Kid friendly healthy food…is there such a thing?

January 30, 2008 at 10:11 pm | Posted in kids | 10 Comments

As you all know, I have two awesome stepchildren and we are fortunate to have them at our house quite a bit.  Fixing dinner for a picky 8 year old and a picky 4 year old who won’t eat anything sissy won’t eat is challenging sometimes.  I have found that Sheridan’s favorite meal is tacos while Will’s is baked ziti.  However, I can’t keep making these same two things over and over again right??  I pretty much do.  If Sheridan doesn’t like what I make, she eats ravioli and Will eats a salad. 

 I want to be able to cook healthy kid friendly fun meals that everyone will enjoy.  We do pizza, we do spaghetti, we do tacos, etc., but I would like some healthy options as well.  Does anyone have any brainiac ideas for me or websites that I can browse to find new recipes? 

I look forward to the responses.  As for tonight, looks like we will be having breakfast for dinner which is another favorite.  Thanks Lorena for reminding me that we all like that as a meal! 



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  1. Check out the books “sneaky veggies” or “Deceptively Delicious.” Each one has “regular” recipes that add extra veggies and such to make them more healthy. Another cookbook that I like for healthy eating is the Eating Well Diabetes cookbook, which I’ve posted about on my blog (I think you even commented).

    See if your library has any of these available or if they can get them on library loan for you. This way you can continue to make the regular foods that they are more likely to eat, but you know that there are extra healthy things in there for them.

    One thing I do is mix whole wheat posta and regular white pasta together. It makes the WW not taste so strong, but you still get some of the beneficial pasta. You can even mix it in with the tri-color rotini and then it just looks like a 4th color!

  2. Oh yes, I’ve been meaning to check out this sneaky veggies book! I need to get on that. Is that what it is actually called?

    We only use wheat pasta at our house already. They never know the diff. 🙂

  3. Woo – a shout-out for me!

    My only suggestion is to get them involved in dinner. Ask them what they want to eat … let them do a whole meal themselves … start buying kids cookbooks – I used to love to look through my cookbooks and pick out something to eat for dinner.

  4. They love to help me cook sometimes, that is for sure. Our Saturday morning breakfasts are a definite routine. 🙂
    I need to maybe take her to the bookstore and let her pick out a kids cookbook with some things in it she might like. Hmm….good idea… 🙂

  5. I think Sheridan is a lost cause :p You shot down every suggestion I had a while ago.

    The problem with The Sneaky Chef (don’t get Deceptively Delicious she just ripped off the Sneaky Chef) is that it pretty much destroys what you’re trying to do. You don’t just want them to eat good food, you want to have them learn to have good eating habits for the rest of their life. Those two books do the exact opposite, they encourage kids to not expand their horizons.

  6. Kudos to you for not giving up on getting healthy foods into the kids. I think many parents don’t want to fight about dinner so they just give up.

    Can you do healthier versions of regular kid food? You could make homemade “chicken nuggets” that you bread and bake like chicken parm (without the cheese). You could let them pick whatever they want but in order to get it they have to eat the same number of bites as their age. Those are my suggestions.


  7. Thanks for all the suggestions guys! 🙂

    I am definitely not giving up on teaching the kids healthy eating habits. I think it can definitely be done – I don’t keep junk in the house – if they want a snack they eat grapes, granola bars, bananas, apples, etc. I’m a mean stepmom. LOL 😉

  8. I eat pasta, pizza and cheese on a regular basis so I am no help! I think a good rule of thumb is to keep the crappy food out of the house and keep healthy food around. Thats how I learned to get use to diet coke. Now its hard for me to drink regular. Out of sight out of mind. Keep up the good work SMILF! 😉

  9. LOL – I’m a mean stepmom, too! I make the girls drink flavored water instead of soda and fruit juice gummies instead of candy bars! I’ll check out my recipies tonight and see what I can find for you.

  10. The reason I think the Sneaky Veggies & DD type books are good is because you can start sneaking the things into regular foods that you already know the kids will eat. Then if/when they ask you what it is, you can tell them the different hidden items in it that made it good. They even have desserts that use veggies and such. I know that for me as a kid, if I ate it first, liked it, and then found out what it was, I’d be more likely to try it again. But if you just handed me a pile of sweet potatoes, no way! I’m not suggesting these types of recipes as a cure all, but just an introduction to different tastes & textures without telling them they have to eat a pile of beets or turnips.

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