Healthy Meal Recipes For Kids

April 2, 2022 0 Comments

When it comes to kids, that is the most rewarding thing is to see them growing up healthy and happy. And, feeding them goo And it’s not easy as we have to be creative every time with our meals as kids easily get bored or fussy with the same old meals. However, we can make some simple changes in our kid’s diet that can help them grow up healthy.

The nutritional needs of children are constantly evolving as they grow and develop. In general, children ages 1 to 13 years should eat a variety of foods from the major food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy products. But how much is enough? And how can you make sure your kids get the nutrition they need without turning dinner into a battle every night? Many parents may be challenged to prepare a nutritious meal for their kids.

Here are a few healthy tips to help you out:

  • Start young.

Children who are exposed to different tastes when they are babies are more likely to be willing to try new foods later. It may take 8-10 tries for a child to accept a new food.

  • Set an example.

Children who see their parents eating healthy foods are more likely to make healthy choices themselves. If children see that you enjoy eating fruits and vegetables and drinking water as your main beverage, they will be more likely to do so too!

  • Make it fun!

Use cookie cutters on sandwiches, pancakes, or fruit slices for a fun shape. Add chicken, salmon, or tofu chunks and veggies to whole wheat macaroni and cheese for a fun twist on an old favorite.

  • Don’t force it!

Making meals a battle could turn your child off from eating healthy foods forever.

  • Remember that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If your children do not eat breakfast, they may have difficulty concentrating at school and become tired or irritable. Try to get your child to eat something before going to school.
  • Always choose a variety of all food groups such as grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, and milk for each meal.
  • High in fat foods such as chips, fries, and soft drinks can lead to obesity in children. Avoid these foods.
  • Make sure your child eats enough fruits and vegetables during the day. Vegetables can also be added to other dishes like pizza, pasta, or soup.
  • Keep small portions of healthy snacks handy for when hunger strikes between meals or after school. This will make it easier for your child to grab a healthy snack rather than an unhealthy one.

It’s no secret that finding healthy meal ideas for kids is tough—especially when you have picky eaters. Luckily, there are plenty of easy recipes for kids that are both healthy and delicious. And you don’t have to be a chef to make them!

Here are some easy recipes for kids:

Salmon pesto traybake with baby roast potatoes

A serving dish with salmon pesto traybake and baby roast potatoes

Ingredients

  • 500g baby new potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 large courgettes, cut into small chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into small chunks
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 3-4 salmon fillets
  • juice ½ lemon
  • 1½ – 2 tbsp pesto

Method

  • STEP 1
    Boil the potatoes for 10 mins until tender, then drain. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the potatoes in the oil, then transfer them to a baking tray. Roast for 20 mins. Push the potatoes to one side and put the courgette, pepper, spring onion, and pine nuts down the middle of the tray. Put the salmon on the other side. Squeeze lemon juice over the fillets and the vegetables (not including the potatoes). Season everything with pepper. Spread each of the salmon fillets with pesto and return the tray to the oven for 12-15 mins until everything is cooked through.

Healthy pancakes

Stack of American pancakes on table with blueberries in bowl

Ingredients

  • 50g self-raising flour
  • 50g wholemeal or wholegrain flour
  • 2 small eggs, separated
  • 150ml skimmed milk
  • berries and low-fat yogurt or fromage frais to serve

Method

  • STEP 1
    Sift the flours into a bowl or wide jug and tip any bits in the sieve back into the bowl. Add the egg yolks and a splash of milk then stir to a thick paste. Add the remaining milk a little at a time so you don’t make lumps in the batter.
  • STEP 2
    Whisk the egg whites until they stand up in stiff peaks, then fold them carefully into the batter – try not to squash out all the air.
  • STEP 3
    Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and pour in enough batter to make a pancake about 10 cm across. Cook for just under a minute until bubbles begin to pop on the surface and the edges are looking a little dry. Carefully turn the pancake over. If it is a bit wet on top, it may squirt out a little batter as you do so. In that case, leave it on the other side a little longer. Keep warm while you make the remaining pancakes. Serve with your favorite healthy toppings.

