When you have kids you are often faced with a bit of a dilemma; you’re pressed for time and they need to be fed. Additionally, there is the challenge of making something they will actually like and which is good for them as well.
Here are five ideas for quick and easy meals for kids:
Blueberry Banana Pancakes
Your first thought is that making pancakes in the morning doesn’t fall into the “quick and easy” category. Actually you can make your pancakes ahead of time. Simply cook your pancakes and let them cool. Stack the pancakes using waxed paper to separate them and place in the freezer. You can reheat them quickly in the oven, toaster or even in the microwave. Top with fresh blueberries and bananas and you are good to go.
Blueberries are a superfood and are rich in antioxidants, potassium, vitamins C and B6, fibre and folate. Bananas are a really good source of potassium and magnesium.
Adding a sugar-free syrup adds to the taste without counteracting the healthy parts.
Fried rice has long been a kid favorite as well as one of the more popular takeaway menu items on apps like Hungry House. Fried rice is easy to make at home as well, especially when you have leftover rice as day old rice is one of the “secrets” to great fried rice. Simply heat some vegetable oil (only use a couple of tablespoons) in a very hot wok or skillet, add a small amount of soy sauce, some peas and carrots and you have a very quick and easy meal. You can add some protein by adding a bit of chicken, fish, or beef, or by mixing in an egg.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Another kid favorite has to be spaghetti and meatballs. Fortunately, it can also be a healthy meal as well a meal that fast and easy to cook. Most pre-packaged sauces diminish the healthy properties found in tomatoes (vitamins C, K, A, and B6, potassium, manganese, and copper). Most of these sauces also contain a lot of salt and additives. The best way to serve a healthy sauce is to make your own. Fresh tomatoes are best, but organic canned tomatoes work well. Add a bit of olive oil, garlic, red onion, and spices such as oregano, garlic, and basil and let it simmer for a couple of hours.
Ground turkey meatballs are healthier, but extra lean beef works as well.
When your sauce and meatballs are ready, freeze any that you don’t plan to use straightaway so you can whip up another meal another day for the kids in no time. Finally, consider using whole grain pasta.
The reigning kid’s favorite meal has to be pizza, and one that perennially ranks near the top of the takeaway popularity charts as well. Pizza has a fairly bad reputation when it comes to being a healthy meal choice. However one of the great things about pizza is that you can top your pizza with almost anything that you can imagine, especially if you are making your own.
You can find pre-made frozen and packaged pizza bases in most supermarkets. Frozen dough is usually available as well, but that takes away a bit from the “quick and easy” part. The healthiest choice is to go with a thin, whole-wheat base.
For the sauce organic, low-salt tomato sauce is a good choice.
As for the other ingredients, give your kids lots of options, perhaps going so far as to suggest a couple of vegetables.
Letting the kids construct their own pizza is a great way to get them involved. Of course, how “quick and easy” this will be is highly dependent on their age, especially when it comes to clean-up!
No list of kids’ favorites would be complete without including burgers. Instead of regular burgers, try spicy black bean burgers. They have the right look and texture, and many kids will probably the spicy taste. Surprisingly, younger kids might not even notice the switch and won’t realise that they are actually eating something that is really healthy.
There you go, five quick and easy (and healthy) kid’s meals. There is one additional point we should make; adults will like them all too!