You used to enjoy making meals from scratch with your spouse, right? You had enough time to prepare pizza sauce and dough. You did not buy bread but baked it yourself. You prepped your own ice cream and stopped buying it in a store. Then you had children.
Now, there are certain weeks when all that stands between you and five nights of fast food is a bag of pre-chopped veggies and a rotisserie chicken. If you are fortunate enough to have some extra cash, you probably enrolled for Dinnerly or another comparable meal delivery service which provides more options than many of its more expensive rivals and offers more than 100 meals on the menu each week.
Parents are occupied. For some of us, putting dinner on the table each night is a struggle. Because we are aware of how challenging it is to prepare both delicious and nourishing food for our young loved ones, we decided to come up with this post filled with kid-friendly recipes, healthy kid food ideas, and nutrition for children.
We sought advice from individuals who spent a lot of time studying human nutrition and had several children after many years working as dietitians and nutritionists. They are experts at feeding kids after all.
In Search of Child-Friendly Recipes?
You have found the proper website. In addition to the 8 kid-tested healthy dish ideas in this post, we periodically plan to add more kid-tested healthy recipe ideas later.
We have compiled a list of a few of the most well-liked kid-friendly healthy recipes below.
Kids’ Healthy Snacks
# 1 No-Bake Apple Oat Bites
Every parent will experience this at some point: your, say, 3.5-year-old has developed into a picky eater. In order to fill lunchboxes, balls, balls, and more balls are required.
Once your little miss or mister tastes these apple oat no-bake nibbles, we believe it is safe to say they will become a regular in your rotation of balls. You can even try making these apple oat no-bake bites without nuts yet as your next endeavor.
They will probably be okay with sunflower seeds. However, you can experiment with them using both peanut and almond butter. Since peanut butter is so much less expensive than almond butter, you will be able to make them with it more frequently. However, the almond variant is so delicious.
Tahini can be used to make this recipe nut-free, however, because of its milder flavor, we find that the hulled kind performs best. If the suggested alternatives are used, these apple oat no-bake nibbles should be a part of your collection of allergy-friendly recipes since they are free of the top 8 food allergens: wheat, dairy, soy, egg, tree nuts, peanut, crustaceans, and fish.
Ingredients (30 bites):
- 200g of cooked apples or apple purée,
- 150g (1/2 cup) of peanut butter,
- 60g (1/2 cup) of raisins,
- 200g of rolled oats (2 cups).
How to make:
- Blend the apple, raisins, and peanut butter in a food processor.
- Using the food processor’s pulse setting, add the rolled oats and blend until incorporated.
- Create balls out of tablespoonfuls. Wet your hands if the mixture feels a little sticky.
- 30 minutes of refrigeration
For up to 4 days, these balls can be stored in the refrigerator. They are freezer-safe.
# 2 Slices of Chickpea, Banana, and Chocolate
Let us talk about chickpea brownies, or perhaps chickpea blondies would be a better name given their light tint.
Although the idea of mixing chickpeas, bananas, and peanut butter to make a chocolate slice may seem weird, if not downright impossible, your kids will actually enjoy it. Yes, these chickpea blondies will be loved by all of your children!
- Chickpea Brownies for Vegans
So, we discussed the rather odd components. This combo offers several tremendous nutritional advantages. This recipe for chickpea blondies has a low sugar content and is high in protein and fiber. Additionally, it provides a respectable vegan supply of iron. This dish is also excellent for children with allergies because it is devoid of wheat, eggs, and dairy. The preparation is quite easy, requiring only a food processor for the majority of it.
The result is a soft brownie slice that makes for a tasty snack, lunchbox addition, or dessert when paired with yogurt. There are several variations of this or something comparable available. By incorporating a banana into our version, we discovered that the additional sugar in most recipes could be decreased.
- Using Chickpeas in Baking
The use of canned chickpeas in baking is fairly popular. We concur on this. For example, chickpea oat crackers are fantastic for adults to munch on with a glass of wine or for kids who love crackers. Additionally, chickpeas can be used to produce a really tasty chocolate chip cookie.
Our simple brownie recipe is perfect if you are on the hunt for a more classic brownie recipe.
Ingredients (12 pieces):
- 1 can of washed and drained chickpeas,
- banana, 160–180 g,
- peanut butter, 1/2 cup
- maple syrup, 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder,
- 75g, or around 1/2 cup, of dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate.
