katy here, your kid-friendly fitlosophy foodie. as a parent, one of the biggest gifts you can give your child is instilling healthy eating habits from a young age. their minds will be sharper, their bodies will be stronger and their moods will be better, giving them a lifelong leg-up. and what is the cornerstone of a healthy diet? eating plenty of fruits and veggies, of course [at least five servings per day]! simple in theory, but not necessarily in execution. which is why we are doing you a solid and passing on five tried-and-true healthy snacks to help your kids #eat5 each day, no begging required.
[greeña colada smoothie]
my mother the dietitian always cautioned her clients against hiding every single veggie their kids ate in other foods, rendering them undetectable. [kids need to learn to appreciate the taste of veggies], she advised. therefore, as a mother now myself, i’ve always lived by this rule with my own children. this smoothie, however, is not one of those times. other than the telltale green hue, your younguns would never suspect this contains spinach. it’s like a tropical vacay in a cup, minus the annoying sand and the sunscreen-whining.
to make smoothie:
1 cup coconut milk
1 banana, sliced + frozen
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 big handful baby spinach
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp coconut extract
put everything in a blender [liquids first, then soft solids, then frozens], blend until smooth + serve with a straw!
[pesto-yogurt dip + veggies]
i’m lucky in that my kids will eat pretty much anything - it’s what’s on the table or nothing in our house, so this tends to breed agreeable eaters. [but add any kind of dip into the mix, and my boys will gladly eat twice as many veggies than they otherwise would], no coaxing needed. this dip is really versatile: you can play with the greens, you can sub in different nuts, you can leave out the garlic, you can truly make it yours. and because both the dip and the dippers are veggie-fied, this snack is packin’ a double-dose of vitamins and minerals.
to make pesto:
1 cup basil leaves
1 cup baby spinach
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt + pepper to taste
put the basil, spinach, garlic, pine nuts and parmesan in a food processor + pulse until fully incorporated. with the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto reaches your desired consistency [you want it to be paste-like in consistency]. season to taste with salt + pepper.
to make dip:
mix desired amount of pesto with desired amount of full-fat greek yogurt + serve with veggies.
[chocolate nice cream]
to my boys, a day without ice cream is a day wasted [can’t say i blame them], but for mama, the prospect of enabling their insane sugar obsession with a daily ice-cream fix is no bueno. nice cream, however, is another story. nothing but bananas and optional add-ins, this is a treat I can feel good about giving them on a regular basis. they get their “ice cream” and i get to spend the remainder of the day guilt-free. win-win.
to make nice cream:
3 bananas, sliced + frozen
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
throw everything into a high-powered blender or food processor, sit back + watch the magic happen [this sometimes takes a bit of finesse if the bananas are stubborn. if so, just stop the blender every so often + push the bananas down toward the blades with a large spoon or spatula, then try blending again.
a lot of parents shy away from offering their children avocado, simply because they don’t think they’ll eat it [and we will not be wasting a $2 piece of produce]. you might be surprised though. this avocado toast checks all the kid-approved boxes: creamy, salty and employs bread as the avocado vehicle. you can also add in any favorite mix-ins you know your child enjoys to entice them further [cheese, strawberries, pickles, etc], or use cookie cutters to cut the toast into fun shapes. my youngest actually licks the avocado off the toast before devouring the entire thing nearly whole. bonus: if all else fails, you can always take over the eating duties for this one yourself. we won’t tell.
to make avocado toast:
1/2 avocado, skin removed
sea salt + crushed red pepper to taste
1 piece whole wheat bread, toasted
coarsely mash the avocado with a fork, season to taste with the salt and crushed red pepper [it’s not too spicy for kids] + pile it on top of the toast. cut into desired shape(s) + serve.
i’ve found that anything that has the word “chips” in it, or even just sounds like there’s a slight possibility it might be a chip, my kids will come running and beg for a handout. even when said chip is made of kale. [full disclosure: one of my three boys is more of a finicky eater, so he does a u-turn right out of the kitchen the second he sees a chip that looks like a dried leaf - i’ll wear him down eventually. my other two, however, happily snack away.] [these are light, crispy and strangely satisfying, with the added bonus of filling up your little one’s belly with one of the most nutrient-dense veggies in existence.]
to make kale chips:
1/2 bunch of kale, rinsed + thoroughly dried [a salad spinner or kitchen towel work well]
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
sea salt + black pepper to taste
preheat the oven to 300 degrees. tear the kale leaves from the tough center ribs + toss ribs in the compost bin. tear the large leaves into chip-sized pieces [they’ll shrink a bit in the oven] + place in a large bowl. toss with the olive oil + parmesan + salt + pepper, then spread evenly [don’t crowd these puppies, or they won’t crisp up just right!] on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner. [i like to sprinkle with a light dusting of parmesan just before i pop them in the oven for an extra little cheesiness]. bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, then bake another 10 minutes or so, until they are crisp. remove from oven + let cool for a couple minutes [they’ll crisp up even more] before serving.
happy snacking, y’all!
how do you help your child [#eat5] each day? we want to know!
share your recipes with other #fabfitbookers in the comments below!