We all know that it’s best to offer up a variety of nutritious foods for optimal growth and development of our children. However, getting our kids to chow down on these foods can sometimes feel like a battle of wits, leaving both parents and children frustrated.
Never fear: we’ve compiled a handful of kid-approved recipes that not only hit the mark nutritionally but are also affordable and convenient to whip up on a busy weekday night.
When it comes time to get into the kitchen and prepare a meal, it might surprise you just how much your kids would be willing to help, given the opportunity. Not only is it great bonding time, but chances are also good that once they see the result of all their hard work, they’ll be more inclined to gobble it up!
Read on before heading into the kitchen, and get ready for some smiles and clean plates from the kids and kids-at-heart in your household.
These breakfast pops are the perfect way to start a summer day. The surprise addition of homemade granola embedded in the pop takes this from a snack-time treat to a filling breakfast to fuel the day ahead. Incorporating fermented foods, such as yogurt, into our diet helps to enhance the body’s absorption of proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
Here, the perennial kid-favoured mac and cheese gets a plant-based makeover. One of the key ingredients in this recipe is cauliflower. This standout superfood is all the rage at the moment, and for good reason. Cauliflower is rich in glucosinolates, sulphur-containing compounds with potent antioxidant properties.
This two-tone shake is a fun and nutritious pick-me-up any time of day. Spinach is a functional food hero thanks to its diverse nutritional composition that promotes health beyond basic nutrition. Beetroot not only provides an eye-popping colour but also lends a good source of fibre to this drink, which, in turn, contributes to a healthy digestive tract.
Dippable finger foods always go down a treat with kids, and these fish sticks are no exception. Salmon is a nutritional powerhouse that, among other benefits, is a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, both of which you must get from your diet. To complete this meal, try serving the fish sticks and zesty yogurt sauce alongside roasted sweet potato wedges or celery and carrot sticks.
As indulgent as it sounds, this dip is loaded with nutrient-rich functional foods that help support a healthy immune system. Black beans are a great source of protein and fibre, while raw cocoa powder contains compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on our bodies.
Our food preferences are shaped over our entire life. Genetics, culture, memory, and early feeding patterns all contribute to our palate preferences. One of the key times in which we develop our preferred tastes is during the transition from a liquid diet to a solid diet as babies.
Being repetitively exposed to a variety of textures, tastes, and flavours during this time helps us to accept these flavours when we’re older. This, by no means, indicates that we can’t learn to love new flavours later on; it may just take a little creativity, a few more tries, and a bit more patience.
A good night’s sleep can change everything. Being well rested not only gives your body and brain time to recharge, but also helps your immune system operate to its full potential and lowers the risk for several serious health problems, including heart disease. But if you’re spending more time counting sheep than actually catching zzz’s, you’re far from alone. For many of us, it can be tough to get enough sleep. And, over time, there can be troubling consequences that go far beyond feeling like you’re more worn out than your favourite jeans. For instance, people who don’t get enough sleep tend to eat more calories and accumulate visceral fat around the abdomen, potentially contributing to cardiovascular disease risk. Restorative sleep is also important for helping you recover from exercise training and reap more of the benefits from these sweat sessions. So, with all this said, you should do what you can to get the most out of each night. Poor sleep has a lot of causes, and no one antidote will allow you to bag the sleep you need. Along with proper sleep hygiene—including maintaining a regular sleep schedule, powering down electronics in the last hour or so before bed, and keeping your sleep environment dark and quiet—dietary choices may be one part of the better slumber puzzle. Science now shows that what you eat can influence how much quality sleep you get. So, with some savvy cooking, there is hope for finally getting the ever-elusive shut-eye of your dreams and feeling like a champ. These recipes feature the foods you need to help bring on sweet dreams.
This hearty version of traditional sloppy joes has a tidy helping of sleep-aiding dietary fibre, thanks to its payload of smoky lentils. Swapping out the doughy bun for sweet bell pepper ups the nutritional ante and visual appeal. It’s also superb as leftovers. Smoke and fire Chipotle peppers are ripened red jalapeno chiles that have been smoked and dried. In stores, they’re typically sold in a rich, smoky flavoured adobo sauce. They add fiery, complex flavour to sauces used for pasta dishes, tacos, and any version of sloppy joes.
If you’re hungry for a nighttime snack, then spoon up this creamy, sweet-tart yogurt bowl to help promote some sweet dreams. It’s also a great breakfast option with a little granola tossed on top. The cherry compote can be made up to 5 days in advance. Less is more Many people would be surprised by the amount of added sugar that can be found in flavoured yogurts, including vanilla. A healthier option is to select products that are labelled “plain” and then let natural sweetness come from fruit toppings.