Whether it is a toddler or a kid, it is imperative to consume good nutritious food with a balanced diet to grow up healthy. Check out our healthy kid recipes to come up with interesting and wholesome options for your kids. If you are looking for recipes for kids with special dietary needs, we bring you simple ways to incorporate them into your regular recipes.
Healthy kid diet
Grains: A four to eight year old would require about 4 - 5 ounce equivalents each day. The ounce equivalent of common grain food could be 1 slice of bread, 1/2 cup of cooked cereal like oatmeal, 1/2 cup of rice or 1 cup of cold cereal. While a nine to thirteen year old girl would require 5 ounce equivalents each day, a boy in the same age group would need an ounce extra.
Vegetables and fruits: Dark green and orange colored vegetables must be part of a healthy diet for a kid. Vegetable servings are usually measured in cups. A four to eight year old would need 1 1/2 cup of veggies each day. As for fruits, include a sweet juicy fruit everyday. A four to eight year old would need 1 cup of fruit each day. Nine to thirteen year olds would need about 1 1/2 cups of fruit each day.
Milk: Calcium is essential to build strong bones that could last a lifetime. For a four to eight year old, 2 cups of milk are necessary as calcium rich food. A nine year old would need 3 cups of milk each day. Yogurt, cheese, calcium fortified orange juice are other calcium rich food items that could be consumed other than milk.
Meat, Beans, Fish and Nuts: These foods contain protein and other important nutrients for the growing kid. An ounce equivalent of this group could be either an ounce of meat, poultry or fish, 1/4 cup of cooked beans, an egg, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and/or a handful of nuts or seeds. While a four to eight year old would need about 3 to 4 ounce a day, about 5 ounce would suffice for a nine to thirteen year old.
Keep fit rules for kids
- A kid should eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Eating different choices of food is recommended as this would provide the nutrients for meeting body needs. Five servings of fruits and vegetables a day in a combination of two fruits and three vegetables is ideal.
- It is ideal to consume water and milk often. Cool water is the best thirst quencher. Kids need calcium to grow strong bones and milk is a great source of this mineral. A kid should aim to drink at least three cups of milk per day or its equivalent.
- Listening to one's body is the most comfortable way to fill one's stomach. Sometimes people eat too much because they do not notice when they need to stop eating. Eating too much can make the kid feel uncomfortable over a period of time and lead to unhealthy weight gain.
- A kid must limit 'screen time'. It is the amount of time spent on watching TV or DVD or using the computer. The more time a kid spends on these sedentary activities, the less time is available for activities like basketball, bike riding or swimming.
- A kid should indulge in activities he/she likes best. Parents can help the kid choose the favorite game and it should be immense fun to play baseball or soccer or learn karate, dancing or even kicking a ball.
Research reveals that only about 50% of school age kids have one meal daily with their parents. Family meal is the time when the whole family comes together and serves as a comforting ritual for both parents and kids. It is observed that kids who are part of regular family meals are more likely to eat fruits, vegetables, and grains and less likely to consume snacks or unhealthy foods. Family meals help introduce kids to new foods and act as a role model for healthy eating and living.
Quick snack recipes for kids
Ketchup or tomato sauce
Split bagel in half and cut each half into quarters. Add a little tomato sauce or ketchup on bagel segments. Top it with grated cheese. Heat in moderately hot oven until cheese melts and bubbles.
Cut wraps into small triangular segments. Lightly grease a baking tray with little butter. Place tortilla chips on baking tray and lightly brush with little butter. Bake in a moderately hot oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes till the chips are crispy and golden.
Recipes for kids with health disorders
Cystic fibrosis: Kids with cystic fibrosis may need additional calories to meet their nutritional requirements. In these kids, the lungs get blocked with thick mucus that sometimes makes it difficult for them to breathe. These are the kids who cough a lot, get tired easily and need a lot of strength to deal with cystic fibrosis.
Milk 1/4 cup
Margarine 1 tablespoon
Bread 2 pieces
Crack the egg into a medium size bowl and beat well. Then mix in the milk and vanilla extract. Put the margarine into a frying pan. Heat the pan in medium heat and wait till the margarine starts to bubble. Dip each piece of bread in the egg mixture. Make sure that the bread is totally covered. Cook the bread in the frying pan on low heat until the underside is light brown which would take about 5 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the bread over and cook again for another 5 minutes. The French toast is now ready to be transferred to a plate. Drizzle some maple syrup, powdered sugar and cinnamon or fruit on top.
Diabetes: It is important that kids with diabetes pay extra attention to the amount of carbohydrates they eat in order to maintain control of their blood sugar levels.
