Saturday, May 16, 2009

Healthy ideas for Kids

Especially with the variety of grocery and healthfood stores and options that are available, feeding your kids healthy alternatives is so very easy!  Here are a few ideas that we use here often, and a few I found on the internet that we'll be sure to try out too!

1.  Green Monster Shake - I've mentioned it a lot here, but I'll say it again, spinach is sooooo good for you and you CANNOT taste it blended with whatever fruit suits your fancy.  For us, our fruit of choice at the moment happens to be bananas and pineapple!

2.  Almond Butter vs. Peanut Butter - We have switched over from using peanut butter to almond butter.  Yes, it IS more expensive, but it is so much better for you and I think tastes way better than natural peanut butter.  Definitely forgo the processed peanut butters (ie. Jiffy, Peter Pan, etc.) those are loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup!  Whole Foods has their own line of groceries called 365...I was able to find a 16 oz. jar of Almond Butter for around $4.99.  That is a far cry better than what I've found with some of the other name brand butters!

3.  Pizza!!  A kid's all time favorite...however, you CAN make it more nutritious.  Here are our kids two favorites: 

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Ingredients:  Whole Wheat Boboli Crust, BBQ Sauce, Chicken (shredded),
red onion, Reduced Fat Mexican Shredded Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Coat crust with BBQ sauce.  Add cheese, chicken & onion.
Bake until cheese bubbles.

Tomato Basil Pizza

Ingredients:  Whole Wheat Boboli Crust, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper,
Fresh Tomatoes, fresh basil, Mozzarella Shredded Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Brush crust with olive oil.  Add Cheese.
Add sliced thin tomatoes and chopped basil.  Sprinkle with Salt & Pepper.
Bake until cheese bubbles.

4.  Fresh Fruit:  As simple as this seems, many people probably don't keep enough fresh fruit cleaned and ready for little hands to quickly grab at!  On the counter display your latest Farmer's Market produce of apples, oranges, peaches and pears.  In the fridge, have a bowl of freshly washed grapes, strawberries and blueberries!  The more accessible these are to your kids, the more likely they will grab these on the go!

5.  Granola Bars:  There are MANY recipes out there for making your own granola bars.  Here is one that I haven't tried yet, but looks incredibly good.  No HFCS found here!  I bet your kids would even like to get in on the action of making THESE!!!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2 cups oats
3/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup almonds, crushed
3/4 cup honey
4 T butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
approx. 8 oz dried fruit

Mix oats, wheat germ, sunflower and almonds together.  Place on a baking sheet and put into the oven to roast.  Be sure to toss and flip mixture often to prevent it from burning.  While nut mixture is roasting, on the stove top combine honey, butter, vanilla & salt and simmer until it is melted and blended well.

Bring the nut mixture out of the oven and put into a bowl.  Mix in your dried fruit and the honey.  Be careful to mix very well, coating everything since this is the "glue" that holds everything together!  Once it is thoroughly coated, pour into a 11 x 13 baking dish that is lined with wax paper and spread out with a wooden spatula.  With another piece of wax paper pat down everything very VERY HARD since you do not want the bars to fall apart later.  Place in refrigerator to allow to set 2-3 hours.

Once set, bring bars out, and peel back wax paper.  Cut bars into desired size.  At this point you can either individually wrap with Syran Wrap, or throw into a large plastic bag.  ENJOY!

Another option if making granola bars isn't your thing...Cascadian Farms makes a wide variety of granola bars with only organic products and nothing artificial.  Our favorite is the Vanilla's light and sweet, without being TOO sweet!

6.  French Fries:  Who doesn't like french fries???  A great alternative to these American Classics is to use either Sweet Potatoes or even Butternut Squash!  These both have a very similar texture and make incredible fries.  I cut mine into thin wedges, add a touch of curry powder, salt and pepper.  Bake on 425 for 15 min. then flip and do another 15 minutes on the other side.  Add a side of Organic Ketchup...delish!

There are many creative ways to feed your kids healthy, without sacrificing flavor or your kids likability!  I'll have more you have any ideas or recipes that are hits in your family?  Please do share!!!

1 comment:

  1. I have to try the whole wheat Bobolit crust. We usually make our own....whole wheat flour,yeast,sugar and water. Having that crust on hand is a great alternative!