4 easy cooking recipes to make with young children.
Making sure your children have healthy meals can be challenging. This is especially the case now that we’re spending more time at home than ever before, and your little ones are likely tempted to indulge in unhealthy snacks. Luckily, there are some quick and easy recipes you can make with your kids to promote a balanced diet and spend some quality time together in the kitchen. Here are some suggestions you can try for a meal or snack time.
Fruit “chips” and dip
You and your little one can create a healthier version of this classic snack by making “chips” out of fruits like apples or pears. Cut the fruit into thin slices and let your child place the fruit on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the fruit on low heat to give it a slight crunch. While the fruit is baking, create a dip from cream cheese (or a vegan alternative), the best orange blossom honey you have, a dash of vanilla, sea salt, and shredded coconut. You can also add sugar-free chocolate or butterscotch chips to the dip. Your children can help you add the ingredients to the dip and stir it up before you place the dip in a bowl. You can also decorate the perimeter of the bowl with the fruit crisps. This snack is a great way to get fiber and healthy sugars into your diet and even makes a delicious dessert.
If your family is a fan of Taco Tuesday, you can put your own spin on this special day of the week by making taquitos with your little ones. In a mini tortilla, add refried beans, shredded cheese, ground beef, turkey, or veggie meat, and seasoning. Your children can choose the fillings they want and you can create taquitos with a combination of ingredients. Roll the tortillas and seal them together with a toothpick. While the taquitos are baking, your kids can help you set up a topping station with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, limes, onions, cilantro, and salsa. This quick family dinner is a fun way to get your kids to eat more vegetables while gaining confidence in their cooking skills.
Avocado toast is a healthy breakfast that you can customize according to your family’s preferences. If your kids love cheese, use the mashed avocado as a “sauce” for the bread and top it with cheese and fresh herbs. Or, you can season the avocado with sea salt, cracked pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder and top it with a fried egg for a tasty, savory breakfast. If your kids like making their own food or are becoming more interested in cooking, chop some bell peppers, onions, carrots, and broccoli and let them add these vegetables to their toast. This helps children explore different flavors. When children have a hand in making their own meals, they’re more likely to try new foods.
If your family loves pizza, why not add it to the menu this week? You can make a giant pizza crust from scratch or purchase one from your local grocery store. Many stores now have pizza crusts that are vegan, gluten-free, or even grain-free to accommodate your family’s dietary needs. Once you find the crust you want, get your kids to help you add the perfect flavors to this pizza. Allow them to choose whether they’d like red sauce, white sauce, pesto, or a combination of sauces. Chop some vegetable toppings like onions, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, and peppers. You can also let your kids add meat toppings like real or imitation bacon bits, mini pepperoni, and turkey or vegetarian sausage. If your children are adventurous when it comes to food, you may also want to offer jalapeno slices or pineapple chunks. Since the pizza is huge, you can divide it into four sections to ensure that everyone in the family gets a slice with all their favorite toppings.
These are just some of the ways you can entertain your kids in the kitchen and get them excited about following a healthy diet. It’s also a good idea to get your kids’ input before grocery shopping so you can find nutritious and tasty foods for your kids based on the flavors they enjoy the most.