5 Healthy Recipes to Cook With Your Kids Fitango January 5, 2014 1655 Getting kids to eat healthy foods doesn’t have to be a challenge. The solution is simple: Pick up an apron and take your tot to the kitchen. Studies show that children are more likely to eat healthy fare, like fruits and veggies when they help prepare it, found a 2008 report by Real Kids Alberta. Cooking with your children not only encourages them to eat healthier, it also teaches them to follow directions, and practice their language skills. Want your kid to reap the benefits? Let the cooking begin! Kimberly Tran, Chef of Childcare with Bon Appetit, currently at Google Headquarters, shares five delicious kid-friendly recipes that children can help prepare: Black Bean & Sweet Potato Tortilla Lasagna Why it’s good for kids: The onions and calcium-filled cheddar cheese increase bone density, helping your child grow up strong! What you’ll need: 2 C black beans, cooked (or 15oz can, drained) 1 lb. sweet potatoes, small dice 1/2 cup onions, med dice 15 oz. canned tomatoes Package of 8 corn tortillas, 6” 3C shredded jack & cheddar cheese 1 tbsp. chili powder 1 tsp. cumin 2 tbsp. olive oil Salt and pepper to taste How to make it: Sauté onion, add spices. Cook until fragrant. Afterwards, add tomatoes and sweet potatoes. Bring to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are almost tender. Add beans and warm through. Then add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat. Next—in a sprayed 13 x 9 pan—layer bean mixture, 8 tortillas and cheese. Repeat until all is used, reserving some cheese for the top. Bake in 350 until cheese is brown. How the kids can contribute: Once the beans are added to the mix, have them take the salt and pepper and sprinkle it in a zigzag motion across the mixture. They can also help layer the bean mixture. Blueberry Banana Cottage Cheese Spread Why it’s good for kids: Cottage cheese is filled with protein-rich amino acids and Vitamin B which helps the body break apart foods for energy. Bonus: Potassium rich bananas help aid muscle growth. What you’ll need: 1 lb. cottage cheese 1 banana 1/3 C blueberries, fresh or frozen Agave or honey to taste How to make it: Blend all ingredients together using a food processor until smooth. Adjust sweetness with agave or honey and use as a dip for fruit or spread for whole grain bagels How the kids can contribute: Kids can help measure out the berries and put them into the blender. Have them break apart the banana with their hands and mix it with the berries. Crispy Oven Roasted Chicken Tenders Why it’s good for kids: Chicken, an excellent source of muscle-building protein, keeps skin and bones healthy. It also helps fight off disease and bacteria. What you’ll need: 1 lb. chicken tenders ⅓ C Dijon mustard 1 C panko bread crumbs 3 tbsp. olive oil Salt and pepper to taste How to make it: First, toss chicken tenders in mustard and season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, toss the panko crumbs, oil and salt and pepper together until all crumbs are lightly coated with oil. Next, press the chicken into bread crumbs. Place on a lined sheet pan and bake in a 450 oven for 15 minutes. Bonus: Make a quick dipping sauce by mixing equal parts Dijon mustard and honey or maple syrup How the kids can contribute: Let them get messy! Have the kids wash their hands and then press the chicken into the bread crumbs. Ask them to set the timer and the oven. For some added fun have them do a count down at ten seconds when the food is almost finished to get them more hyped for the meal. Oatmeal Coconut Macaroon Why it’s good for kids: Oats have a low glycemic index which means the carbohydrates and sugars in the oats get released slowly, keeping bellies fuller, longer. What you’ll need: 1 C shredded coconut 1 C rolled oats 1/2 C condensed milk How to make it: First, blend all ingredients together. Next, scoop mixture onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. How the kids can contribute: Let the kids scoop the dough onto the sheet pan. Pizza Soup Why it’s good for kids: Green peppers are loaded with anti-oxidant rich vitamins: B6, B9, and C. B6 boosts immunity, keeping viruses and bacteria at bay. What you’ll need: 1 ½ C sliced mushrooms 14 ½ oz. canned crushed tomatoes 4 C chicken or vegetable stock 1/2 C green bell peppers, diced 1/2 C onion, diced 2 tbsp. garlic, chopped 1 tsp. oregano, dried 1 tbsp. olive oil Salt and pepper to taste How to make it: First, sauté onions and bell peppers over medium heat in the olive oil. After, add mushrooms and garlic. Cook until fragrant. Go ahead and add stock and tomatoes and cook until vegetables are tender. Don’t forget to salt and pepper to taste. Lastly, garnish with sliced black olives, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. How kids can contribute: With much supervision, older children can help cut up the vegetables. Let the kids sprinkle the mozzarella cheese or pepperoni on top. Encourage them to make faces or other silly designs with the toppings.