Tag Archive for healthy food for kids

Jeff’s Superfood Pizza for Picky Eaters

Have a kid that does not want to eat yummy, healthy food? Does not even want to try a tiny bite? Today we have a guest post from Olivia Johanson from Every Home Remedy. She’s going to share with us one way she is working through picky eating with her son with this superfood pizza her husband makes.

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Buttery, Comforting Tuna Casserole Made with Real Food

Buttery, Comforting Tuna Casserole Made with Real Food

Do you need a new menu for dinner that isn’t super difficult but the whole family will love? I make tuna casserole for my daycare kids and they can’t get enough of it. I love it too. I have a formula for making my own homemade hamburger helper type meals that save me time and money on food, but are made without all the harmful chemicals that come in processed food. This tuna casserole is a spin on that idea.

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Homemade Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets

Homemade Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets

Do you know how many chemicals are in hot pockets? You’d be amazed at how unhealthy they are. They are convenient and can be delicious, especially if you make them yourself. Using pizza crust to make them is tender and flavorful. I use the pioneer woman’s pizza crust recipe because it’s perfect every time. She’s knows what’s up! Click here for the dough recipe. 

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World Famous Green Bean Recipe

World Famous Green Bean Recipe

My daycare kids LOVE my world famous green beans.

A few years ago, when I had some older boys enrolled in care, they would ask me to cook this green bean recipe all the time. I would make them as soon as we could get enough green beans from the garden. They dubbed them world famous and who am I to argue with that. Pre-teen boys know where it’s at! It’s comfort food. 

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How to Plan a Childcare MENU

Do you look at planning your childcare menu and feel overwhelmed or don’t know where to begin? Making a plan for your childcare menu is a big job. I would highly recommend getting on a food program because they will give you guidelines to go by. I don’t whole heartedly agree with all of the USDA rules, but I do know the program can help kids get better nutrition than they otherwise would. Think of providers that just make a package of ramen and that’s all the kids get. They would like it, but it isn’t optimal for children’s health.

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Cooking with Kids-Healthy Egg and Veggie Breakfast Casserole

Cooking with kids is great fun and there are so many things kids can learn. Math, science, motor skills, cooperation, taking turns, and so many other things about cooking are beneficial to kids. In addition, kids are 80% more likely to try new foods if they helped prepare them. Click here to see more reasons why you should cook with kids!

Remember to be patient with cooking with kids. They will make mistakes, but it’s okay, that’s how they learn. I have been cooking for over 30 years and I still make mistakes. Make sure you get all the ingredients prepared and out before you invite the kids to the activity to prevent disaster when they get bored. This casserole is teeming with great nutrition for kid’s growing bodies. My kids love egg casserole and so do I. Yum yum.

“Popping” eggs as my kids call it, or one boy always said “hatching” them, is a great motor skill for kids to learn. It’s hard to crack an egg successfully and early learning helps develop great skills for later in life. This egg casserole had a lot of eggs, so it was a great opportunity for each child to get to try more than once. Some of them didn’t want to after the first smashed egg flew all over the table, but that’s okay too. They don’t have to do it if they don’t want to.


kids cracking eggs

kids cracking eggs to make egg casseroleKids cooking egg casseroleDumping ingredients into bowls helps even one year olds learn to control their fine motor skills and helps them build their confidence.

cooking egg casserole with kidsThis breakfast casserole has several servings of vegetables in it as well as nutritious eggs, cheese, and tortillas. All of the ingredients are dumped into a bowl and mixed, then poured into a casserole dish, so most of the steps can be done by the children without much assistance, which helps build their confidence levels in cooking.

vegetable and egg casserole, cooking with kids

kids cooking egg and veggie casserole

Notice in this picture, you see my food mover. I used this tool to help scrape the whole eggs that fell on the table so they wouldn’t be wasted. Being prepared for the cooking disasters is 9/10 of the way to success with the kids.

Egg and Veggie Casserole

This casserole tasted amazing! I recommend you get in the kitchen with our kids and make this or some other recipe as soon as you can.

Healthy Breakfast Casserole
Breakfast casserole made with healthy ingredients.
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Ingredients
  1. Dozen Eggs
  2. 2 C. Milk
  3. Salt and Pepper to taste
  4. Minced veggies of your choice (we used broccoli and kale)
  5. 2 C. Shredded cheese of your choice (we used mozerella)
  6. 12 chopped corn tortillas
Instructions
  1. Wash hands and have kids wash theirs.
  2. Mix eggs and milk and beat well.
  3. Add seasoning, veggies and cheese.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Bake at 350 for about one hour or until egg is set in the center.
Notes
  1. Breakfast meats such as cooked bacon, cooked sausage or ham could be added as well.
Little Sprouts Learning https://littlesproutslearning.co/
What do your kids like to cook?

 

 

What’s Growing on in the Garden in August?

children's garden in august

okra and sweet potatoes growing strong in the garden in august

The month of August has been riddled with disappointment in the Little Sprouts garden. We fought squash bugs that decimated all the squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, and now melons. We fought armadillos, raccoons, and possums. It seems like everything that could come against our growing has. But the good news is we still grew 115 pounds of food in August.


gardening with kids, okra and watermelon

early august produce in the children's garden

Normally August would be our glut of produce month, but the animals stripped the peaches, plums and apples off the trees. In addition, they stole most of the melons and stripped the tomatoes and tomatillos bare of all green fruit.

possum damage in the children's garden

We have been busy picking squash bugs by the hundreds, and trapping live animals and relocating them in the country where there aren’t any people living. We have trapped 4 raccoons and 7 possums to date. We have evidence of an armadillo and at least one more raccoon that remain at large.

garden eating raccoon

Most of our garden has died off from heat or bugs, but we are still growing sweet potatoes and okra. Our tomato and tomatillo plants are flowering again now that temps are under the high 90s every day again. Maybe if we don’t get a frost, we will have another round of fruits to enjoy. We are still growing hot peppers as well.

We have planted quite a few seeds for a fall garden and they are beginning to germinate now. I also purchased some fox and coyote urine to try to deter any more animals from wanting to hang out in the garden. We do have one helpful creature hanging out in the garden, this cute watch kitty. She’s exterminated a few pests for us and all she asks in return is to lay in the cool dirt of the garden (sometimes on a seedling or two) and to get a few pats on the head or scratches on the ear. She’s a keeper.

watch kitty in the garden

giant carrot in children's garden

garden harvest, gardening with kids

Our total produce production so far this season is 453 pounds of healthy, delicious, chemical free food for the kids and Mr. Kent and I to enjoy. Not what we had hoped, but definitely nothing to sneeze at. We have eaten watermelon, cantaloupe, hot peppers, okra, tomatoes, carrots, tomatillos, onions, Swiss chard, butternut squash, garlic, green beans, drying beans, cabbage, spaghetti squash, peaches, figs, peas, broccoli, herbs, kale, kohlrabi, blueberries, strawberries, asparagus, spinach, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, lettuce, radishes, and Brussels sprouts. What’s growing in your garden today?

 

Snappy Snack Mix-Cooking with KIDS!

Making snack mix is an easy, fun activity that kids can do with just a little guidance. Kids love to make their own food and are more likely to make healthy choices if they are involved in the preparation and choices of what they are eating. Click here to see how I get my kids to try and enjoy healthy foods.

To make a snack mix, you can choose from multiple ingredients. Pretty much whatever you can dream up can be mixed together. We use dried fruits, different crackers and pretzels, dry cereals, mini chocolate chips, granola, marshmallows, and whatever else we have on hand that we think sounds tasty.

I let the kids measure the ingredients so we can practice math skills. We usually do a cup of the cereals, crackers, etc. to a half of a cup of dried fruits such as raisins and a fourth of a cup of something like mini chocolate chips.


First when doing any sort of cooking with kids, make sure everyone washes their hands!

making snack mix with preschoolersThen the kids can begin taking turns adding the ingredients to their mix. We made a double batch of this mix to have plenty for everyone, so I divided each ingredient into two measurements so there would be more turns per person. Making sure everyone gets as many turns as possible is a great key to success when cooking with multiple children.

If you have several children you are trying to make a recipe with, there are many opportunities for melt downs and mishaps. Be prepared! Get all the ingredients and tools prepared ahead of time. Let the kids know everyone will get a turn, so they will be more likely to be patient. Taking turns is a very important school readiness and social skill that kids NEED for their future success. Cooking is a great way to teach it.

cooking with kids-snack mixOnce all the ingredients are added, it’s time for everyone to take a turn to stir. Kids LOVE to stir, so anything we make is sure to have lots of steps that call for stirring. Once you have the mix mixed, it’s time to dish it up and serve.

What kind of simple recipes have you had success making with kids?

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Fun Fruit Kabobs-Cooking with Kids!

Yummy, fun, healthy fruit kabobs-cooking with kids

 

Cooking with kids does not have to be super difficult or elaborate. Anything that gives them hands on exposure to the process of preparing food has untold benefits. Every year at Little Sprouts, we make a cookbook as a Christmas gift for the daycare parents. Click here if you want to find out more about how I do it. It is full of fun recipes the kids enjoy making that are not too complicated. It also has pictures of the kids cooking and eating the food so it’s a fun keepsake for the parents.

Cooking with kids is fun and it teaches them math, science, and pre-reading skills, plus it gives them fine motor and sensory stimulation. Cooking healthy foods with kids helps them to become familiar with the foods and gives them more interest in trying something they haven’t tried or liked before.


Fun and healthy fruit kabobs are a cinch to make and the kids LOVE making AND eating them. Any time we make a recipe, I print it on a piece of paper and tape it to the wall next to the table. This helps me refer to the steps, but I also read each step to the kids so they get an understanding that words have meaning and I need the important words to know what to do. It’s a great primer for reading!

The first step is to choose some fruit that can be pierced on a kabob. For these kabobs we used bananas, oranges, grapes, and apples. You also need to gather some skewers. I used wooden barbeque skewers that I had on hand.

Have the kids wash their hands and meet you at the preparation place.

Give the kids fruit pieces and butter knives and let them cut the fruit into pieces however they can. Sometimes you might end up having to cut some of the harder fruits for them, but let them do as much as they can on their own. It’s great for their self-esteem.

kids cutting fruit

The next step is to cut a lemon in half and have the kids squeeze lemon juice on the fruit so it will not turn brown. Lemons take a lot of muscle to squeeze, so with these preschoolers, it was enough to let them all take a turn at squeezing it.

kids making fruit kabobs

Next, give the kids the skewers and let them stab the fruit and work it to the end of the stick until it is full. Since this snack is not cooked, I let the kids make a kabob and then eat it so there wouldn’t be any mixing up of kabobs.

Once the kids have the fruit on the kabob, I take a pair of scissors and cut the point off the stick so they won’t injure themselves while eating.

These fruit kabobs are one of the favorite things we make and they are super healthy for the kids with all of that great fruit. If it were summer time you could use melons, berries or other seasonal fruit for the kabobs as well. Pineapple is great on kabobs as well, but sadly, I am allergic, so I don’t buy or serve it. Use your imagination and you can think of some wonderful combinations for the kids to enjoy.

Enjoy the yumminess!

Yummy, fun, healthy fruit kabobs-cooking with kids

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