Are you tired of prepping healthy foods – carving lots of time from your already-packed schedule – only to have it rejected by your kids? Are you always begging them to eat just one more bite of broccoli? Well, worry no more! Here are some kid-friendly recipes that offer a healthy balance of protein, veggies, carbs, and tons of flavor your kids won’t get enough of. Plus, they are quick to whip out in the kitchen!
Turkey Meatballs with Sneaky Veggies
If your kids are like most kids, you must get sneaky for them to eat vegetables – otherwise, they would avoid it. The good thing is, veggies can be added to mixture-type foods like meatballs, and these can give a pleasing texture while providing valuable nutrients.
- 1 pound ground turkey
- ½ cup finely shredded cabbage
- ¼ head cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or potato starch
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon ground turkey
- Optional: barbeque sauce and fresh basil leaves
(Makes 6 servings)
- Preheat oven up to 400 degrees.
- Put cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer into a large bowl.
- Add potato starch (or cornstarch), cabbage, vinegar, salt, dried basil, and pepper into the bowl.
- Add the ground turkey and mix lightly but thoroughly.
- Scoop with wet hands or an ice cream scoop. Shape them into 1 1/2-inch balls.
- Prepare your baking pan and grease it. Place the meatballs.
- Bake for 20-24 minutes or until cooked through.
- If you want to, toss with barbeque sauce and top it with fresh basil.
Bacon and Swiss Chicken Sandwiches
Bacon? Chicken? Swiss Cheese? Sandwiches? Sign us up! Your kids will surely love this healthier take on the typical fast-food burgers and sandwiches.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
- 2 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
- ¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
- Lettuce leaves
- Tomato slices
(Makes 4 servings)
- Take a small bowl and mix mayonnaise, honey, and mustard. Set aside.
- Pound chicken with a meat mallet to ½-inch thickness.
- Sprinkle seasoning on the chicken.
- Grill chicken over medium heat or broil four inches from heat until a thermometer reads 165 degrees. During the last one minute of cooking, top with a slice of Swiss cheese. Set aside.
- Grill buns over medium heat until toasted.
- Serve chicken on buns with sauce mixture, bacon, and lettuce, and tomato.
Easy Chicken Ramen Soup
Here’s a better-for-you version of a packaged and sodium-laden ramen soup. If your kids love slurpable noodles, they would love this easy chicken ramen recipe that will take their usual ramen soup to new heights of deliciousness.
- 3 packs ramen noodles, flavor packets discarded
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or sliced
- 2 soft-boiled eggs
- ½ cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
- ½ bunch green onions, chopped
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Sesame seeds
For scallion sesame oil:
- ¼ cup sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chili paste or chili sauce
- ½ bunch green onions, chopped
(Makes 3 servings)
- In a small bowl, combine the three ingredients for the scallion sesame oil.
- Heat sesame oil in a medium-sized soup pot. Add some garlic and ginger. Sauté until fragrant.
- Add chicken stock, chicken, soy sauce, mushrooms, and green onions, and bring to a boil. Add the three packages of ramen noodles and boil for two minutes.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds over the soup and place the soft-boiled eggs in the bowl. Serve with the scallion sesame oil.
Baked Fish Nuggets
Looking for a new way to get your kids to eat more fish and get their omega 3’s? These yummy, baked fish nuggets will do the trick. Making it with salmon is a super healthy choice because it’s full of protein, omega-3s, antioxidants, potassium, and healthy fats that are great for your kids’ growing bodies.
- 1 lb. center-cut salmon fillets, skinned
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
(Makes 4-6 servings)
- Preheat oven up to 450 degrees.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Rinse the salmon fillet and pat it dry with paper towels. Slice the salmon into 1” thick pieces. Slice horizontally right over the skin and vertically every ½.”
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs.
- In another bowl, combine the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.
- Coat the salmon pieces in the flour mixture and pat to remove extra flour. Dip it into the eggs and then the bread crumbs mixture. Gently press the mixture into the fish.
- Place the breaded salmon fillets onto the baking sheets.
- Lightly drizzle with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until breadcrumbs are crispy and golden brown.
- Serve with ranch, ketchup, or any dip your kids would like.
Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Recipe
Getting meals on the table during the hustle and bustle of a weeknight can be challenging, especially if you want to feed your family a filling and nutritious meal but don’t want to spend an entire evening in the kitchen. You can cook this chicken and broccoli alfredo recipe that tastes great and satiates little hungry tummies within minutes.
- 8 ounces rotini pasta
- 1 pound, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin diagonal slices
- 12 ounces broccoli florets, copped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water.
- In the final three minutes of cooking, add broccoli to the pasta.
- Drain the pasta and broccoli. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Add chicken to skillet and start cooking. Flip chicken over once until they are cooked through, about two minutes per side.
- Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
- Whisk in flour for 1 minute or until lightly browned.
- Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk. Cook while constantly whisking for about 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in heavy cream, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder for 1-2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Add in 1/3 cup of the grated parmesan until well combined. Add more milk if the mixture is too thick.
- Stir in pasta, chicken, and broccoli.
- Serve and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese.