As parents, we want the best for our children, and that includes ensuring that they are eating a healthy, balanced diet. However, with so many tasty treats and convenience foods readily available, it can be challenging to know where to start. In this blog post, we'll share some tips for encouraging healthy eating habits in children and a delicious recipe that your little ones are sure to love.
Start with breakfast
We've all heard the saying, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day," and for good reason. Breakfast provides the energy children need to start their day and helps to regulate their appetite throughout the morning. A healthy breakfast should include a mix of whole grains, protein, and fruit or vegetables. Some breakfast ideas for kids include oatmeal with fruit, whole-grain toast with peanut butter and banana, or a veggie omelette.
Get them involved
Getting your children involved in meal planning and preparation can help to encourage healthy eating habits. Take them grocery shopping and let them pick out some fruits and vegetables they'd like to try. Give them age-appropriate tasks in the kitchen, like washing vegetables or stirring ingredients. When children feel involved in the process, they are more likely to try new foods and be excited about healthy eating.
Make it fun
Healthy eating doesn't have to be boring! Get creative with presentation and make healthy foods fun for kids. Cut fruits and vegetables into fun shapes, create colourful salads, or make fruit skewers. The more visually appealing the food is, the more likely children are to try it.
Limit processed foods
While it's okay to enjoy treats in moderation, it's essential to limit the amount of processed foods that children consume. Processed foods are often high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, and can lead to a range of health problems, including obesity and heart disease. Instead, opt for whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
Now that we've covered some tips for healthy eating, let's move on to a delicious recipe that your little ones are sure to love: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas.
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
8 whole-grain tortillas
Shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Toss sweet potato cubes with olive oil and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.
In a separate pan, fry the red onion and red pepper until soft.
Add the black beans to the pan and heat through.
Lay out the tortillas and sprinkle cheese on one half of each tortilla.
Add the sweet potatoes, black bean mixture, and red onion and pepper mixture on top of the cheese.
Fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling to make a quesadilla.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat and cook the quesadillas until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Cut into wedges and serve with salsa, guacamole, or sour cream.
This recipe is a healthy twist on a classic favourite and is packed with fibre, protein, and vitamins.