BBQ chicken pizza

Pizza with chicken and cheese in baking pan with slice cut

Ingredients

For the base

  • 250g wholemeal flour, plus a little for kneading if necessary
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus extra for greasing

For the topping

  • pack of 3 peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp barbecue sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 large skinless chicken breast fillet (about 225g), diced
  • 175g baby plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 50g Applewood smoked cheese, grated

Method

  • STEP 1
    Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the flour into a mixer with a dough hook, or a bowl. Add the yeast, salt, oil, and 200ml warm water then mix well to a very soft dough. Knead in the food mixer for about 5 mins, but if making this by hand, tip onto a work surface and knead for about 10 mins. The dough is sticky, but try not to add too much extra flour. Leave in the bowl and cover with a tea towel while you halve and slice the peppers and onions. There is no need to prove the dough for a specific time, just let it sit while you make the topping.
  • STEP 2
    For the topping: toss the peppers and onions with the oil and fennel seeds then roast for 15 mins. Meanwhile, mix the barbecue sauce and tomato purée with 5 tbsp water.
  • STEP 3
    Take the dough from the bowl and press it into the base and up the sides of an oiled 25x35cm Swiss roll tin. Don’t knead the dough first otherwise, it will be too elastic and will keep shrinking back. Spread with two-thirds of the barbecue sauce mix then add the remainder to the chicken and toss well to coat it.
  • STEP 4
    Take the roasted pepper mixture from the oven and spread it on top of the pizza. Scatter over the tomatoes then evenly spoon on the barbecue chicken. Scatter with the cheese and bake for 15 mins. Serve with a salad or healthy coleslaw.

Superhealthy pizza

Superhealthy pizza

Ingredients

  • 100g each strong white and strong wholewheat flour
  • 1 tsp or 7g sachet easy-blend dried yeast
  • 125ml warm water

For the topping

  • 200g can chopped tomato, juice drained
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 large courgette, thinly sliced using a peeler
  • 25g mozzarella, torn into pieces
  • 1 tsp capers in brine, drained
  • 8 green olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley, to serve

Method

  • STEP 1
    Mix the flours and yeast with a pinch of salt in a food processor fitted with a dough blade. Pour in the water and mix into a soft dough, then work for 1 min. Remove the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface to roundabout 30cm across. Lift onto an oiled baking sheet.
  • STEP 2
    Spread the canned tomatoes over the dough to within 2cm of the edges. Arrange the cherry tomatoes and courgettes over the top, then scatter with the mozzarella. Mix the capers, olives, and garlic, then scatter over the top. Drizzle evenly with the oil. Leave to rise for 20 mins. Heat oven to 240C/ fan 220C/gas 9 or the highest setting.
  • STEP 3
    Bake the pizza for 10-12 mins until crisp and golden around the edges. Scatter with the parsley to serve.

Super-veg pasta

Super-veg pasta

Ingredients

  • 2 red peppers, quartered and deseeded
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ tsp crushed chilies
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • small handful basil leaves shredded
  • 500g bag fresh egg pasta, cooked

Method

  • STEP 1
    Heat the grill and pop the peppers, skin-side up, underneath for 10 mins or until beginning to char. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and set aside. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and cut the flesh into strips.
  • STEP 2
    Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the fennel, onion, and carrot for 8-10 mins until softened. Stir in the garlic, crushed chilies, fennel seeds, and tomato purée, cook for 2 mins, then add the canned tomatoes, stock, and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 mins or until the vegetables are completely soft.
  • STEP 3
    Take out a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce (this will later add texture), then blend the rest in the saucepan until almost smooth with a stick blender. Simmer for 5 mins to thicken, then stir in the reserved sauce, shredded basil, and peppers. Serve with the pasta.
RECIPE TIPS
PASTA SAUCE

This sauce freezes well and is versatile so it’s worth making a double batch, then jazzing it up by adding olives or prawns. Plus, if your children don’t like the vegetable bits, you can just blend the whole thing.

Spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal

Dhal with fork on plate

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red chili, finely chopped
  • 1½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 sweet potatoes (about 400g/14oz), cut into even chunks
  • 250g red split lentils
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 80g bag of spinach
  • 4 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal, to serve
  • ½ small pack of Thai basil, leaves torn, to serve

Method

  • STEP 1
    Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a wide-based pan with a tight-fitting lid.
  • STEP 2
    Add 1 finely chopped red onion and cook over low heat for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  • STEP 3
    Add 1 crushed garlic clove, a finely chopped thumb-sized piece of ginger, and 1 finely chopped red chili, cook for 1 min, then add 1½ tsp ground turmeric and 1½ tsp ground cumin and cook for 1 min more.
  • STEP 4
    Turn up the heat to medium, add 2 sweet potatoes, cut into even chunks, and stir everything together so the potato is coated in the spice mixture.
  • STEP 5
    Tip in 250g red split lentils, 600ml vegetable stock, and some seasoning.
  • STEP 6
    Bring the liquid to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 mins until the lentils are tender and the potato is just holding its shape.
  • STEP 7
    Taste and adjust the seasoning, then gently stir in the 80g spinach. Once wilted, top with the 4 diagonally sliced spring onions and ½ small pack of torn basil leaves to serve.
  • STEP 8
    Alternatively, allow to cool completely, then divide between airtight containers and store in the fridge for a healthy lunchbox.

Superhealthy salmon burgers

Superhealthy salmon burgers

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless salmon fillets, about 550g/1lb 4oz in total, cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • thumb-size piece of fresh root ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 bunch coriander, half chopped, half leaves picked
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • lemon wedges, to serve

For the salad

  • 2 carrots
  • half large or 1 small cucumber
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar

Method

  • STEP 1
    Tip the salmon into a food processor with paste, ginger, soy, and chopped coriander. Pulse until roughly minced. Tip out the mix and shape it into 4 burgers. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, then fry the burgers for 4-5 mins on each side, turning until crisp and cooked through.
  • STEP 2
    Meanwhile, use a swivel peeler to peel strips of carrot and cucumber into a bowl. Toss with the vinegar and sugar until the sugar has dissolved, then toss through the coriander leaves. Divide the salad between 4 plates. Serve with the burgers and rice.

Mixed-bean chili with wedges

Ingredients

  • 4 medium baking potatoes, unpeeled, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 tbsp Cajun spice mix
  • 2 x 410g/14oz cans mixed pulses in water, rinsed, and drained
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tbsp reduced-fat soured cream

Method

  • STEP 1
    Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Toss the potato wedges in 2 tsp oil and spread out in a single layer on a large baking tray. Cook for 30-35 mins, turning halfway, until tender and golden brown.
  • STEP 2
    Meanwhile, for the chili, put the remaining oil into a casserole dish and fry the onion and pepper for 5 mins. Add Cajun spice, pulses, tomatoes, and stock. Cover and simmer for 15-20 mins. Remove casserole from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted. Ladle the chili into bowls, top each with 1 tbsp soured cream, and serve with the wedges.

Creamy tomato soup

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 300g carrot, chopped
  • 500g potato, diced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 5 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
  • 4 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 500g passata
  • 3 vegetable stock cubes
  • 400ml whole milk

Method

  • STEP 1
    Put the oil, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, and bay leaves in a big casserole dish or two saucepans. Fry gently until the onions are softened – about 10-15 mins. Fill the kettle and boil it.
  • STEP 2
    Stir in the tomato purée, sugar, vinegar, chopped tomatoes, and passata, then crumble in the stock cubes. Add 1 liter of boiling water and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 mins until the potato is tender, then remove the bay leaves. Purée with a stick blender (or ladle into a blender in batches) until very smooth. Season to taste and add a pinch more sugar if it needs it.
  • STEP 3
    To serve, reheat the soup, stirring in the milk – try not to let it boil. Serve in small bowls for the children with cheesy sausage rolls then later in bowls for the adults.

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