Monday to Sunday: A week of quick and easy healthy meals your kids will love
With each dish containing a healthy but delicious superfood, these simple but delicious dishes will take the headache out of meal planning for family-friendly eating.
Deciding what to cook for your family on a daily basis is hard enough, not to mention ensuring you include healthy ingredients (which might not be too popular with picky eaters). We’ve rounded up seven fabulous meals that will take the guilt out of quick and easy cooking once and for all. Let your little ones help with preparing these dishes and watch as they learn to love preparing and enjoying delicious healthy meals.
Monday’s mealie meal and corn bake
A superfood in its own right (yes, even the tinned and frozen versions), corn is the star of this hearty mealie meal and corn bake, boasting not one but three types of this wholefood. Kids love the natural sweetness and it bursts with fibre and antioxidants. Serve with a side salad or steamed veggies for a filling and healthy weekday supper.
Tuesday’s veggie frittata
Kids might shy away from enjoying healthy greens on their own, but when those same greens are cooked in a yummy, cheesy omelette mixture, even the pickiest eater will reconsider. This super quick veggie frittata is loaded with nutritional powerhouse broccoli (rich in vitamins C, E and K, as well as folate), peas (a great source of protein, fibre and B vitamins) and tomatoes (an excellent source of cancer- and asthma-preventing lycopene). Get the kids to help whisk up the egg mixture and serve with a side salad or roasted veg.
Wednesday’s salmon fishcakes
Fishcakes are a great way to encourage reluctant little ones to enjoy fish, and brain-boosting salmon, along with fragrant immune boosters garlic and ginger, is delicious in chef Jamie Oliver’s quick and easy 5-ingredient Asian fishcakes. Kids will love shaping their own portions by hand and, served with egg-fried noodles or rice, it’s a healthy midweek meal that will go down a treat.
Thursday’s individual cottage pie pots
Teen chef Josh Thirion’s hearty individual cottage pie pots are not only loaded with veggies but also topped with a cheesy sweet potato mash. Rich in fibre, beta carotene and vitamins C and E, sweet potatoes also have a low glycaemic index and help keep blood sugar levels controlled. Kids will love assembling their own individual pots – use small bowls or even teacups if you don’t own ramekins.
Friday’s crunchy fried chicken
Fake-away Fridays are a thing! Make everyone’s favourite fried chicken healthier by preparing fried chicken takeaways at home using desiccated coconut to create delicious coconut crunch chicken. While the jury’s still out on whether coconut meat can be deemed a true superfood, it’s an ideal source of healthy fat that contains no cholesterol and is rich in selenium, fibre, copper and manganese – definitely a better choice compared to breadcrumbs or cornflakes! Let the little ones help out in the assembly line as the chicken is dipped in flour, egg and then the coconut. Serve with baked potato wedges and coleslaw.
Saturday’s chicken spring rolls
Kids love finger food, and while making your own wrappers might seem fiddly, roping everyone in to help with rolling the pastry and wrapping these chicken spring rolls will make it a fun afternoon in the kitchen for all. Besides, it’s the weekend! The cabbage (rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) in this recipe packs a healthy punch that kids won’t be able to resist. Serve with sweet chilli sauce to dip in and a sweet-and-sour cucumber salad for a fun and wholesome Saturday meal.
Sunday’s pancake brunch
What better way to spend a lazy Sunday morning with the family than whipping up a batch of indulgent yet good-for-you sweet potato and pecan pancakes? While we’ve already touched on sweet potato’s bounty, the chia seeds in this recipe are high in fibre, protein and omega 3, while oats contain powerful soluble fibre that can control blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure and are rich in valuable antioxidants. See who can flip these without dropping them on the floor, or experiment with fun shapes for a healthy Sunday brunch feast.
* Nutritional information sourced from Healthline.com. Article reviewed by Mbali Mapholi, registered dietician.