The sun is trying to shine and the warmer weather makes eating healthier that little bit easier. There’s more selection in the supermarkets, kid-friendly fruit and veg are in season and you’re less inclined to reach for the warm comfort food.
Here are three great, healthy, fruit and veg packed meals that your kids will love.
Kids love putting their own food together and this is a great way to create a quick and easy lunch or dinner that gets the kids involved. If you want, you can make your own pitta bread or replace it with a tortilla or halved French stick – white or brown is fine.
First, make the genius hidden-veggie packed tomato sauce. Soften onion, carrot, red pepper and celery in a saucepan until soft. Add in a tin of chopped tomatoes or chopped cherry tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Decant into a blender or use a stick blender to whizz until smooth and every last veggie trace is tomato red.
Pour the sauce into dishes and allow the kids to add it to their pizza as the base. Save any extra for pasta sauce the next day.
Put various other toppings such as sliced mushrooms, sliced courgettes, strips of ham or pineapple in bowls and let the kids top their own pizza.
Finish with grated cheese (or sliced mozzarella), bake and enjoy.
Pasta is a great mid-week meal. It’s quick, can be served with pretty much anything and again leaves the kids in charge. It’s also a great way to batch cook sauces and freeze in portions ready for next time.
Use the genius hidden veggie tomato sauce (see above) and let the kids pick the extras. They can add peppers, mushrooms, pulled chicken, crispy bacon bits, so let them choose their favourites.
Cook their preferred pasta and drain, then add the genius hidden veggie sauce and any other toppings they want and let them toss it all together. A big bowl is great here, with a big spoon or spatula to mix their concoction.
Then serve and sprinkle with cheese if they wish.
If you know your child will only eat the hidden veggie sauce on pasta without any toppings, then don’t be afraid to add in more veggies to the basic sauce. Mushrooms, spinach, corn, cooked butternut squash, simply add in and whizz anything you have. If possible, stick to sweeter tasting veg and add a touch of honey or pineapple juice for sweetness if needed.
Smoothies are a great way to get kids to eat fruit and top up their dairy intake. By freezing them into lollies you can get the best of both worlds, a great dessert and a sneaky injection of fruit.
First, pick fruit you know your child likes or flavours or colours you know they like. If you know they love purple, but only like apples, take some beetroot and add a couple of slices to chopped apple and add a small amount of apple juice or water. Leave for a while until it’s taken on the colour. Then simple add to the blender with a banana, natural yogurt and a squeeze of honey. Once whizzed, pour into lolly moulds and freeze.
You can use any fruit or veggie combination you like and don’t be afraid to mix the two. Simply blend with natural yogurt until smooth and then freeze.