Health, Kids

Quick Healthy Food Ideas for Your Kids

September 7, 2012

School has started and your time is even more precious but you want to continue to introduce new and healthy food choices for your kiddies. Here are some quick little changes that are fast and yummy! Another one of my BFFs has written this up for my blog and for YOU!!! Vanessa is a Spanish/ESL teacher, the Smaller Learning Community & AVID Coordinator (these programs prepare student for post-secondary success), a Certified Natural Trainer, a licensed Esthetician, an Air Force veteran, and in the process of getting certified as a Nutritional Education Trainer. Impressive huh? Yeah, I’m listening to her! She knows everything about my little picky eater and knows how much I appreciate good clean eating. Here you go. Enjoy!!

Breakfast: You don’t want to use instant oatmeal because you want it to be healthier; but you don’t have 5-7 minutes in the morning to cook old fashioned oats. Here’s a time saver…
Overnight Oatmeal
1. Mix 1 cup of almond milk & 1 cup of old fashioned oats in a sealed container
2. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight…Voila! It’s ready!!!
*Add your favorite toppings (i.e. fruit (banana/strawberries), honey, dried fruit, nuts

Lunch or dinner: Your kids want pizza for dinner, but frozen pizza is not the healthiest option and you want to see what goes into your prepared foods. Here’s an idea…

Pizza on Whole Wheat Pita Bread
1. Spread! Homemade pizza sauce, pesto sauce, or hummus on the whole wheat pita
2. Add your kid’s favorite toppings (i.e. veggies, olives, shredded cheese etc.)
3. Place in the oven or toaster oven for about 10 min
*Your kids will have so much fun making their own pizza. Get them involved!

Kids always want snacks right? Here’s a popular one…

“Ants on a Log”
1. Spread nut butter (i.e. peanut/almond) on a celery stick and place raisins on top of the nut butter
*You can place them as if they were little “ants” walking across the log

*Have fruit already washed and cut up. Place it where they can see it. If they see it they will take it.

Who doesn’t struggle to incorporate more vegetables in kids’ diet? Here is clever way of making sure they get them in their diet…

Smoothies

1. Blend 1 cup of almond milk, 1 banana, & 1 cup of Swiss/rainbow chard or spinach in a blender
*Add natural cocoa powder for a chocolate smoothie

Here’s a smoothie option without milk

1. Blend 1 gala apple, ½ -1 cup of green grapes, 1 pear, 1 cup of Swiss/rainbow chard or spinach in a blender
*Add water if the consistency is too thick

Worried about your kids getting enough protein in their diet? No fear beans are here…

Dipping Sauce

1. Roast a head of garlic
2. Blend the roasted head of garlic, 1 can of drained & rinsed cannellini beans, drizzle extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt, & pepper-optional (crushed red pepper & cayenne for spice)
*Dip pita bread or veggies…Yummy!!!

Carbs: Here are two quicker, healthier options for white rice:

Couscous

1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil
2. Add 1 cup of couscous, remove from heat, stir well and let sit for 5 min…DONE!

Quinoa

1. Bring one cup of water with 2 cups of quinoa to a boil
2. Lower the heat to low and let simmer for 20 min… DONE!
*Add your favorite seasonings! I like Italian seasoning and I use low sodium vegetable broth instead of water.

How do we get our kids to drink more water without the sugar? Here’s a simple addition…

Homemade Flavored Water

1. Slice fruit (strawberries/kiwi) and add them to the water…It’s as simple as that!!!!

What something refreshing without the added sugars? What about homemade popsicles?

Popsicles
1. Puree the fruit of your choice in a food processor or blender (I like frozen mango and peaches with freshly squeezed oranges)
2. Taste to see if it is sweet. Add honey or agave nectar if needed (a little at a time)
3. Freeze in popsicle molds
* If you’d like them a bit creamy, you could add soy or almond milk

Enjoy!

Your friend,

Vanessa

*Betty’s tip: I used to occasionally make homemade pasta sauce but I don’t have time anymore. I love the Whole Foods pasta sauce they keep in the refrigerated section. It is made by them and has no sugar or preservatives. I freeze it if I am not using right away.

Diego loves couscous after introducing it to him several times. Remember to keep showing kids the same things over and over. Don’t give up.

Santi loves the smoothies with spinach and chard! We also use red chard too.

Popsicles! They both love them and love making them with me.

I can’t wait to try some of these other tips!!! Thanks Vanessa!!

Do you have other quick and healthy tips? Would love to hear them! Have a great weekend everyone!

Your friend,

Betty

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3 Comments

  • Reply Caro September 9, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    When my bananas, strawberrys, blueberries etc. are getting too ripe and noone has eaten them, I peel the bananas and wash the berries and I put them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. When I’m in a rush for a smoothie or out of fresh fruit I use my ripe frozen fruit for my smoothies and you won’t even need any ice 😉

    Same goes for my carrots, celery and apples. I usually buy the above in bulk so if I see my veggies sitting in the fridge too long I bring out the juicer and make fresh carrot, celery, and green apple juice. The sweetness of the carrots and apples make it naturally sweet enough for my kids to love.

    My favorite protein packed soup is lentil soup. I cook the lentils and add carrots, potatos, and celery to the boil. Then I sauté garlic, onions, tomato and cilantro in a different pan and combine the two. Makes a great soup and the leftovers great for the kids lunch.

    My kids love cumumber a-la-mexicana. Sliced English cucumbers with lemon, tajin (chilito) and a dash or salt.

    • Betty
      Reply Betty September 10, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      Great tips Caro! Thank you!!! Jajaja, we do the “pepinos con chile, sal y limon” too! Yum

      I tried Vanessa’s overnight oatmeal this morning…YUMMY!!! So happy to add a new breakfast idea to our list. xoxo

  • Reply Yvette S September 10, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Love it! Great job Vane!

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