Tag Archive for healthy foods for kids

Outstanding Oatmeal, Inexpensive and Delicious!

Oatmeal is amazing. It’s delicious, inexpensive, warm, nourishing, and filling. Making oatmeal for my kids is much less expensive than using processed cereal and it’s also a whole food that I can choose what I add to. Click here to read about some of oatmeal’s many health benefits.

Oatmeal can be made in tons of different flavors just like the boxed instant oatmeals, but when you add your own wholesome ingredients, it’s so much better for you and you know what goes in it is pure. It’s truly one of my favorite breakfasts. My kids LOVE my oatmeal as well. And I know it’s good for them.

oatmeal for kids

I buy my oats in bulk from Honeyville grain. This saves me money but I also love that their food is just pure ingredients. I know they do not have gluten contamination in their oats which is a concern if I have someone over who is gluten intolerant. Also, the shipping is inexpensive. Since I generally purchase 25 or 50 pounds, I want to save as much as possible on shipping. Theirs is a flat rate of $4.99 no matter how heavy your order is. That’s my kind of deal.

To start making my oatmeal, I first put the old fashioned rolled oats in a pan with some water and let it soak over night. Soaking helps the grain be more easily digested and it also helps it cook faster in the morning when I am in a rush to get the kids something great to eat.

homemade flavored oatmeal

kids eating healthy oatmeal

For 6 servings of oatmeal, which feeds me and my 7 kids a toddler portion each, I soak 2 1/4 cups of old fashioned rolled oats in 4 cups of water. When I get up in the morning, I add 1/2 cup of raw sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, and 2 Tablespoons of butter. I turn the burner on high and stir while I bring the mixture to a boil. Once it is boiling rapidly, I turn off the heat, put the lid on the pan, and let it set until breakfast time (about 20 mintues).

You can flavor your oatmeal by using maple syrup in place of the raw sugar, adding fruit or berries while it is cooking, dropping in a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter and a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder, or just the peanut butter if you prefer. If you are not allergic to cinnamon like me, you could add a teaspoon of cinnamon to most of those combinations. Use your imagination and you can come up with some delicious combos.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy oatmeal?

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Playful Pinwheels-Cooking with KIDS!

Pinwheels, cooking with kids

Making pinwheels is a great activity for kids to do. Cooking with kids is fun and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Letting kids prepare their own food builds self-esteem, self-help skills, fine motor skills, social skills, and gives them a sense of accomplishment. Kids who prepare food are much more likely to want to try new and healthy things. Click here to see more benefits of cooking with kids.

Usually when a new child enters my program, whether they are a picky eater or not, at first they don’t try many new foods they haven’t seen before. Once we begin to build trust, they may try a few more things, but after we begin preparing food together, the kids really branch out and try more and more things. Introducing a new food takes some patience. You have to offer a food 11 times before the child no longer considers it something new. So don’t give up, healthy habits are worth the effort! By the time children have been at Little Sprouts for a few months, most of them are eating a much bigger variety of foods than they did before they came. I think that’s awesome!

Making pinwheels is a great way to incorporate some vegetables into something the kids already love. Most kids love tortillas and meat and cheese, so sliding a few veggies onto their pinwheel to make it look colorful and pretty just helps it to be more fun. This recipe was a big hit with my Little Sprouts.

Pinwheels-cooking with kids

The first step, after the kids wash their hands, is to give each child a tortilla and a hunk of cream cheese to spread on it. Spreading is a great way to build motor skills in kid’s hands that are needed for good penmanship.

kids making pinwheelsThe next step is to layer on some meat the kids love. Then on top of that, you can add thin slices of whatever veggies you think the kids will enjoy. We used tomatoes and cucumbers for the pretty colors they add. I let the kids choose how many vegetables to add, but they wanted to add more than they would normally choose because they were in control of the toppings.

Lastly, show the kids how to roll them up like a burrito and cut slices of them off. Then display them on a plate and when it’s time to each, let each child choose how many pinwheels they want to start with.

pinwheels, cooking with kids

There are unlimited variations of this recipe. Your pinwheels could be sweet or savory. You could use the cream cheese and add fruits instead of vegetables for a fun side dish. You could add fresh herbs, super thinly sliced carrots or other veggies, or a multitude of other toppings. The only limit is your imagination.

Have you ever tried making pinwheels with your kids? How did they like them?