Healthy Meals For Children
As a parent, you are probably well aware of the importance of preparing healthy meals for your children on a daily basis. Nutritious meals for children mean that they are high in vitamins, minerals, protein, carbs, fats, fiber, iron, calcium and other essential nutrients. Therefore, all healthy children meals should consist of a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meat, dairy products, whole grains, cereals, seeds, nuts, eggs and so on. However, most children turn their noses up at a bowl of nutrient-packed vegetables. If your child reaches out for a bar of chocolate instead of fresh fruits, he or she is no different from most other children.
This does not mean that you cannot get your child to eat healthy food willingly. All you need to do is incorporate a few innovative ideas for children meals into your child’s daily diet. There are several meal ideas and suggestions on healthy meals or children who are fussy. You can prepare pizzas, pastas, burgers, wraps, rolls, French fries, and so on for your child, using healthy ingredients and cooking methods. There are numerous children meals recipes that you can use, to ensure that your child gets the desired intake of nutrients, and also enjoys the meal at the same time.
Breakfast Meals For Children
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as it gives your child the energy he needs to perform his day to day activities. Studies also show that children, who eat a wholesome breakfast every day, perform better at school. Some may find preparing breakfast meals for children quite a task however, given below is a recipe for young children:
Recipe For English Muffin Pizzas
- 2 English muffins
- 1 Hard-boiled egg, cut into slices
- 4 Slices of tomato
- ¼ Cup grated mozzarella cheese
- ½ Teaspoon oregano
- Olive Oil
- Cut the English muffins into halves and toast it, till it is golden-brown on both the sides.
- Place the toasted English muffin half on a cookie sheet and drizzle each half with a bit of olive oil.
- Place a tomato slice and then the hard-boiled egg slices, so that it resembles a pizza.
- Sprinkle some cheese and oregano, before baking the pizza for around 4 minutes, or till the cheese melts.
- You could also add mushrooms, chicken, olives, corm or other healthy ingredients to this pizza, if your child is alright with it.
Children Meals At School
You could continue providing nutritional meals for your children, by packing him a healthy and wholesome lunch from home. Given below is a healthy recipe that is quite easy to prepare and is a favorite, with many children.
Recipe For (Oven) Fried Chicken
- 2 Pounds of whole chicken, diced into small pieces
- 1 Cup mayonnaise
- ½ Teaspoon paprika
- 1 Teaspoon dry thyme
- 1 Teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Cup breadcrumbs
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1 Teaspoon black pepper powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take a medium bowl and mix the paprika, thyme, garlic powder, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
- Dip the chicken pieces on mayonnaise, till each piece is well coated.
- Place the chicken pieces in the bowl and mix them well, with the powdered mixture.
- Make sure that all the pieces of chicken are well coated with the breadcrumb seasoning. Place each piece on a greased baking pan and bake them for around 40 minutes or so. Allow the chicken to cool a bit, before packing it in a lunch box.
Vegetarian Meals For Children
Parents may find preparation of healthy vegetarian meals for children very difficult. However today, several people around the world are turning towards vegetarianism for various reasons. Rest assured that you can prepare nutritionally balanced meals for children, using vegetarian ingredients.
Recipe For Black Bean Burgers
- 1½ Cup black beans (canned or cooked)
- ½ Habanero pepper
- 1½ Cup cooked brown rice
- 1½ Cup chopped onions
- 2 Cloves of garlic
- 1 Piece of ginger, minced
- 2 Teaspoons olive oil
- 2 Teaspoons mayonnaise
- 4 Whole wheat burger buns
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a pan, heat the olive oil and add the chopped onions to it.
- Stir fry the onions for a couple of minutes, till they soften.
- Add the ginger and garlic to the onions and continue frying for a few more minutes.
- In a food processor, chop the fried onion mixture, black beans, pepper and brown rice together.
- Make sure that the ingredients are not pureed.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and add all the seasoning. Shape the mixture into burger patties and pan-fry them, till a crust forms.
- Apply about half a teaspoon of mayonnaise to each burger bun and place the patty in between. You could add a slice of lettuce and tomato, to make it tastier.
Planning Meals For Children
There are several different factors that you should carefully consider when planning meals for your children. One of the most important aspects of a healthy diet is a “balance” and the others focus on moderation, adequacy and variety. Balanced meals for children need to include all of the major food groups, offering a varied range of the nutrients that are essential for optimal health. Therefore, you need to make sure that the healthy meals for children include:
To strike the perfect balance, make sure that one food type or food group does not outweigh the other. For example, the perfect breakfast is divided into three parts. One third should be a protein source like eggs, meat or milk. Another one third should comprise of fruits or vegetables and the final part should include whole grain. Similarly lunch and dinner should contain equal amounts of protein, fruits or vegetables and whole grains.
- Whole grains for carbs, vitamin B, dietary fiber and minerals like selenium as well as magnesium.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables, because they are a rich source of vitamins, potassium, dietary fiber and water.
- Milk and dairy products, as they are very high in protein, Vitamin D, potassium and phosphorus.
- Beans and meat, as they are high in protein, zinc and iron.
Before making any drastic changes to your child’s diet, it is important to you consult a pediatrician and get an approval. It is very important for you to take your child’s food intolerance or allergies into account when planning meals for your child.