Food choices for young people are becoming increasingly complicated in a time when the weight of time, work, family and health pressures are at their greatest. The specific nutritional choices we make for ourselves and our families are crucial, think of these not just as food decisions but as health decisions. Some great ideas to get kids interested in vegetables, fruits, unprocessed foods –
- Be a role model – what you do your children will invariably do, get them excited about veges, nuts, seeds, fruit by being excited yourself.
- Eat as a family – research shows kids respond best to healthy, varied foods when the family unit is eating together.
- When you can – take them vege and fruit shopping with you. It helps to create an awareness of living foods, it’s involving them in a food harvesting ritual so they can appreciate where it all comes from and familiarizing them with good nutritional habits will last the rest of their life.
- Fresh fruit (seasonal) - turn into skewer kebabs
- Vegetable sticks, carrots, celery or cucumber with a hummus dip
- Sushi (homemade) - use quinoa, brown rice, cauliflower as alternative fillers!
- Wraps filled with veges - use sliced meat or rice paper as outer layer
- Bliss balls
- Seed and date truffles
- Boiled egg
- Cheese/feta slices
- Nuts or seeds
- Meat - shredded chicken, skewered chunks of chosen meat, shaved meat
- Leftovers from last night's dinner
Seed and date truffles
- 10 pitted medjool dates or 1 cup of regular dates* see note below
- 3/4 cup seeds or nuts of your choice, cashews are great
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut, plus 1/2 cup for decorating
- 1/2 cup water
*if using regular dates, you must soak them for at least 6 hours, or overnight then drain well.
Place the seeds and or nuts in to a food processor. Blend for a minute or so until dense flour like consistency is achieved. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse a couple of times until the ingredients begin to stick together, almost like a dough.
Use your hands to form small balls. Roll the balls in the remaining desiccated coconut to finish.
The truffles can be kept at room temperature, but I find they are best kept in the fridge.
Makes around 30 truffles. They will keep for 3-4 days.
Gluten Free Sandwich Bread
- 1 cup of organic almond or peanut butter *if nuts are not permitted at your daycare or school see note below.
- 1 ripe banana, sliced in to pieces
- 2 free range eggs
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- a handful of seeds for decorating (optional)
Preheat the Oven to 180°C, and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
In a large bowl, add the nut or seed butter, banana, eggs, baking soda and vinegar. Using a potato masher, mash all ingredients well and mix together until mixture resembles a smooth paste, you can also do this in a food processor.
Spoon the batter into the loaf tin and spread out until even on top. If decorating with seeds, scatter them evenly on top. Pop in to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin before inverting on to a cooling rack.
*If nuts are not permitted at your child's school or daycare, please feel free to use sunflower seed butter in place of nut butter in these recipes. Sunflower seed butter is available at most whole food/organic food stores.
Roasted garlic and herb hummus dip
- 2 whole bulbs of garlic
- a small handful of fresh thyme
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons tahini ( I have also used almond or peanut butter)
- a small handful of fresh parsley (optional)
- sea salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Slice the tops off the garlic bulbs, so that the flesh is exposed. Place in a small baking tray, and drizzle with 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, then lay the thyme on top.
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the cloves are soft and fragrant. Leave to cool.
Squeeze the garlic cloves out of the papery skin, then transfer to a food processor.
Add the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
Will make a medium jar full, and will keep in the fridge for a week.