Through my journey I have discovered a lot of recipes that are easy, tasty and fun to make. If you are beginning your journey to healthy eating, or that’s a goal of yours, this is the post for you. Start with looking in your cupboards. Begin to notice how much processed foods you have. Take the next step and add whole grain and remove white flours from your diet. Start eating whole foods and lose the processed foods. These little changes are manageable, and quickly add up.
Here are some great meal ideas and healthy eating tips:
- When you’re having pancakes for breakfast make them with whole-wheat flour, spelt or buckwheat, and consider real maple syrup instead of syrup with high fructose corn syrup.
- Add a scoop of nuts and some fresh fruit. For lunch, make your own nuggets. You can bread them with panko or even spelt breadcrumbs. Make a bunch and freeze them for the next time you need a quick meal.
- Instead of yogurt made from milk try coconut yogurt or Greek yogurt plain with fresh fruit.
- For dinner, make a buffet with colorful peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, fresh fish or fish sticks (look for the ones that are actual fish not parts of fish), brown rice.
- Dabble in making soup. Blend some spinach or kale into that split pea soup, the kids will never know!
I have also included some simple healthy treats and recipes that you and your entire family will enjoy:
Ingredients: 1 slice whole-grain bread, 1 spoonful almond butter (soy butter or peanut butter), 1 spoonful 100% fruit jam (no added sugar)
Prep: Cut off the bread crusts. Place the bread on a cutting board and roll it flat with a rolling pin. Spread a thin layer of almond butter, then a thin layer of jam onto bread. Take the long edge of the bread and roll it up. Cut into 4 bite-size pieces, like sushi. Serve them with a side of sliced apples, round carrots or sugar snap peas and extra almond butter to dip
Air Popped Popcorn:
Ingredients: Popcorn kernels, dried cranberries, dried edamame (or raw nuts toasted)
Prep/Serve: Mix all ingredients in a bowl. You can package it in little baggies or in containers so you have it readily available.
Peanut Butter Balls:
Ingredients: 2/3-cup nut butter 2/3-cup honey or agave 3 cups of crunchy low sugar cereal (rice krispies, granola) 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds Prep: Mix all ingredients into a bowl. With hands blend together and roll into walnut size balls. Place in refrigerator or freezer.
Serve: Once cold or frozen
English Muffin or Tortilla Pizza:
Ingredients: Whole wheat, or sprouted English muffin or flat tortilla, marinara sauce, non-dairy cheese (Daiya) or shredded cheese
Toppings – olives, peppers, mushrooms, meatball (or non meat balls – Quorn, Life Smart or Trader Joes)
Prep: Oven 350. Lay out the base on a cookie sheet or plate. Let your child decide what he/she is going to put on it. I prefer letting them use their hands to do this. Put down then cheese, toppings and a little more cheese. Put in oven 15-20 minutes but keep an eye on it some ovens cook faster than others. You can even use a toaster oven to make these.
Serve: Make sure your child gets the one he/she made!
Cookie Cutter Fruit:
Ingredients: Apple, cantaloupe, melon
Prep: Cut fruit into thick round slices, use cookie cutters to make into favorite shapes.
Serve: Serve assorted on a platter so the children can see what they are. You can even make them into a happy face or a person.
Pu Pu Platter:
Ingredients: Peppers, carrots, grape tomato, cucumbers, grapes, apples nuts, beans, whole grain rice crackers
Prep in individual small containers or on a platter, pick our 3 or 4 different ingredients. Make sure to do something you know your child likes, and then vary the rest. I like to place them on a lazy susan so they can turn it to the next thing. Makes snack time fun and independent. Let them pick out their own and either eat it or put it on a small plate.
Sweet Potato Fries
Ingredients: Sweet Potato, coconut oil or olive oil
PREP: Slice potato’s into sticks, you can either leave skin on or take it off. Grease a cookie sheet. Set Oven at 350, cook 15 minutes or a little longer if you think your child would like it a bit crispy.
Kid Friendly Smoothie Ideas:
Banana, spinach (just a few leaves to start) & blend with almond milk.
Banana, strawberries & blend with almond milk
Banana, peanut butter/nut butter & blend with almond milk
Pineapple, kale & blend with almond milk
*If you are looking to add more omega 3’s in, you can add a ground flax seeds to any of these smoothies.
Author: Aimee Elsner, OTR/L
Aimee’s Website: www.HeathandWellnessJunkie.com