3 recipes to help your kids get involved in nutrition.
Whether your child is just starting to eat table food or has developed a taste for a few favorite foods or beverages, it’s never too late or too early to start adding more nutrition to your child’s diet.
If you allow your kids to cook with you, you’ll increase their interest in following a healthy diet. When children can make all or part of their meal, they’ll be more likely to try new foods as well. Here are a few healthy and delicious recipes to help your little ones make the most of their time in the kitchen.
A fruit salad is a colorful and nutritious source of vitamin C for kids. If your little ones are having a hard time eating enough fruits in a day, you can help them make a tasty fruit salad filled with healthy ingredients. Allow your children to choose their favorite fruits based on taste and color, i.e. apples or cherries for a child whose favorite color is red. This “recipe” is great if you have more than one child since each kid can choose the ingredients they like.
Sources of vitamin C include orange or grapefruit slices, blueberries, and strawberries. Other fruits like peaches and watermelon are healthy sources of vitamin C as well. You can make the fruit salad extra special by adding a sprinkle of shredded coconut or chopped almonds and/or walnuts. Or, you can create a “dressing” for the salad with honey, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and fresh mint to make the salad even more flavorful. You can serve the fruit salad as a healthy dessert after dinner or store the salad in small cups so your children can grab a cup any time they need a refreshing snack.
Burgers and wraps
Burgers and wraps are usually a hit with young eaters, especially if you get them involved in food preparation. You can make your own burgers with grass-fed beef or turkey, or make your own veggie burgers with ingredients like black bean, breadcrumbs, and chopped vegetables such as carrots, garlic, onion, and sweet potato. When you make your own burgers, you can add more nutrition and cut down on sodium and harmful ingredients.
After you prepare your burgers, you can help your children top the burgers with lettuce, avocado, tomato, onion, cheese (or a vegan alternative), and traditional or vegan condiments like mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, mustard, or ketchup. If your kids prefer a wrap instead of a burger, choose tortillas enriched with vegetables so your little ones can get another serving of healthy foods with their meal. You can also choose fortified hamburger buns with ingredients like amaranth, flax seed, or chia seeds to add fiber to the meal.
If your family looks forward to taco night, you can make the meal more interesting by letting your kids participate in making dinner. You can season ground beef or turkey with ingredients like turmeric, which offer vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties. This seasoning also helps to boost the immune system. It’s also a good idea to include some chopped vegetables like onions and tomatoes in the ground meat if your child doesn’t want to eat the vegetables raw.
If you’re vegetarian, you can season black or kidney beans with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and spinach for a taco night that is filled with tasty vegetables. You can even let your children help you add veggies like shredded carrots and cabbage to the taco serving tray so they can top their tacos with these delicious ingredients. You can also choose spinach or tomato tortillas to add more nutrition to the meal. Your kids may also be intrigued by the red and green colors of the tortillas.
These are just some ideas you can incorporate into your meal plans to ensure your children are getting enough vitamin C and other essential nutrients. Don’t forget to ask your children for their input as well. After they get used to being in the kitchen, they may offer some tasty suggestions for family meals that you won’t want to pass up. You’ll also be setting a good example for your kids and increasing the chances that they’ve developed healthy habits in adulthood.