How to make:
- Place all ingredients in a food processor aside from the chocolate.
- Until smooth, blend.
- To ensure that the chocolate is uniformly distributed, add it and pulse a few times.
- Pour into a loaf pan with lining,
- Depending on the size of the tin, bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 to 40 minutes. When it is done, the edges will start to break away from the tin and turn golden, especially around the edges.
- Before placing it out on a rack for final cooling, allow the cake to cool in the tin for a minimum of 10 minutes.
It works nicely to use cannellini beans in place of the chickpeas.
Although honey, golden syrup, or molasses would also work, we advise just using maple syrup because your children will adore the flavor of bananas with maple syrup. Please take note that this recipe will no longer be vegan if you add honey.
Also, using milk chocolate will make the dish contain dairy.
Kids’ Healthy Breakfast Recommendations
# 1 Blueberry Banana Pancake Muffins That Are Nutritious
Parents, it is a pivotal day in your lives! Joke aside, we are sure you may have seen recipes for pancake bites and pancake muffins all over Pinterest, but many of them are made with high-sugar pre-made pancake mixes. You will discover today that baking your favorite healthy pancake dish in the oven works!
The fact that you do not have to stand above the burner to turn the pancakes makes blueberry banana pancake muffins even more ideal for a variety of uses. Your children will declare that they are unquestionably winners! No complaints will be made as they will eat them for breakfast, lunch, and as a snack the moment you test the recipe!
These nutritious pancake muffins have very little added sugar and are packed with protein and fiber. Since the bananas you use should be very ripe, you may probably get away without any additional sugars or syrups.
A very soft muffin that does not crumble is the ultimate product. We are confident that this combination would be a hit because bananas, blueberries, and oats were probably all already great favorites for your kids when they first started eating finger foods.
You can even come up with a funny name for this food: “puffins”, which sounds like pancakes crossed with muffins and will make your kiddos laugh.
Ingredients (12 pieces):
- one large or 2 medium bananas,
- oats, 1 cup
- cottage cheese, one cup
- 2 eggs,
- vanilla, 1 tsp,
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup,
- frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup.
How to make:
- Blend or process everything except the blueberries in a blender or food processor,
- Whizz until the mixture is nicely smooth.
- Pour into a muffin pan that has been coated (preferably a silicone muffin pan and an olive oil sprayer).
- Add the blueberries on top,
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius/350 to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Allow them to cool for 5 to 10 minutes on a tin.
- Take them off the tin; they are ready for serving.
# 2 Oat Cakes with Carrot Cake
Your family and friends will find this simple recipe to be one of their favorites in the future. These carrot cake oat cakes are sure to please both you and your children. They are simple to cook, freeze well, and are delicious in lunchboxes. The only sweetener used is grated apple and carrot, but your kids will still enjoy it.
The good news is that you can start making them when your child is 6 months old. They are excellent as a first-finger snack and for baby-led weaning. These will continue to be your children’s favorite breakfast and lunch box filler when they are old enough for preschool. They defrost well and are nice in a lunchbox after being frozen.
Making small pancakes with oats is fun, kids adore them, and you will love feeding your kids oats because they are such a dependable source of energy and moderate fiber. One of the many recipes for oat-based little pancakes you can find online is this carrot cake oat cake. Check out the recipes for apple oat pancakes, banana oat pikelets, pumpkin oat pancakes, and tiny pea pancakes as well on the Internet. These dishes are all free of added sugar, and the latter two also include vegetables.
Ingredients (12 pieces):
- 1 egg,
- a half-cup of whole-wheat flour (you can use standard, rice, spelt, or gluten-free flour),
- a half-cup of rolled oats,
- a half-teaspoon of baking powder,
- a half teaspoon of cinnamon,
- 1/2 to 1 cup of milk,
- 1 grated apple,
- 1 grated carrot.
How to make:
- Stir an egg,
- Add the dry components (you can just scatter them in, do not bother filtering them), whisk/mix, and then add wet ingredients,
- Mix with 1/2 cup of milk,
- Include apple and carrot,
- If the batter is excessively dry, add extra milk if necessary,
- Your preferred fat or oil (butter, rice bran oil, coconut oil, etc.) is heated in a pan.
- Spoons of the batter should be added. Flip the food over and continue cooking the second side after little bubbles appear on the surface.
