It can be tough to find meals that kids love, are healthy, and don’t take lots of time to prepare. Many families have at least one fussy eater in their ranks who may need some persuading when it comes to fruit and veg! To mix up your weekly food plan, here are five healthy meal ideas that kids will love – each one is packed with sneaky extra veggies and whole grains.
Homemade Egg-Fried Rice
This protein-packed recipe is perfect for everyone from toddlers to tweens! There are two secrets to nailing egg-fried rice: cook the rice in advance and rinse with cold water to cool (this gets rid of the starch, meaning it’s less likely to stick to the pan); you’ll also want to push the rice to the edge of the frying pan before adding the beaten egg. That way you can scramble the egg, making sure it’s mostly cooked, before stirring in to the rice.
Throw in some frozen peas and spring onions and that’s your basic egg-fried rice sorted. You could also make this with brown rice to up the whole grains and add fibre. Top with smoked tofu or prawns for a quick and easy dinner.
Courgette and Avocado Pouches
This recipe is as yummy as it is simple. You’ll need several courgettes, a red onion, and some sunflower seeds.
Firstly, dice the courgette and onion into small chunks. Sprinkle with a handful of the sunflower seeds and drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper before baking for around 15 minutes at 180°C.
While that’s cooking, dice the avocado and toast some wholemeal pittas. Take the courgette out of the oven and mix in the avocado while it’s still warm. Chop the pittas in half and you have a tasty, quick dinner that’s also good for lunchboxes.
This weeknight staple is a great way to get kids eating fish while keeping things quick and easy. It only needs a handful of fresh ingredients as well as some store-cupboard staples.
Take two cans of tuna and drain them, setting the liquid aside for later. Add to a bowl with a handful of breadcrumbs and half a cup of spring onions or chives. Add a teaspoon of mustard, a splash of tabasco, and salt and pepper for flavour.
Taste before adding one beaten egg and a tablespoon of the liquid from the tuna. Shape into patties and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side.
These go really well with sweet potato: you could bake them as a side or bring a bit of fun to their plate with McCain’s Sweet Potato Smiles.
Always a crowd pleaser, there are lots of ways to make this dish into a healthy dinner.
Instead of frying everything, bake the chicken and veggies on several trays in the oven. Pepper, onion, and even mushrooms taste really great when roasted and you won’t have to use as much oil.
The juice from the chicken will also add extra flavour to the vegetables making them irresistible to even the fussiest of eaters!
Complete your healthy supper by opting for wholegrain instead of wheat wraps.
It can be hard for a Quorn-based bolognese to live up to its meaty cousin in terms of flavour. The secret to a fantastic veggie bolognese? Use falafel instead of Quorn.
Start by gently frying some red onion. Add some finely diced courgette and mushroom to the pan and let it simmer while you grate a carrot.
Complete your sauce by adding the grated carrot, a handful of cherry tomatoes, and a can of chopped tomatoes.
Turn up the heat and drop the falafel into the sauce. They’ll fall apart gradually after cooking for about 10 minutes, but if not, give them a helpful prod!
The result is something that looks and tastes like a beautiful bolognese, but that’s vegetarian, low in fat, and packed with vegetables.