In the hussle and bussle of today’s world, finding and preparing easy and healthy recipes for kids can be a struggle! And then when you find them, there is so much that can goes into them: planning the menu, making the grocery list, driving to the store, doing the shopping, checking out in the long line, paying the bill, and driving home not to mention preparing the meal and sitting down to feast on your hard work.
Without missing a beat, the inevitable always seems to happen…the complaints.
“I don’t like this”.
“This looks weird”.
“I don’t like this color.”
“I want pizza!”
“Can I have a cookie instead?”
Nutrition plays a vital role in our children’s development, and we know this. But how easy is it to just grab a frozen pizza and call it a day! While tempting as it sounds, it’s our responsibility as parents to find healthy recipes for kids that can be prepared and enjoyed at the family table.
Below are a few healthy recipes for kids that have been a hit at my own family table. But before I get to them, let’s first discuss some tips on helping us plan some healthy recipes for kids and ways to get our kids excited for them!
1) Make a quick list of the foods your children love, hate, and are allergic to. With this in mind, it will be easy to pinpoint the recipes you’re targeting and onto the healthy recipes for kids your family will love.
2) When kids are invested in a project, they are more readily accepting. Find healthy recipes for kids that your family can contribute to. For example, get your kids involved in the selection of the recipes, let them help with the shopping, or get the kids help in preparing the meal and setting the table.
3) Select one new vegetable, fruit, or food to try each week. Make it a game with your kids. They may love it or hate it, but it will teach them to be open to new foods and experiences at the table.
With these tips in mind, here are a few healthy recipes for kids that have been a hit with my own. Give them a try and see if this could be a meal your family will love!
Healthy Recipes for Kids #1: Oven-Baked Carrot Fries
My kids love these healthy fries!
Oven-Baked Carrot Fries
1 ½ lbs. Carrots
1 tsp. Sugar
2 T Olive Oil
½ tsp. Salt
2 T Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
Pinch of Pepper
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a shallow pan with foil. Peel each carrot and cut off the tip and the end off of each one. Cut carrots in half cross-wise, then cut length-wise, then cut length-wise again.
Combine the carrot sticks, olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary and stir until they are evenly coated. Spread the carrots over the pan as much as possible.
Bake your carrots for about 20 minutes or until carrots are tender. Serve them hot or cool them a bit to room temperature.
Healthy Recipes for Kids #2: Chicken Tortilla Soup
This is a family favorite and is easy on Mom and Dad in both the prep and the clean-up!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
½ Onion, chopped
½ tsp. Garlic, minced
4 tsp. Cilantro, chopped
1 T Butter
30 oz. Chicken Stock
8 oz. can Tomato Sauce
½ package of Taco Seasoning
14 oz. can Mexican Style or Plain Stewed Tomatoes
4 ½ oz. can Diced Green Chilis
1 small can of Corn, drained
1T Worchestire Sauce
4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (these can be frozen)
Put all the ingredients into a Crock Pot and cook on low for 8 hours. A half an hour prior to serving, pull out the chicken and shred. Put the chicken back into the soup and cook the remainder of the time (half an hour).
Serve with cheese, tortilla chips, avocado, and sour cream.
Healthy Recipes for Kids #3: Baked Spaghetti
1 lb. lean Ground Beef
10 oz. Whole Wheat Spaghetti
2 C Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
2 26 oz. jars of your favorite Spaghetti Sauce (make sure your sauce contains healthy ingredients and no sugars)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, drain and mix in your spaghetti sauce to the ground beef.
Prepare your pasta according to the packaged directions and drain.
Spoon one-third of your spaghetti sauce mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan and then mix the remaining spaghetti sauce mixture with the cooked spaghetti. Pour into the prepared pan and then top with the shredded cheese.
Bake for 25-35 minutes until brown and bubbly. Let baked spaghetti rest for about 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve with a healthy salad and garlic bread. Enjoy!