Getting your kids to eat what's good for them is like pulling teeth — but with these tried-and-true healthy recipes for kids, mealtime will no longer be a battle. From a healthy version of PB&J to mouth-watering chicken and pasta, serve up these five kid-friendly recipes for National Nutrition Month.
While you'd like for your kids to reach for good-for-you foods on their own, the best way to get them to gobble up any healthy recipes for kids is to lead by example. "Healthy eating is a way of life that is passed down from generation to generation," explains Valarie J. Taveras, director of The New York Foundling's Healthy Families Program sponsored by the Office of Child and Family Services, "so watching your relationship with food is necessary in preventing childhood obesity with your children and the next generation."
Here are a few kid-friendly recipes to get your kids eating healthy for National Nutrition Month — and all year long.
Healthy peanut butter and jelly sandwich
You don't have to hesitate to serve your kiddos a go-to PB&J with a few simple healthy tweaks by pickyeatersblog.com. Go visit her post for even more suggestions on how to up the healthy factor on this lunchtime staple.
- 2 slices double fiber bread (140 calories)
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter (100 calories)
- 1-2 tablespoons jam (50-100 calories)
- Use 2 slices of double fiber bread. You can use an even higher fiber bread to increase the fiber to 10 to 12 grams per sandwich.
- Next, use organic, fresh peanut butter. The key to only using 1 tablespoon of peanut butter but having it still taste great is to toast the bread lightly so the peanut butter spreads easier across the bread (and you can get a thinner layer of peanut butter without sacrificing any flavor!).
- Finally, use blueberry jam or fresh strawberry preserves for minimal sugar and more of a fruit-packed punch and serve.
Veggie pizza snack
Whether you serve these good-for-you pizzas as a snack or as a meal, it's guaranteed that your youngsters will be asking for this kid-friendly recipe from The Foundling time and time again.
- 2 whole wheat tortillas
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 green pepper, sliced
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 2 tablespoons mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Pierce tortillas with a fork and bake on a baking sheet until crisp.
- Remove tortillas from oven and spread evenly with tomato paste.
- Sprinkle with dried oregano.
- Add a layer of sliced green peppers.
- Add a layer of chopped tomatoes.
- Top with shredded cheese and bake until melted.
- Cut each pizza in half and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
*Recipe adapted from Sesame Street
Tagliatelle with chicken
With a light sauce combined with crunchy pine nuts, both you and your kids will slurp up every last bit of this kid-friendly recipe from inthesesmallmoments.com.
- 1 (3-1/2 pound) chicken (we use a large, store-bought rotisserie chicken)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Leaves from 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, minced
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 pound tagliatelle (linguine works fine, too, and is easier to find)
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
- Remove the chicken meat from the bone, leaving all of the skin on, then cut into chunks.
- Mince the rosemary sprigs.
- In a large saucepan, toast pine nuts over medium heat until they are golden. You'll need to watch these closely, as they burn easily. Transfer the pine nuts to a bowl.
- To make the sauce, add chicken broth and a bit of olive oil as a replacement for pan juices for store-bought rotisserie chickens.
- Add the rosemary, pine nuts and chicken to the saucepan. Begin to simmer the sauce when you are ready to cook the pasta.
- Cook and drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce, then top with parsley and serve in a large warmed bowl.
Rainbow fruit salad
The colorful fruit will be oh-so-inviting to your kiddos, but it's the orange juice that gives this rainbow-hued side dish from The Foundling a unique twist.
- 1 mango, cut
- 1 cup red grapes
- 1 cup melon, cubed
- 1 banana, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- In a large bowl, combine all the fruit.
- Pour orange juice over the fruit and stir well.
- Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Makes 4 servings.
*Recipe adapted from Sesame Street
Three ways raise healthy kids by getting youngsters to eat right >>
Homemade chicken nuggets
You won't have to say 'no' to chicken nuggets ever again when you serve up this healthy recipe for kids from SixSistersStuff.com.
- 3 cups corn flakes
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch of pepper
- 1 pound boneless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Cut chicken breasts into nugget-sized pieces. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease cookie sheet.
- Put flakes in large plastic bag and crush to fine texture. Pour into medium-sized bowl. Now add Parmesan cheese, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper to corn flakes.
- Place eggs in a small bowl.
- Place flour in separate small bowl.
- To bread chicken, coat chicken piece in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in the egg, then coat in corn flake mixture.
- Arrange chicken on prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown (about 12 to 15 minutes).
More on healthy kids
Why kids should use a bento lunchbox
Should kids have dessert every day?
Gardening for picky eaters