You want your kids to fill up on healthy food, but it can be hard to make them put down the chicken nuggets in favor of more wholesome options. Help even your pickiest eater get the nutrition they need with these healthy versions of three popular kid-friendly recipes: strawberry shakes, cookies and mac and cheese.
After-School Strawberry Shake
Give your kids a healthy pick-me-up with this quick, vitamin C-packed after-school recipe.
Servings | 3
1 pint strawberries
3 whole strawberries
2 medium bananas
½ cup fat-free strawberry or plain yogurt
4 ounces orange juice
1 teaspoon light honey
3 cups ice cubes
1. Begin by hulling the strawberries and cutting the bananas into 1-inch chunks.
2. Then, combine all ingredients except 1½ cup of the ice cubes in a blender. Puree until smooth, then add the remaining ice and continue to blend.
Serve in a glass garnished with a whole strawberry.
Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Keep this healthy, low-sugar cookie recipe on hand for a nutritious burst of energy.
Servings | 24
Canola oil spray
3/4 cup unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant)
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 large egg white
3 tablespoons butter (preferably unsalted), cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 small banana, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Set baking racks in the top and lower thirds of the oven, then preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice in a mixing bowl, then mix in oats, raisins and nuts.
3. Place the egg white, butter and sugar into a blender and puree until smooth, then blend in banana and vanilla. Combine the banana mixture with the dry ingredients until you have stiff, smooth batter.
4. Coat two baking pans or cookie sheets with oil spray, and drop twelve spoonfuls of batter on each sheet. Make sure the cookies at least two inches apart, then flatten them slightly with the back of a wet spoon.
5. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, then swap the position of the pans. Bake for another five to eight minutes or until cookies are golden brown. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool. Store in airtight container for up to one week.
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Whip up this easy weeknight recipe for antioxidant-rich pasta as a wholesome meal or hearty side dish.
Servings | 6
Canola oil cooking spray
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon canola oil
8 ounces whole-wheat rotelle pasta
1 cup low-fat milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sharp light cheddar cheese
1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Coat a six-cup baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Add two tablespoons of Parmesan cheese to breadcrumbs, and toss to combine. Then, use your fingers to mix the oil into the breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Set the mixture aside.
3. In large pot, boil 4 quarts of water. Add pasta and cook until slightly al dente, or for 10 minutes. Drain in the pasta in a colander, and set aside.
4. Heat milk until it steams in the microwave or small saucepan, and set aside. Melt butter over medium heat in large saucepan. Slowly whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Take the saucepan off the heat, and gradually add milk. Avoid lumps by whisking as you pour. Return the saucepan to medium-high heat. Simmer the sauce for about three minutes until it thickens to consistency of stirred yogurt.
5. Add cheddar cheese, remaining Parmesan cheese, pumpkin, mustard, black and cayenne pepper, and nutmeg, and stir until cheddar melts. Stir the cooked pasta into the cheese mixture.
6. Spread mac and cheese in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle seasoned breadcrumbs over the top.
7. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until breadcrumbs are crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately.