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Kid-Friendly Health Food: Snacks and Breakfasts They’ll Beg For!

I admit I’m a bit over-the-top on trying to get my kids to eat healthy.  I’ve done a ton of experimenting with hiding vegetables in food and baking with unrefined flours and sugars.  Some recipes were utter disasters with my little taste testers.  Lately, though, I’ve had some real winner recipes that my kids absolutely adore. These are great for on-the go, and your kids will never know how healthy these recipes truly are!

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

When my kids request a smoothie, this is my usual go-to.  This recipe will make enough for two kids to drink, and then I put the leftovers chocolate banana protein smoothieinto these silicone popsicle ice-pop makers.  I throw those in the freezer, and use them for school lunches.  For instructions on how to use these for lunches or snacks out of the freezer, 100 Days of Real Foods did a whole blog post on them.

Ingredients

2 scoops chocolate protein powder

1 banana

2 cups milk

1 scoop Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood or 1 handful organic baby spinach (be careful on the spinach, as it can turn the smoothie green, which can freak some kids out.  You don’t have this problem with the Amazing Grass)

2 handfuls ice

1/4 cup peanut butter (or for nut free, Sunflower Seed Butter)

Directions

Dump it all in a blender and blend it up!  I love my Blendtec blender — we have over 1500 smoothies registered on the counter!

Strawberries and Cream Smoothie

Strawberry smoothieI swear this tastes like a strawberry milkshake!  I recently made an entire blender-full and it was gone within five minutes.  This recipe is for a full blender, as like I mentioned above, I’ll freeze any leftovers for popsicles or smoothies in lunches.

Ingredients

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

4 cups strawberries (leave the stems on — extra fiber!)

2 cups milk

1 cup Greek yogurt (plain, not Vanilla)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Liquid stevia to taste (I love SweetLeaf drops)

2 handfuls ice

Directions

Dump it all in a blender and blend it up!

Oatmeal

chocolate banana protein oatmeal recipeMy kids eat oatmeal almost every morning, but I also put it in their school lunches in a thermos or offer it as a snack.  Instant oatmeal has a lot of artificial ingredients and flavors, and I see no reason to buy that when these recipes are so easy!  Here are my favorite recipes I make for my two kids:

Start with:

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup milk

Combine those in a large bowl (I use a 4 cup measuring cup) and microwave for 2 minutes.  I stress a LARGE bowl, because you don’t want it to overflow out of the bowl into your microwave.  Then, I flavor one of two ways:

Chocolate banana oatmeal:  smash one banana in the oatmeal and 2 Tablespoons of dark chocolate chips.  Splash in 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and stir.  If we are gearing up for an active morning, I usually throw in a scoop of chocolate protein powder as well.  This is AMAZING!  You can also add a dollop of nut butter or Sunflower Seed butter for added sustenance, but my kids don’t seem to like that addition.

Old fashioned maple cinnamon:  add in 1/4 cup maple syrup (or less, to taste), 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and one tablespoon organic butter.  Stir and enjoy! Optional:  add some chopped walnuts on top.

Donuts

babycakes donut makerHealthy donuts?!  These are a fun make-ahead breakfast for those grab-and-go mornings.  Just watch how excited your kids get when you offer donuts for breakfast!  I also like to include these donuts in school snacks or lunches, because what kid doesn’t like donuts?!  The first key to making healthy donuts is either a donut pan for the oven or a donut maker.  I have the Baby Cakes donut maker.

Chocolate Donuts:
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (plain — not vanilla, as vanilla has tons of sugar.  Aim for a yogurt that has 9 grams of sugar or less)
  • 1 teaspoon Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (optional.  I use Braggs)
  • Optional:  a handful of mini-chocolate chips

Lemon Donuts:
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (plain — not vanilla, as vanilla has tons of sugar.  Aim for a yogurt that has 9 grams of sugar or less)
  • 1 teaspoon Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (optional.  I use Braggs)
  • Juice and zest of one lemon or 2 T lemon juice (I often do this to taste)

