Quick and Easy Healthy Meals for Kids: Variations to Sneak in Veggies

 In Education, Health, Healthy Recipes for Kids, Inspiration, Parent Resources

Guest Post by Nicole Sirote, MS, NTC

Breakfast is an especially important time to offer healthy meals for kids to set them up with proper nutrition to fuel their day! In this post, Nutritional Therapist, Niccole Sirote, gives us quick and easy variations to sneak veggies into breakfast to give parents ideas and options for healthy meals for kids!

As a Nutritional Therapist, I meet people on a regular basis that ask for advice on what constitutes proper nutrition. Notoriously, the most important meal of the day is breakfast, which stands for ‘break the fast.’ What does that mean exactly?

Breaking the fast also known as breakfast is when you eat food after being in a forced fast while asleep the night before.

Breakfast for many is a quick bite to eat and some coffee, but what many don’t realize especially parents of young children, is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Why is this you may ask?

Your body is in a resting phase while sleeping overnight and upon waking up the next morning, after a good night’s rest, your body may be hungry. Hunger is a form of telling your brain it is time to eat.

Hunger as described in the dictionary as, “a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat.” Whereas, hunger can directly correlate to the fact that when children go to school with an empty stomach they have less of a chance of being able to focus and concentrate on the tasks at hand, when in the classroom.

With that comes, issues staying focused and additional issues staying focused and on task when around other children. Therefore, a child who has not eaten a healthy and bountiful breakfast may become a disruption for the other students.

According to the study published in ‘Physiology and Behavior,’ “eating a healthy breakfast has beneficial effects on memory, particularly short term and attention, which allows children to quickly and accurately retrieve information. As a direct result of eating breakfast, children are said to perform better in the subjects of reading, arithmetic and problem solving.

Some recommended healthy and nutritious foods that I would recommend parents feed their children consist of the following. Eggs, bacon and or sausage, some sort of greens thrown in, such as spinach to get those extra nutrients and fiber to fill their little bellies up. A great idea for a breakfast item that is easy and quick for on the go, are egg cups.

A parent can use a muffin tin and take a bowl full of eggs, beaten, and pour them into a muffin tin. I suggest using a bit of coconut oil or ghee from either goat or cow to coat the pan first. Take protein-based ingredients, such as bacon, turkey, chicken or bison and throw them in the muffin tin filled with beaten eggs. Add any seasoning you would like and bake in the oven using the instructions below.

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 350°F. …

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and onion or any desired ingredients.

Add egg mixture halfway up into each tin of a greased muffin tin.

Divide the three topping combinations into 4 muffin cups each.

Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Healthy Kids Meals: Ideas to Sneak in Veggies to this Recipe

  1. In the Food Processor: If getting your kids to eat their veggies is a struggle, try pre-cooking the vegetables – then throw them in a food processor so the kids can’t see them.
  2. Mix Cauliflower into the Eggs: Steam and purée or finely grate cauliflower to mix with the eggs. It tastes delicious and kids won’t notice that it’s there!
  3. Add minced broccoli into the Eggs: Adding minces broccoli will give kids the nutrition they need, without changing the texture of the eggs.

Healthy Kids Meals: Pro Tips for Adding Veggies to Any Meal

  1. Make a Batch: It’s not always easy to find the time to make veggies delicious on the fly. Try making a veggie mixture on Sundays, or choose a day that’s convenient for you. In a large pan, cook your vegetables,  and add it to turkey meatloaf, pasta sauces, soups – even rice mixtures!
  2. Spice it Up: Try using fresh garlic and spices to really give the vegetables a nice flavor. It’s a versatile way to add veggies to many dishes for healthy kids meals.
  3. Get Kids Involved: Kids are more likely to eat something that they have helped create. If you have the time, let your child help you prepare the veggies. This is a great way to spend time with kids, help them to feel confident, and to foster a love for creating healthy meals early on.

About the Author

Nicole Sirote specializes in working with children, teens and adults and focuses on those active in sports and athletics. She connects healthy food and habits to living a healthy and active life, using sensible eating, meal suggestions and a powerful mindset to help you achieve optimum performance in whatever goals you set for yourself. Learn more at Global Food Traveler.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this quick and easy guide to adding veggies to create healthy meals for kids? What are your top tips for adding veggies to your child’s diet? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments!

MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR FAMILIES IMPACTED BY CHILDHOOD CHRONIC ILLNESS

10 Local Resources for Parents of Kids with Chronic Illnesses in Los Angeles | CoachArtSince 2001, CoachArt has matched volunteer coaches with students for one-on-one or group lessons in arts and athletics. Dedicated to creating a transformative arts and athletics community for families impacted by childhood chronic illness, our vision is that one day every family impacted by chronic illness will be connected to a community of support and an opportunity to learn and grow together.

CoachArt offers free art and athletic lessons to chronically ill children and their siblings between the ages of 5-18 in Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, and San Diego. If your child has been diagnosed with a chronic condition, we invite you to fill out a student eligibility form or get in touch to learn if CoachArt is right for your child.

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