated margarine
50g macadamia nuts, toasted
1 egg lightly beaten
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons caster sugar
375 ml buttermilk
canola cooking spray
¼ cup honey
1. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre. Add the combined egg, egg whites and buttermilk and whisk until the mixture forms a smooth batter. Cover and allow to stand while preparing the batter.
2. To make the blackberry butter, place half the blackberries and the margarine in a bowl and gently mix to combine, taking care not to puree the blackberries.
3. Heat a non stick fry pan over medium heat and coat lightly with canola spray. Pour ¼ cup of the batter into the pan and swirl gently to distribute the pancake mixture. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and the underside is golden. Turn and cook the other side until cooked through. Keep warm and cook the remaining batter.
4. Chop the nuts and put in a bowl and stir with honey to combine.
5. Serve pancake stacks topped with a generous dollop of blackberry butter and a spoonful of macadamia nut honey. Sprinkle with the remaining blackberries.