Cheddar cheese 1 oz.
Whole wheat bread 2 slices
Margarine, light 1 1/2 teaspoon
Egg substitute 2 tablespoon
Skim milk 1 tablespoon
Place the cheese on one slice of bread and top with remaining bread slice. Combine egg substitute and milk in a bowl. Melt margarine in a large nonstick skillet. Dip sandwiches in egg mixture. Cook sandwiches for about 3 minutes on each side until they turn golden.
Wheat English muffin 1/2 whole
Tomato sauce 2 tablespoon
Skim mozzarella cheese 2 tablespoon
Basil, fresh 1 tablespoon chopped
Tomato, diced 2 tablespoon
Place English muffin on a small baking sheet. Spread tomato sauce over top of muffin. Top with cheese. Sprinkle fresh basil and tomato on top. Broil in a preheat broiler until cheese is brown and sauce is bubbly. Serve immediately. This dish is quick and easy to make. Try ham or chicken as a topping for added protein.
Lactose intolerance: Kids with lactose (milk) intolerance especially need to limit or avoid dairy products.
Zucchini sliced 1
Yellow squash sliced 1
Red bell pepper chopped 1/2
Tomatoes chopped 2
Brown rice cooked 1 cup
Soy parmesan cheese 1/4 cup
Non stick cooking spray
Spray casserole dish with non stick cooking spray. Mix vegetables in the casserole dish. Cook vegetables in microwave for about 10 minutes stirring every 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top of the vegetables. Serve vegetable over rice.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts 2 to 4 oz.
Plain or vanilla soy yogurt 4 oz (lactose free)
Cilantro 1 1/2 teaspoon
Curry powder 1 1/2 tablespoon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine yogurt, cilantro, curry powder in a small bowl. Add chicken to yogurt sauce and coat evenly. Place chicken in a greased casserole dish. Spoon the remaining yogurt sauce on top of the chicken. Bake chicken for about half an hour till it is no longer pink in the middle.
Celiac disease: Kids who need a gluten free diet should avoid foods that contain gluten which is a type of protein found in, for instance, a pizza, a bowl of cereal or sometimes even a piece of bread.
Raspberries 1/2 cup
Strawberries 1/2 cup
Fat free vanilla yogurt 1 cup
Skim milk 1/3 cup
Put all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Divide between two glasses.
Package of light cream cheese 8 oz. (softened)
Light tropical fruit cocktail, drained 4 oz.
Walnuts, chopped 1 cup
Cut tropical fruit into smaller pieces. Combine softened cream cheese, fruit and 1/2 cup walnuts. Chill well in refrigerator and serve. Mold into small balls and roll cheese in remaining 1/2 cup of walnuts.
Kids and Vitamin C intake
A study in the US revealed that less than 20% of the children consume the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables. Healthy kids’ recipes should always include foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients. Vitamin C is especially important for kids and it acts as a powerful anti oxidant as well as anti inflammatory agent that prevents oxygen related damage to the cells.
Pediatricians recommend that a child must consume five servings of fresh fruit or vegetable per day. Some nutrients recommend a daily intake of up to 200 mg of Vitamin C. Citrus fruits like strawberries, lemons or oranges are delicious sources of Vitamin C. Fresh squeezed orange juice, homemade strawberry milkshake are favorites with kids. Fresh squeezed lemonade on a hot summer day is a sure thirst quencher.
Recipe for a quick and easy luscious fruit dessert
Frozen mixed berries 1 bag
One readily bought modern- old fashioned cup cake
Light whipping topping
Thaw the package of frozen berries according to package instructions. Add a tablespon of sugar if necessary. Lightly toast the almonds and assemble the ingredients in individual bowls. Place a slice of cake at the bottom. Add plenty of berries and juice to it. top it with whipped topping and warm sliced almonds.
Salmon 1 can
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for frying
Drain the can of salmon into a large bowl. Add one egg and salt and pepper to taste. Mix together and make it into patties. Fry in olive oil. Kids would love this and it is also healthy.
Reduced fat and sugar recipe for kids
Increasing weight is a common problem with present day kids. It is a challenge to change those habits of eating cupcakes and ice creams from kids without sacrificing the fun that goes with it. Here are some favorite recipes that help to reduce fats and sugars in kids without losing the fun.
Red apples 2 small
Lemon juice 2 tablespoon
Sugar 2 teaspoon
Cinnamon 2 pinches
Peel the apples and cut them into small pieces. Throw out the core. Put the apple pieces and lemon juice into the blender and blend until the mixture is very smooth. Pour the mixture into two small bowls and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. This applesauce should be awesome!