Coming up with new meal ideas every day can become stressful and just plain tedious. If you’re looking for creative and healthy meal options for your kids, you have come to the right place. Children are tough to please when it comes to food and often they have their own ideas of what they want to eat. There are a few challenges most parents have to face when it comes to mealtime; some kids won’t eat particular meals because of the way it looks or the texture of the food, others struggle to finish their meals and some children won’t eat at all. There is a trying balance between getting your child to eat and ensuring it’s healthy and nutritious for their overall development – parenting is not for sissies.
During school holidays or perhaps in the evenings when your children have some free time, consider including them in the cooking process. Children are more inclined to eat something they have created, not only will this keep them busy – it’s always good to learn a new skill. Who knows, your child might just be the next Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson.
Fun shaped sandwiches
This is a quick and easy lunch idea and now it doesn’t have to be that boring-old-lunch option anymore, a cookie-cutter is the answer to these fun-shaped sandwiches for your kids. If dinosaurs are the most important thing in your child’s life right now, then find yourself a Tyrannosaurus cookie cutter to make rawr-ingly yummy sandwiches. If the “Let it go” lyrics are on repeat at home then Frozen cookie cutters are the way to go. If you can’t find Elsa or Anna, a snowflake-shaped cookie cutter will do the trick.
Mac and cheese with a twist
Mac and cheese is a definite favourite amongst the younger generation, is it the pasta or that creamy cheesy sauce? With it being a favourite, there is a possibility that it could become quite monotonous after some time – keep in mind that it’s also not the healthiest meal. Here are some ways to overcome those obstacles: use real and not processed cheese, replace processed white flour with whole wheat flour to thicken your cheese sauce, swap out your traditional macaroni noodles with whole wheat ones. And lastly, add vegetables to your mac and cheese, hide them here and there for a healthy alternative.
Wraps are easy to make and are nothing less than delicious. And how could I forget, they are versatile too because you can add just about anything to a wrap: chicken, beef, lamb or just opt for a vegetable alternative. In line with our healthy theme, meat-free options are always a great thing to have. Here are some ingredients you can possibly add: carrots, cucumber, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, avo, olives – add humus or mayo to bring it all together. You can also replace normal flour wraps with whole wheat ones for a healthier option.
Tacos are a fun way to involve your kids in cooking tasks, get your children to help you chop the tomato for the salsa, or mush avo for the guacamole. If you purchase your taco shells already made, all you need to do is heat them up in the oven. For the filling, you can choose what you like best, chicken strips, beef mince or a meatless version. The toppings are endless too: cheese, sour cream, sweetcorn, tomato, that’s up to you.
It’s a four-letter word
You guessed it, it’s soup! Children who are reluctant to eat soup might be swayed with the mention of alphabet soup. Those little pasta letters are a great way to add substance to an ordinary soup and will make your kids beyond excited for lunchtime. As winter approaches, I can’t think of anything better than a warm bowl of soupy goodness. Chicken soup for that much-needed penicillin, vegetable soup for your daily dose of nutrients, the list goes on.
Homemade burgers with sweet potato chips
Using lean or extra lean mince, build your own burger patties. If you are looking for a meat-free alternative you can make vegetable patties too. Chop up your tomato, onion, lettuce and gherkins, place them all in little bowls. Grab your condiments and let the burger building begin – your kids are sure to love this! And of course, since we’re trying to keep things more nutritional, swap out your regular fries for some sweet potato chips.
Now that you are equipped with your recipe ideas, go out, grab your ingredients and get cooking! Making healthy, nutritious food has never sounded so good.