“Please Mum, can I have more salad?” Said no kid ever.
However, getting our kids to eat healthy food more often is achievable, and it doesn’t have to be complicated or overly fraught. All it takes is a little creativity, and a fresh approach to some all-time kids’ favourites. Here are four healthy takes on junk food treats that kids will love.
1. Nachos with a difference.
You can’t go wrong announcing “Nachos!” for dinner. But to add some nutrition, instead of using a pack of regular corn chips, you can easily create a healthier alternative by slicing a pack of wholegrain tortillas into triangles, and baking in the oven for about 10 minutes with just a little olive oil.
Serve with homemade guacamole made from fresh avocados, salsa, a light grated cheese, Greek yoghurt instead of sour cream, a squeeze of lemon and voila! You have a healthy meal the kids will be too busy tucking into to even realise is good for them.
2. Better-than-takeaway fish ‘n’ chips.
Fish ‘n’ chips are loved by all, especially when they finish a day at the beach. But you can recreate that relaxed summer feel at home whilst considerably reducing the fattiness and salt of the takeaway option.
Grill your own fresh fish with salt and pepper, lemon juice and oil, or if your kids prefer battered, lightly coat the fish in flour, egg wash and try a new spin by using Japanese ‘panko’, a crunchy breadcrumb used for tempura, before frying in a pan rather than a deep fryer.
Sweet potato wedges are a great alternative to chips, as wedges have less surface area than smaller fries, so absorb less oil. Sweet potatoes are also packed full of potassium, calcium and vitamins A and C. Vitamin C is particularly important for kids’ growing bodies as it’s essential for repairing tissue, healing wounds and maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
To really recreate that relaxed takeaway experience, you can serve your dish on folded newspaper sheets with a slice of lemon and a sauce made of Greek yoghurt mixed with a little something you already have in the fridge – try a pesto, or even a curry paste for a surprising touch of flavour.