Whether you’ve got a fussy eater or adventurous eater at home, these three kid-approved (and healthy) recipes are sure to make their taste buds happy. So grab your kiddo and head to the kitchen to whip up something delicious that you know is healthy and not filled with toxic, unhealthy ingredients:
1. Homemade Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is packed with protein, iron, folic acid, B vitamins and fiber. Peanut butter is also high in healthy monounsaturated fats, the type of fats that are good for heart health. The healthiest peanut butter, however, is the homemade variety, made without hydrogenated oils and trans-fats. Just two tablespoons of peanut butter contains 28 percent of recommended dietary allowance of protein for kids under 10, according to Livestrong.com nutrition experts, making it a great protein source. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends this food for picky eaters. Simply spooning some peanut butter on organic apples, veggies, and crackers is an easy way to get your fussy eater to try new foods.
Making peanut butter at home isn’t difficult. You only need two ingredients and it takes about 10 minutes to whip up.
Supplies: Bowl, mixing spoon, storage container, measuring spoons and cups, and food processor.
- 1 tablespoon organic peanut oil
- 1 ½ cups of organic unsalted peanuts
- First, mix the peanut oil and peanuts, then, pour the mixture into a food processor. Continue to process the mixture until it’s smooth.
- After your peanut butter is smooth and to your liking, store the peanut butter in a sealed container and place it in the refrigerator.
For Chunky Peanut Lovers: Set aside a quarter of the peanuts to add after the majority of the nuts and oil are fully combined. Mix the remaining unsalted peanuts to the food processor at the end for added texture. Process for a few seconds until you reach the desired consistency.
Both of these recipes yield up to 12 servings and keep for up to two weeks when stored in the refrigerator.
2. Turkey Jerky
Good, healthy jerky is very lean, low in fat and high in protein. However, many store-bought varieties contain large amounts of sodium, preservatives, chemical additives, and are just plain unhealthy. Jerky quality varies and depends on the preservation technique as well as the type of meat that’s used. If your kiddos love snacking on this meaty treat, make your own jerky using a personal food dehydrator. (Check at yard sales and/or thrift shops for great deals on food dehydrators).
Use a resource like EatWild.com to find local, fresh-off-the-farm meats, like organic and/or natural turkey, to make this kid-approved snack.
Supplies: Mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, food dehydrator, waxed paper, rolling pin, and baking trays.
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons grated onion
- 1 tablespoon organic Liquid Amino Soy sauce or Coconut Amino
- 1 tablespoon organic Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon organic maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon organic extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 pound truly natural or organic ground turkey
- Begin by mixing all of your ingredients in a bowl, minus the ground turkey. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes.
- Wash hand thoroughly — washing your hands together is a healthy and safe lesson for kiddos new to the kitchen. Add the ground turkey and mix it in with the other ingredients.
- Lay out a sheet of your waxed paper for a working surface. Scoop a quarter of the jerky mixture out onto the surface.
- Use a second sheet of waxed paper over it and roll the turkey out with a rolling pin.
- Once evenly rolled, remove the sheet and place one dehydrator tray on top of the jerky and flip the entire thing over, this should make for a smooth, easy transfer.
- Patch up any holes by adding more raw turkey.
Dehydrate your turkey for four to six hours at 155 degrees. Check on it after four hours. The jerky should be fully dried and chewy but not crunchy. When the turkey jerky is dry, transfer it to a baking tray and cook for 10 minutes in the oven at 250 degrees. This final step ensures that your turkey jerky is fully cooked and safe to eat.
Although your kids may scoff at salad, this protein-packed salad, made with quinoa, apricots and pistachios, might just change their attitude about “salad.” Made with nutty quinoa, it is gluten-free and packed with protein, potassium, iron and zinc.
Supplies: Large mixing bowl, large saucepan, mixing spoon, and measuring cups and spoons.
- 3 cups of water
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 4 cups sliced romaine lettuce
- ⅓ cup dried apricots
- ⅓ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup shelled pistachios
- ¼ cup sliced green onions
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- First, combine the water, salt and quinoa in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and then reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes.
- Combine the quinoa with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss until fully combined.
- Top with your favorite organic vinaigrette dressing for added flavor or make your own favorite homemade salad dressing. This recipe packs 10 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber per serving.