Tag: kid-friendly

7 Back-to-School Dishes That Kids Can Help Make

by in Uncategorized, September 8, 2016

In the throes of back-to-school chaos, assembling even the most-basic dishes can feel like a chore. That’s why the chefs in Food Network Kitchen have been busy dreaming up light, wholesome alternatives to the prepackaged meals we tend to fall back on during the busy transition from summer to fall. Most importantly, they’re easy enough for kids to help prepare — and enticing enough for them to want to eat.

You’ll have breakfast on the table in 20 minutes with Food Network Kitchen’s wholesome take on classic eggs-in-the-hole, which calls for a modest dose of Parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon, adding flavor and texture for few extra calories. Make the morning even easier on yourself by allowing the kids to butter the bread, cut out the center holes and crack the eggs.

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Back-to-School Recipe Roundup

by in Healthy Recipes, Kid-Friendly, Uncategorized, August 28, 2016

It’s that time of year again: You need breakfasts that are quick to make and eat, lunches you can pack the night before, and after-school snacks that will keep kids going strong till dinnertime. To get the school year off to a healthy start, we’ve rounded up some great ideas and easy-to-make recipes that will help get you and the kids out the door on time.

 

Breakfast in a Hurry

Pumped-up pancakes: Add some shredded kale and apples to your regular pancake batter for an extra dose of nutrients.

Yogurt parfait: Layering plain or vanilla yogurt with fresh fruit and granola makes this fun breakfast a complete — and filling — meal.

Overnight oats: Prep these the night before and your kids can dig in as soon as they get up.

Breakfast burritos (pictured above): These wraps are a hearty and healthy breakfast — perfect for kids who are extra-hungry in the morning. And if you’re really in a rush, simply wrap a scrambled egg in a tortilla and hand it to your kid on his way out the door.

Frittata: Make this yummy dish on Sunday and your kids can eat it for breakfast all week long. Read more

5 Kid-Friendly, Healthy Food Crafts for Thanksgiving

by in Healthy Tips, November 23, 2015

Keep little hands busy during your next holiday gathering with these food-based crafts.

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6 Kid-Approved Finger Foods with a Healthy Twist — Fall Fest

by in Healthy Recipes, September 10, 2015

It’s the end of a busy school day and your kids come home with a hankering for one of the usual culprits — pizza, tacos, maybe chicken tenders. These fast-food staples may not hold the title of Healthiest Dinner on the Block, but with a few simple modifications, your kids’ favorite finger foods can become wholesome homemade dishes. Ease back into a busy fall schedule with these quick, kid-friendly dishes you can feel good about eating.

Chickpea Crust Pizza
With a few alterations, family pizza night can be a healthy tradition rather than a once-in-a-blue-moon indulgence. Food Network Kitchen fortifies the classic finger food with a high-fiber chickpea-flour crust. For a classic presentation, top it off with crushed tomatoes, provolone cheese and chicken sausage (which is significantly leaner than pork or beef). Gluten-free households can rely on this as their go-to pizza recipe, but it’s also ideal for families simply looking to trim back calories at dinnertime, as the recipe serves four and contains just 274 calories per serving.

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Kid-Friendly DIY Taco Salad Lunchbox Bowl

by in Healthy Recipes, June 14, 2015

Hands down, taco night is the favorite night of the week at our house. My kids love the DIY factor of assembling their own tacos, and I love the “no complaint” factor. Did I forget to mention, my husband and I love tacos too? It’s a win-win for everyone! This love for a weeknight dedicated to tacos led me to come up with this recipe for DIY Taco Salad Lunchbox Bowls. After all, if kids love tacos at dinner, why not put a fun spin on it and let them assemble their own taco salads at lunch? Read more

Kid-Friendly, Parent-Approved Lunch: Quinoa Pizza Egg Muffins

by in Healthy Recipes, May 6, 2015

Kids and adults are likely to agree: Pizza is the perfect lunch, especially when it’s healthy. Kids will dig the fun factor of picking their own muffin mix-ins and parents will love the nutrition content of this easy-to-make, protein-packed lunch. Made with traditional pizza toppings like tomatoes, olives, Italian seasoning and mozzarella cheese, these pizzas are also easy to modify based on your kids’ imaginations; let them add their favorite cheese, seasonings and vegetables. Younger kids will probably nosh on one muffin; older kids will likely want two or more. Pack ‘em up in a lunchbox, then round out the meal with a side of carrots and fresh fruit. A fruit salad of sweet strawberries, juicy oranges and tangy kiwi is a delicious ending to this kid-friendly, parent-approved healthy lunch. Read more