Ideas for Lunchbox
# 1 Egg Muffins with Cheese and Cauliflower
Here is the issue about vegetables: eating more than five a day is not advised. Your daily goal should be 8-10 servings of fruit and vegetables, with the majority of those being vegetables. In order to accomplish this, vegetables must be available at almost all meals and snacks. Kids will love these veggie-packed egg muffins with cauliflower and cheese as a breakfast, snack, or light supper.
Keep these muffins basic if your children belong to the “picky” category; the cauliflower virtually disappears. However, you may add spinach or tomatoes to the top for some color if you want the muffins to be a little more outspoken about their vegetable content.
Choose to prepare these egg muffins without the addition of salt, making them excellent for baby-led weaning or as a finger snack for infants. However, we must admit that without additional salt, you will likely find them to be somewhat bland. Therefore, be careful to season them as necessary for your family’s taste.
Ingredients (12 pieces):
- 350g florets of cauliflower
- 5 eggs,
- 1 cup of cheddar cheese, grated.
- cherry tomatoes and young spinach leaves, if desired.
How to make:
- Chop cauliflower roughly,
- Blend until it forms a fine grain, similar to couscous, in a food processor.
- Beat eggs,
- Cauliflower and cheese are to be added,
- If needed, season with salt and pepper.
- Fill the egg mixture in the prepared muffin tins.
- If desired, adorn it with cherry tomatoes or spinach leaves.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until firm and springy to the touch, at 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cool thoroughly before putting in a lunchbox or let cool for 5 minutes in a tray before serving.
Do not season these if you are cooking them for infants to eat with their fingers. You can also use feta cheese in this mixture. Bacon is also tasty in small amounts.
# 2 Cucumber Sushi
Do you want your children to share your love of sushi? They may have been sushi enthusiasts when they were babies, but their pickiness developed later. They are now put off by the seaweed. But hold onto your hope. This cucumber sushi for kids dish is simple to prepare, free of seaweed, and your child will like it. Consequently, you will be content.
- Can Your Sushi Be Seaweed-Free?
Use cucumber as the solution, guys! Although it is incredibly beautiful, this version was a little difficult to eat because the stuffing kept falling out. So, we came up with the brilliant idea of a tuna and avocado filling, and it is a hit!
An apple corer is a must if you want to prepare cucumber sushi for youngsters. If you possess one of these, the procedure is really simple.
- A Word About Kids’ Sushi and Food Safety
As leftover rice that has been cooked can be an origin of food-borne disease if not handled properly, be sure the rice you are employing for this recipe was properly kept in the refrigerator.
Rice that has been cooked should not be kept at room temperature for too long. Therefore, after preparing, let it cool and then keep it in the fridge until needed. Also kept chilled in a cooler container with a pack of ice are my kids’ lunchboxes.
Ingredients (20 pieces):
- 1 long cucumber telegraph,
- half an avocado,
- one teaspoon of mayonnaise,
- cooked rice, one cup
- 80g tuna can,
- juice from a lemon squeezed.
How to make:
- The cucumber should be washed,
- Cut it into lengths of around 10 cm (you need your apple corer to be able to get to the end of the length, so go by what length your apple corer is),
- Create a hole through the cucumber with an apple corer. You can either make a single, tiny hole or a wider hole by repeatedly running the cucumber through the corner.
- Drain the tuna from a can,
- Mash the avocado with the mayonnaise and lemon juice in a bowl. Mix the rice and tuna together,
- Fill the cucumber’s tube with the rice mixture; it packs in readily with a little push from clean fingertips.
- Serve after stuffing cucumber slices, which should be 1.5cm to 2cm thick.
Supper Ideas for Young Ones
# 1 Risotto with Chicken and Leek, Baked
- Why This Recipe Is Effective
It is simple. This risotto bakes in your oven, so there is no need to stir or spend hours hunched over a hot stove.
It is adaptable. If you are acquainted with how to make a baked risotto, you can easily adjust this dish to any taste, so please do not feel like you have to keep with chicken and leek as the flavor.
It can be frozen. This baked risotto freezes and reheats incredibly nicely once it is made.
All ages can eat it. You undoubtedly enjoy risotto, your older children will adore it, and a 20-month-old would still enjoy it as a meal.
A good risotto has a smooth, creamy texture and is truly delectable. Although baked risotto does not exactly have the same consistency as regular risotto, they win the “ease of use” contest; much more so if you are a busy parent. You can avoid standing at the stove and stirring the pot by using baked risotto!
