One of the things I find most challenging as a mama is finding healthy things to make that my kids will eat and I feel good about feeding them…and that don’t take eight hours to make and are filled with exotic ingredients that are hard to find and cost an arm and a leg. Nowhere is this challenge more evident for me than in packing lunch for my kiddos for preschool/daycare. Our school is wonderful and does have a school lunch option but for a myriad of reasons, we’ve always packed lunch for them. One of my favorite little things to include are these Apple Zucchini Toddler Muffins. Adapted from a recipe by Super Healthy Kids, these tiny muffins pack a pretty good nutritional punch and they are super easy to make. Win! …
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve commiserated with friends about the challenges of cooking for kids. I’m not talking about technical cooking skills here – most of us can manage the ins and outs of classic kid foods. Rather, I’m interested in how to balance making healthy, tasty food that kids and adults will want to eat. I don’t want to be a short order cook and I want my kids to eat food that pushes beyond macaroni and cheese and pizza. Lane and I are both busy working moms and our kids range in age from 9 months to high school so our kid culinary needs are widely varied. In putting together this week’s Good Food Reads, I wanted to find a collection of recipes that would be useful for moms with kids of all ages. To make it a little easier, I’ve broken down the recipes by (loose) age groups. There are recipes for young kids, families, and recipes to cook with your kids! Do you have a favorite recipe that is a surefire hit with kids? Let us know! We’d love to share it here.
For Babies and Toddlers:
Pregnancy Smoothie (and the whole Smoothie Project) from Weelicious. Are you guys familiar with the Smoothie Project? Catherine, the genius behind the go-to cooking with kids site Weelicious, features a daily smoothie on her Instagram and has a cool PDF with mix and match options for healthy smoothies the whole family will love. I loved this pregnancy smoothie – and it’s perfect for the whole family.
An easy finger food for older babies, Barley Banana Protein Pancakes have only four simple ingredients and are quickly whipped up in a blender. Yum!
My oldest child was a bit of a picky eater when first starting table foods. These Toddler Muffins were a lifesaver and he always devoured them. They are so easy to make and freeze well. Highly recommend!
I’m hoping to try these Sweet Potato, Spinach and Chick Pea Patties from Annabel Karmel. I love that it doesn’t shy away from big flavors and packs in plenty of nutrition!
My youngest is proving to be an adventurous eater and I’m excited to try these Mini Chicken and Carrot Meatballs for Baby this weekend. They should be perfect for the freezer, too.
Sweet Potato, Lentil, and Cheddar Croquettes are a great option for baby led weaning and are full of nutrients. Make a double batch and pop the extras in the freezer for later!
My son refused to eat eggs until just a few months ago but my daughter is absolutely in love with scrambled eggs. This Veggie Eggy Orzo is next on my list of finger foods to try for her! I love the simple ingredients and whole wheat orzo.
There’s no easier way to get veggies into picky kids than with pasta sauce! I love this recipe for 5 Vegetable Pasta Bolognese.
These dumplings would be great for older kids and families alike: Ricotta Spinach Dumplings.
Ok, so these are not the healthiest option, but they are an easy treat you can absolutely make with younger kids! We all need dessert sometimes, right? Check out our very own Peanut Butter Cup Bars.
Good For the Whole Family:
Cooking for Kids doesn’t have to mean making separate meals. I love these simple Mashed Sweet Potato Bowls, Two Ways for a quick and easy way to make a healthy meal for all ages.
And because I can’t do a Good Food Reads without a good one pot dish: One Pan Pesto Chicken and Brown Rice. Perfect for cooking for kids and adults!
Finally, what kid (or grownup?) doesn’t love crispy chicken? Check out these Panko Crusted Chicken Drumsticks. They’ve got tons of flavor and crunch and a honey mustard dipping sauce sure to please the pickiest eater.
Well friends, that’s it for this week’s Good Food Reads: Cooking with Kids. How’d we do? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!