As many parents know, getting children to eat well is one of the major challenges of parenthood. All too often, we end up cooking two different meals; one for adults and one for the kids, which not only creates more work but can also send the wrong message to children.
Getting kids interested in cooking and baking early is one way to tackle this, as well as to have fun together as a family and make something delicious that everyone feels part of creating!
Here are some ideas for healthy family recipes that taste great and are fun to make:
For the ultimate in healthy, warming comfort food, get your kids to help whip up a chicken noodle soup. This is not only packed with nutritious lean protein, but you can also add a wide range of veggies to make sure the family gets their five a day. Try adding carrots, broccoli, kale or mangetout as a good way to include your kids’ favourite veggies and sneak in a few new ones.
Another sure-fire way to sneak veg into your family’s diet is spaghetti and meatballs. This great recipe keeps the kids entertained rolling the meatballs (made with beef mince and sausage meat) and includes courgettes, which can be blended into a tomato-based sauce so that there are no complaints when you serve up. You can even add other greens such as spinach or broccoli to up the veggie credentials.
If you want something a little more adventurous, try these delicious Mexican fajitas, which include colourful peppers along with meat, tomatoes and delicious seasoning. This recipe uses chicken breast – usually a winner with kids – but you can substitute the chicken for pork, steak, prawns or tofu, depending on your family’s preferences. If your children are a bit older, get them involved in chopping the veg. You can also put different toppings in bowls to choose from, including grated cheese, sour cream, avocado and salsa, to make building the fajitas lots of fun and allow kids to make their own choices.
If you fancy baking with your kids but want to try something that will keep them fuller for longer, oaty flapjacks are a great option. These sweet treats combine delicious maple syrup with lots of oats and pecan nuts, meaning that one flapjack will fill even the hungriest tummy. They’re easy and fun to make, so get the children weighing ingredients for some numbers practice, and then stirring up a storm before popping them in the oven.
For the ultimate in child-friendly recipes, you can’t beat chocolate crispy treats. These classic goodies combine just two ingredients – melted chocolate and rice crispies (or you can substitute cornflakes) making them easy for kids to make themselves, with an adult on hand to supervise the chocolate melting. With Easter coming up, turn them into mini nests by using shredded wheat and adding chocolate eggs to the top of the treats – a perfect family treat or gift for family and friends.
These simple recipes are a great way to get your children interested in cooking and baking. Here are some more places to look for family-friendly recipes: