Healthy Habits: Recipes to teach kids

Cooking

Cooking

Not only can it be a challenge to encourage children to eat nutritious food every day, often we feel overwhelmed with preparing and planning healthy meals too. Many of us know the importance of good balanced nutrition for children; to help them develop and grow, to ensure they have nourished minds and bodies and to prevent diseases. What’s more, research now shows that parents who get their children to adopt healthy eating habits from a young age, can have a positive influence on dietary habits later in life 

However actually helping children establish healthy eating patterns can be a different ball game altogether! A great way to support this is to involve children with cooking and planning meals. They may enjoy deciding what to make for lunch or dinner then use the opportunity to talk to them about making choices and planning a balanced meal.  

This can help prepare them to make good decisions on their own about the foods they want to eat. Here’s a few great kid friendly recipes to get them involved in the kitchen.  

Butternut Squash & Red Pepper Hummus 

Hummus is a fantastic snack for children, with added butternut squash and red pepper they get an extra boost of vitamins C and A too!  

Ingredients 

1 Red pepper 

100 g Butternut squash 

1 tin Chickpeas (Drained and rinsed) 

1 Lemon (Zest and juice) 

2 tbsp Olive oil 

1 tbsp Tahini paste 

1 clove Garlic (Roughly chopped) 

1 generous pinch of salt  

Instructions 

  • Chop the squash and pepper into cubes and preheat the oven to 180 degrees.  
  • Season and roast the butternut squash and red pepper for about 30 minutes until soft. Leave to cool.  
  • Pop the roasted vegetables and all the other ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.  

Meanwhile chop vegetables as crudités, such as carrots, peppers and cucumber – dip and enjoy!  

Easy Peasy Banana Pancakes  

What kid doesn’t love pancakes? This recipe uses nourishing ingredients to give your kids a protein rich breakfast to help them power through the morning 

Ingredients (makes 10 small pancakes)  

2 x med/large Ripe bananas (mashed) 

2 x eggs, lightly beaten 

3/4 cup flour e.g.  coconut, einkorn, oat or almond flour 

1 tsp baking powder   

Instructions  

  • Preheat a pan on the stove. Add a little butter or coconut oil to stop sticking. 
  • Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. 
  • Spoon about 2 Tablespoons of mixture into the pan per pancake. 
  • Cook each side, flipping halfway, until golden. 
  • Serve with berries, seeds and coconut yoghurt  

Fantastic Fishcakes  

Fishcakes are an easy win with kids and a brilliant way of getting your kids to eat enough Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is critical for nervous system health, proper brain development, eyesight and research has also found that oily fish can help with concentration. 

Ingredients 

2 fillets of fish (e.g. salmon or mackerel)   

750 g Potatoes 

50g frozen peas  

4 Spring onions 

40gWatercress or rocket  

20 g Spinach 

Handful Parsley (finely chopped) 

1 Lemon or 1tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar  

Whole grain mustard (optional) 

Salt and pepper

Instructions 

  • Chop the potatoes and boil them in salted water until soft  
  • Loosely wrap the fish in a foil parcel with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon  
  • Pop into a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 20mins and allow the fish to steam itself and cook.  
  • Cook the finely chopped spring onions in a frying pan until softened but not browned.  
  • Roughly chop the watercress and all the spinach and add to frying pan, removing it from the heat just to wilt it down. 
  • Mash the new potatoes and add the fish flaked over. Gently mix together. 
  • Add the spring onions, chopped watercress, spinach, parsley, lemon and mustard, Taste and season if needed.  
  • Gently mix in the peas, trying to keep them whole.  
  • Mould the fishcakes - the size is totally up to you. Cover them and then pop them into the fridge for half an hour or so, to help them hold their shape.  
  • In a frying pan, heat up some oil to a medium/hot heat and start frying.  

Serve with more vegetables such as peas, sweetcorn and tender stem broccoli  

With healthy eating increasing in popularity, 2020 could be the year your family makes some healthy changes to their diet.