6 Tips for Less-Stress Family Dinners

by in Cooking for Kids, April 9, 2015

Is there anything better than an evening around an energetic table with friends, loud chatter and home-cooked grub? I do love hitting a new hot spot, but an old-fashioned potluck is truly the way I love to roll most. Recently I was in charge of bringing apps and dessert and was reminded that the dad-host is a lactose-intolerant paleo eater and the mom-host is gluten-free. Rex helped me prep veggies and we made mini kebab-on-toothpick appetizers and a pile of crudites with guacamole. Maizy whipped up five-ingredient coconut bites and a fruit salad. We showed up with our pile of eats and had quite the memorable eve. Only, we’ll remember it more for the stress and complicated menu, not the snarf that kid-host let out when Maizy told everyone at the table why the chicken crossed the road. Read more

Beyond Chicken Nuggets: When Kids Eat Out, Can They Eat Well?

by in Dining Out, June 11, 2014

kids' plate

With their steady rotation of grilled cheese and butter-topped noodles, the “kid-friendly” section of restaurant menus has always been unimaginative. But these days it’s hard not to notice that the offerings are also fairly unhealthy. The palette of food geared toward children is primarily white, brown and orange — the colors of french fries, fried nuggets (of one sort or another) and mac and cheese. Not only is such fare typically lacking in creativity, it’s also lacking in nutrition, although there’s generally no lack of calories or sodium. It’s not uncommon for a kid’s meal to exceed 1,000 calories, more than any adult needs in one sitting.

The good news is that many restaurants are making strides in revamping the menu options for pint-sized patrons. The National Restaurant Association just hosted the second annual Kids LiveWell Recipe Challenge — a competition that encourages chefs to come up with enticing but healthy alternatives for kids. Winners included an organic sunflower butter and jam sandwich on multi-grain oat bread and a whole-wheat quesadilla filled with broccoli, chicken, peppers and corn. Read more

New Study: Kids Eat More Veggies With Dip

by in Healthy Recipes, Kid-Friendly, June 26, 2013

green goddess dressing
If you’re looking to up your kids’ veggie intake, read this! A new study found that serving vegetables alongside dip leads to munching on more veggies. Interestingly, kids were also found to prefer dips flavored with herbs and spices over plain, more bland dips.

The Study
A 2013 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that adding herbs or spices to a reduced-fat dip increased a child’s willingness to eat veggies. The portion-controlled 3 ½ tablespoon dips served to the kids had 50 calories, 4 grams of fat and 90 milligrams of sodium.

Pre-school children ages 3 to 5 years told researchers from the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania State University that they liked veggies when paired with a favorite flavored dip compared to eating a veggie without a dip or with a plain dip. Thirty-one percent of kids liked a veggie alone while 64% liked a veggie when it was served with their favorite dip. In addition, 6% of kids refused the vegetable when served with a flavored dip as compared with 18% who refused the veggie when served without any dip.
During a second experiment, researchers found that kids ate significantly more of a previously rejected or disliked veggie when it was offered with a favorite reduced-fat herb dip compared to when it was offered alone.

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Toddler-Friendly Finger Foods

by in Kid-Friendly, April 27, 2013

dried apples
My 22-month-old, Hudson, is a great eater as far as I’m concerned. But that doesn’t mean he won’t dive into a bag of Goldfish crackers and devour them all. It takes a certain amount of effort to offer our little ones snacks that are nutrient rich and likeable.  Sure, its easy to fall into the rut of Cheerios, cookies and crackers and there is a place for all of this in a balanced diet. I also believe our kids learn to like the foods we give them regularly. So try these healthy snacks out for size and your little one will benefit from the added nutrition a cracker doesn’t always have.

  • Beans: Like a Cheerio, beans are a great, packable, finger food. Having a cabinet full of canned beans like chickpeas and black beans is as simple as being stocked up on cereal. Pop open a can, rinse the beans and offer them as part of a meal or packaged in a baggie as a snack for on-the-go. Packed with fiber, protein and lots of nutrients this is a no-brainer. Plus, soft beans like cannellini are easy on gums.
  • Dried Fruit: A great alternative to fruit snacks, dried fruits like apples and cherries are a tasty finger food that have a good shelf life, pack easily and of source are loaded with antioxidants and nutrition. Look for no or low-sugar options. Read more