Spring is almost here! The birds are chirping, grass is growing and all is right with the world again. As it gets warmer, the kids will start to burn more calories, and for all you parents out there, making sure your children are eating healthy lunches is super-important. But you’re busy, and coming up with healthy choices that your children will love can be a challenge. So we’ve shared three of our all-time favorite, kid-friendly, happy, healthy eating recipes. They’re fun to make, filled with nutrition and they will definitely keep your children smiling!
Baked Quinoa Cakes
Quinoa may be tough to pronounce (pronounced KEEN-wah) but it’s packed with health benefits and fantastic nutrition like iron, protein, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and fiber. It is also gluten-free!
Our Quinoa cakes not only taste great, but they’re fun to make! You can even get the kids involved. And because they’re baked in muffin tins, you can make enough for the entire week in one batch!
Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium sized mixing bowl combine:
1 cup of cooked quinoa (follow preparation instructions on the package).
¼ cup of your favorite, all natural, organic cheese shredded (we like sharp cheddar!)
1 whole egg
4 medium to large scallions chopped (or ½ cup of your favorite fresh herb like cilantro, basil or flat leaf parsley).
½ cup of grape tomatoes, quartered.
1 Tbsp salt, or to taste
1 Tbsp pepper, or to taste
Fold ingredients together with a wooden spoon, or get the kiddos to do it for you!
Prepare a muffin tin by coating the inside of each tin with olive oil, or coconut oil.
Place 3 Tbsp (roughly a ping-pong ball) sized dollop in each tin. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a fork or toothpick comes out clean, with no streaks of batter. A few small crumbs are okay! Let your cakes cool on cooling rack. And serve.
You can store them for up to a week in a paper towel lined Tupperware!
Penne Pasta: with Easy Peasy, George & Weezie – Organic Fire Roasted Marinara Sauce!
More and more companies are making pasta choices healthier than ever. And what child’s eyes don’t light up that the site of a delicious bowl of pasta with Marinara sauce? We’ve heard good things about the Barilla Protein Plus line of pastas, but feel free to use your own healthy selection.
To Make: Easy Peasy, George & Weezie Marinara Sauce
1 can of your favorite fire roasted, organic tomatoes. We like Muir Glen Organic.
1-2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced.
½ of a small yellow onion minced.
Zest of one lemon
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp pepper
½ Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp olive oil
Optional ½ Tsp crushed red pepper flakes
In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat add olive oil and garlic. Gently heat garlic until you can begin to smell its aroma, and garlic begins to soften.
Next add minced onion, salt and pepper. Cook gently until onions become translucent. Add fire roasted tomatoes one at a time, and gently squeeze each tomato until it bursts inside your saucepan. This can be fun but messy! So make sure you feel like cleaning a little before you get the kids involved in this playful aspect of the recipe. Once all tomatoes have been added, sprinkle in garlic powder and zest in lemon (remember not to get any of the white stuff, the rind in your zest because it’s bitter. Reduce heat and let simmer until reduced by 1/3, stirring regularly to avoid burning.
Follow cooking instructions for pasta (remember to salt your water)! Cook to your preference (we like al dente) and strain. Add a little olive oil to the bottom of your pasta pot and return pasta to the pot. Fold to combine pasta and oil. Allow your sauce to cool slightly before pouring over your pasta. Fold pasta and sauce together. To reheat, simply put your pot over medium/low heat until pasta is warmed through (add a little water if necessary to keep pasta moist). Some grated Parmesan is always a plus. Package in your child’s favorite thermos, and send them on their way!
Super simple. Fun and yummy. Cows in a blanket.
These are almost too simple and too delicious to be true and they’re packed with protein and calcium. Your kids will ask for them. All you have to do is pick your favorite all natural string cheese. We like Sargento® Natural String Cheese Snacks.
Then select your favorite prosciutto. We like Fiorucci for availability, taste and price. You can find it at any nice grocery store.
Next, on a cutting board, lay out your prosciutto flat. (You might only want to use half a slice of prosciutto.) Take one of your string cheeses and place it at the bottom of your prosciutto. Then just roll them up together so you’re string cheese is wrapped in prosciutto. That’s it! Your kids will fall in love with them, and you’ll adore making them together!
P.S. Add an ice pack to your kid’s lunchbox with this recipe to keep the cheese and prosciutto from sweating.
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