Healthy meals to cook with kids
Jamie Oliver is at it again – but this time, he wants us all to sign a petition calling for better food education in schools. We think cookery starts at home, so here’s six healthy meals and snacks you can make with the kids. If there’s any leftovers, that’s their lunchbox sorted too.
Lean turkey mince with a handful of breadcrumbs, dried herbs and a splash of beaten egg can be mixed into a stiff but mouldable consistency – then the kids can pack it into lightly oiled muffin tins to bake at a medium heat for around 20 minutes. Serve with a spicy tomato sauce and rice.
“Kitchen sink” frittatas
So named because the kids can throw everything but the kitchen sink into them. Lightly oil a small frying pan, whisk up three eggs (for a full size, two for a tiny one) and pour them into the pan, swirling till the base begins to cook. Add chopped tomatoes, courgette, peas, grated cheese, shredded ham – whatever floats their boat – then cook on a medium heat till the egg solidifies, and brown the top under the grill. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.
Heat a soft tortilla in a frying pan, spread with a spoonful of almond butter, and add chopped banana – if the kids like a bit of crunch, you can sprinkle toasted chopped almonds on top, too. Wrap into a long snake, then cut into bite-sized pieces – or serve whole, to eat like a sweet kebab. Full of goodness, easy and delicious.
Chicken surprise pancakes
Like chicken supreme, but healthier because there’s no double cream. Make pancakes (for super-healthy versions, use buckwheat flour – the basic recipe is 2 eggs, 100g flour, 150ml milk, mix the eggs with the milk then add the flour and beat until smooth. Rest for 30 mins then use in a hot pan). You can wrap the pancakes in foil to keep warm in the oven, while you make the filling. Fry some chopped chicken with whatever vegetable the kids will eat – peas, mushrooms, or even sweetcorn straight from the tin – add a squeeze of lemon and a couple of spoons of crème fraiche, herbs, salt and pepper and fill the pancakes. Fill them, roll them tight and eat them before they go cold…
Fish wishes on dishes
Cut a solid fish, such as salmon or cod, into fingers, then dip each one into flour, then into egg, and finally into a dish of breadcrumbs, making sure it’s coated all over.
Kids can add their preferred herbs or a shake of salt and pepper to the breadcrumbs. Bake on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes, and serve with sweet potato wedges, or in a squashy sandwich with home-made tomato sauce. (A gently fried crushed garlic clove, passata, a few chopped basil leaves, a teaspoon of sugar, and sprinkle salt and pepper – boil up then reduce till it’s thickened. You can blend if they don’t like lumps.) And they can make a wish while they eat their fish fingers – a good reason to get them coming back for more.
Blinged up beans
Much more fun than the ready-made kind. Kids can use the tomato sauce recipe above, drain half a can of cannellini beans, and heat them through together with a few sprigs of thyme, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, or even a dab of marmite. Lovely on toast, with some cheese grated on top.