The challenge of preparing food for children cannot be overstated. There are a lot of things to consider especially when kids are easily distracted and could be picky eaters. It is tricky to ascertain which type of food that your kid prefers as it is a process to be dealt with until they are of a certain age. It is important to introduce a balanced diet early in life and make a habit of it. This would determine their overall wellbeing and will do wonders for their mind, fitness, and skin. Parents, take note: you are what you eat. The good news is that you can actually make your kids’ taste buds adapt to the food you prepare as you expose them to a variety of flavors they will come to appreciate. All it would take is a hint of creativity.
Though, before coming up with healthy meal recipes for your kids, it’s important to keep in mind the following:
- Don’t force your kids to eat more when they don’t want to. As adults, they know their own level of hunger that you should respect.
- To manage expectations and to actually know when they will be hungry, stick to a schedule of mealtimes. You can adjust the schedule if they are constantly hungry before or after the set time.
- Offer a variety of meals during the day and over the week. This will keep them interested and really enjoy their meal.
Of course, more than the deliciousness of the meal, its ‘healthiness’ is what truly matters. It’s common for parents to look for kid-friendly plant-based meals to meet this but they’re also concerned about the possibility that these meals have insufficient nutrients. Well, there’s nothing to worry about because there are many resources available to plan out a healthy diet for your kids. To give you a hand, here are some nutritious meal recipes for your kids.
Baking Powder Biscuits with Almonds
This is ideal for beginner bakers and first-time parents since it’ll only take 20 minutes to prepare and six basic ingredients. The recipe calls for whole-wheat flour but would also work with gluten-free flour mixes. Add a jam or nut butter and it’ll be ready for your kid to enjoy.
- 1 cup plant-based milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup almond meal
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Combine plant-based milk and vinegar in a glass. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Mix the pastry flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the soured milk to the dry ingredients, and then mix until all ingredients moistened. Avoid over-stirring.
- Drop dough by big spoonfuls onto a nonstick baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until it’s lightly browned.
Eggless Egg Sandwich
This vegan egg sandwich is easy to make and tastes similar to an egg. Your kids will surely enjoy this because not only it is tasty but also has a good amount of protein. This would be perfect for a simple breakfast, a picnic, or any family bonding time.
For the ‘Yolk’:
- 2 heaped tablespoons of dried instant mashed potatoes, dehydrated flakes, or powder. The ratio of water versus the potato flakes or powder that you find may differ depending on the brand.
- 7 tablespoons hot water (check if a little bit more is needed)
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon black salt
- 3/4 teaspoon egg replacer
- 1 teaspoon vegan butter
- 1 teaspoon sunflower or canola oil (using olive oil would alter the taste)
For the ‘Egg White’:
- 12.3-ounce pack of firm silken tofu
- 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
- A sprinkle of fresh chopped chives
- Freshly ground pepper
To Make the ‘Egg Yolk’:
- Make up the mashed potato mix, add margarine, and other ingredients. Mash until consistency resembles a hard-boiled egg yolk.
- Mix ‘yolk’ mix well, place in freezer for 15-20 minutes, and then remove from the freezer.
To Make the ‘Egg White’:
- Crumble the tofu into a clean bowl and then add the mayonnaise.
- Mix gently, then spoon in the ‘yolk’ mix. Mix this gently until the ‘yolk’ is covered with mayonnaise.
- Refrigerate mix for 1 to 2 hours before serving it.
- Spoon onto fresh bread and enjoy! It’s recommended to use the freshest and tastiest wholegrain bread and the best possible brand of vegan mayonnaise.
Sweet Potato Enchiladas
This is an incredibly simple recipe because you only need to swap meat for sweet potatoes and then sprinkle with cheese before throwing it in the oven. The preparation can be made more fun since you can have your kids help you roll up the tortillas and put them in the casserole dish. This can certainly win your kids’ hearts. After all, who doesn’t love enchiladas?
- 4-6 ten-inch flour tortillas / 8-10 six-inch tortillas
- 1 16oz can black beans, drained
- 1 large or 2 small sweet potato
- 2 16 ounce cans of enchilada sauce of your choice
- 2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
- 2-3 tablespoons cajun seasoning
- Sour cream for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and then peel sweet potatoes.
- Dice and throw them into a large skillet on medium heat.
- Cook sweet potato for about 10 minutes until it becomes tender. Add a bit of cajun seasoning.
- Add the black beans and continue to cook. Stir frequently.
- Once tender and cooked through, start placing the mixture inside tortillas.
- Roll up the tortillas and place either in a 9×9 pan (for 4 ten-inch tortillas) or a 9×13 pan (if using smaller tortillas).
- Cover enchiladas with both cans of sauce.
- Top with cheese and place in the oven for about 20 minutes. The cheese should be bubbly. Then, serve with sour cream.
These are only some of the healthy, easy-to-make plant-based meals for kids which they will certainly love. Continue exploring new ways to cook to satisfy your kids’ cravings. Plus, it wouldn’t hurt to talk to them about what they prefer. It’d be great to work with them in the kitchen as well so you can strengthen your bond as a family.