Ingredients (4 adult serves):
- 300g of skinless chicken breast or thigh (if you have leftover roast chicken, use it instead, but also ham, bacon or even prawns/shrimp can be used),
- 150g leeks or onions,
- 250g (approx. 1.25 cups) short-grain rice,
- olive oil, 2 tablespoons,
- 750 ml chicken stock (a vegetable or chicken stock should be your top option, but any flavorful stock or broth will work),
- garlic, 1-2 cloves,
- 130g (1 cup) peas,
- thyme (if fresh then 1.25 cups or 2 x 10cm stalks; if dried then 1 tsp.),
- 50g parmesan (optional).
Try making your own chicken stock; we promise it is quite simple, as commercial chicken stock tends to be fairly high in salt and sodium. You may do that each time you are cooking a dish with bone-in chicken, such as a roast or drumsticks. Fill a saucepan with the leftover bones. Boil for around 30 minutes after adding a carrot and onion that has been very roughly diced. Once boiling, just strain the vegetables and bones out using a strainer before storing them in the refrigerator for a day or freezing them for later use.
If you occasionally use commercial stocks and broths, dilute them somewhat to lessen the salt level. If you are buying stocks, make sure to select ones with less salt or sodium.
How to make (prep):
- Leeks should be thinly sliced (cut them in two lengthwise, then slice them thinly),
- Chop the chicken breast thinly,
- Chicken stock should be heated. Either a stovetop or a microwave can be used for this. The stock should be warm but not quite boiling.
- The oven should be heated to 180 Celsius or 350 F.
How to make (cook):
- Use a sizable oven-safe dish with a lid. The oil should first be heated on the burner.
- Add the garlic and leek and sauté until aromatic and tender.
- Stirring often throughout the first one to two minutes of cooking the rice ensures that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the previously heated stock,
- Bring to a boil the chicken breast that has been finely cut.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit under a lid in the oven.
- Add frozen peas after stirring, and then re-bake the risotto for five more minutes with the lid on.
# 2 Mango Chicken Curry, Kid-Friendly
This mango chicken curry recipe is primarily focused on introducing new tastes and textures to your kids than anything else. This is a perfect first curry for youngsters because it is extremely mild and sweet. It is still a fantastic family supper, even though adults might find it a little bland (and you could always add some chili pepper flakes to the adult portions!).
Kids should be introduced to spices and other foods from an early age for no apparent purpose. Around the world, babies and kids eat spicy cuisine as they grow up and are quite well.
Can this mango chicken curry be served to your kids with a fun side dish? Sure! This dish’s side dishes are likewise intended to appeal to your children. Serving Greek yogurt with curries is standard. This means that if your children feel it to be a bit hot, they can add yogurt to reduce both the heat and the temperature.
Ingredients (6-8 serves):
- 100g (1/2 cup) of red lentils, raw,
- 250g (2 medium) carrots,
- 750ml (3 cups) of chicken stock,
- 2 cups of mango cubes (frozen is acceptable),
- coconut milk, one cup,
- oil, 2 tablespoons,
- one big onion, diced finely,
- two garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped,
- a 2cm cube of peeled, coarsely diced root ginger,
- one teaspoon of cumin,
- half a teaspoon of turmeric,
- one half of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon or a cinnamon stick,
- four pods of green cardamom,
- 400g of skinless chicken, either breast, thigh, or tenderloin, diced into bite-sized pieces.
How to make:
- Red lentils should be rinsed and put in a pot.
- Add the carrots, chopped roughly, to the pot.
- 20 minutes later, add stock, cover, and simmer
- Add 1 cup of the mango (if it is frozen, let it thaw out in the boiling liquid for a few minutes),
- Blend with coconut milk to create a silky orange sauce,
- oil in a pan should be heated,
- onion in hot oil until it begins to brown,
- sauté for a further 1-2 minutes after adding the garlic and ginger,
- Cook all dried spices for 1-2 minutes after adding them,
- Lentil, carrot, coconut, and mango sauce are added to the pan,
- Chicken diced should be added. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Stir about every 10 minutes,
- To heat through, add the remaining 1 cup of mango cubes and simmer for an additional 5 minutes,
- Serve (attempt to remove the cinnamon stick and cardamon pods; they are unpleasant to crunch on).