Cooking for kids can be fun at times — and frustrating at times — so I thought I'd round up a few of my favorite kids' recipes. These are all loaded with healthy ingredients, and are easy to prepare, so you can get your kids to help out. Why is that important? Getting your kids in the kitchen
might help improve your chances of getting them to try some new and healthy foods. Be sure to choose age-appropriate recipes for your younger cooks, and make sure you supervise them as they learn to use kitchen utensils and appliances.
This is a unique and delicious applesauce recipe. What makes it so special? The apples are roasted instead of boiled, so they have an extra-rich flavor. The recipe only needs a bit of honey and cinnamon to bring out the flavor. This is also good for kids who are old enough to use knives and a cutting board. Younger kids might be able to help if you have an apple peeler and corer (compare prices
is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, plus it's low in saturated fat. These salmon patties have a hint of Asian flavor, and they make an interesting alternative to greasy burgers. Only the scallions need to be chopped, so younger kids can help out mixing ingredients and forming the patties. They're fried in olive oil
, which is rich in monounsaturated fats. They can be made from leftover salmon or from canned salmon. If you use the canned version, you might want to read the label — some salmon has bones and skin in it that might not work so well for this recipe.
Rice Crispy Treats have been a favorite snack for decades, but they're usually loaded with sugar. These rice crispy treats are made with peanut butter and brown rice syrup instead of marshmallows, and there are only four ingredients, and they're easy to make. You could try using almond butter for a different flavor — both peanut butter and almond butter
are good sources of monounsaturated fats and protein.
These deliciously low-fat chicken nuggets are baked instead of deep-fried, so there's very little added fat. There is some cutting involved, and it's a good time to teach kids some important food safety practices
about keeping raw chicken and used knives and cutting boards away from foods that are ready to serve.
You may have an easier time getting kids to eat raw vegetables if you give them something tasty to serve, such as a dip. Hummus is made from chick peas and sesame seed paste (tahini), so it's rich in healthy fats, fiber and protein. You can use peanut butter in place of the tahini in this About.com Cooking for Kids version if your kids don't care for sesame flavor. This is another easy recipe, and it's a great way to introduce kids to the food processor (compare prices
). Hummus can also be served with pita bread, baked chips or crackers.
Here's a strawberry salad with spinach and a deliciously sweet and tangy dressing made with honey and mustard. Spinach
is an excellent source of antioxidants in the form of vitamins and phytochemicals, plus it's rich in iron. Strawberries have lots of vitamin C, some fiber and more phytochemicals, so this is truly a superfood salad. It's also kind of fun to shake the jar when you make the dressing.