Directions for both flavors

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees or Baby Cakes donut maker
  2. Mix flour, protein powder and baking powder in large bowl.
  3. In small bowl mix eggs, vanilla, sweetner, and greek yogurt till smooth.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix
  5. Spoon batter into donut pan
  6. Bake for 3-4 minutes
  7. Makes 24 mini donuts

whole wheat buttermilk pancakesWhole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

I used to make some really healthy oatmeal pancakes, but then when my kids ordered pancakes at a restaurant, they wanted to know why the restaurant pancakes were SO MUCH BETTER than mine.  *sigh*  Well, of course, kids, refined flour and sugar taste great because they’re like crack, but I took this as a challenge.  I decided to create healthy “restaurant style” pancakes.  These have been a hit! (Recipe modified from Martha Stewart’s original recipe.)

2 cups white whole wheat pastry flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons coconut sugar

2 large eggs

3 cups buttermilk

4 tablespoons organic unsalted butter

Optional:  1/4 cup flax meal

Heat griddle to 375 degrees (I heat it up before I start mixing the ingredients).  Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons butter; whisk to combine. Batter should have small to medium lumps. Coat the griddle in coconut oil prior to dropping on the pancake batter.  Don’t flip the pancakes until the batter begins to bubble.

whip cream dispenserI top the pancakes with berries and fresh made whipped cream in my iSi Whip Cream dispenser.  Why make your own whip cream?  Well, I do it mainly to control the ingredients and not to ingest propellant.  I put in 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, then put on the lid, use a Nitrous Oxide charger to add the air, and voila — fresh whip cream! (By the way, this is also an excellent way to address a sweet craving — one shot of whip cream usually hits the spot for me, but beware — my kids hear that shot and come running begging for a shot of whip cream in their own mouths!)

 

Popcorn

Whirley-Pop-Vintage-Stovetop-Popcorn-MakerPackaged and microwave popcorn freak me out with all the chemicals and added ingredients. I love my Whirly Pop popcorn maker. I put 1/2 cup organic non-GMO popcorn kernels in with 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Turn the crank over a burner on medium heat, and in 3 minutes, you have an entire whirly pop full of popcorn. (Next time I need to buy popcorn, I totally want to try Amish popcorn!)

I have two ways to flavor it. First, dump it into a huge Tupperware like container with a lid. Add these ingredients, seal the lid, and then hand it to the kiddos to shake:

“Cheesy” Popcorn

1/3 c melted organic butter with 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast. Optional: add just a shake or two of sea salt. The nutritional yeast gives it a cheesy flavor and a healthy power punch!

Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn

1/3 c melted organic butter with 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or to taste — honestly, I just shake over the popcorn bowl).

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter and Fruit

dark chocolate dreams peanut butter

My family is addicted to this Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter.  It’s like a healthy version of Nutella. With only slightly more sugar per serving than regular peanut butter, I don’t feel guilty pulling this out for breakfast or snacks.  Smear some on top of an apple or a banana, and you have a sinfully delicious healthy treat.  I also use this for sandwiches — just smear some on whole wheat bread and voila — even easier than PB&J!  Plus, you get that added ‘cool factor’ that you packed your kid a chocolate sandwich for lunch.  If your family is peanut free, here is a recipe for chocolate sunflower butter. (Note:  I’ve found the best price on this chocolate peanut butter at Walmart and Target.)

 

 

 

 

If you’re looking for more healthy recipe resources for families, check out 100 Days of Real Food and Chocolate Covered Katie.

 What are your favorite healthy snacks or breakfasts to feed your kids?

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About Lynnette Bellin

Lynnette Bellin
Lynnette Bellin is the owner and site manager of the Reno Moms Blog. She is a married mother of a tween girl and a rambunctious little boy. Lynnette moved to Reno in 2001 after choosing to live in a place that she loved for its natural beauty. Lynnette has written four children's books, including The Kindness Ninja and a series of three books called Adeline’s Magical Moments Collection. She has been obsessed with blogging since 2002. She is also on the board of Think Kindness, a local non-profit that inspires measurable acts of kindness. Lynnette loves to experience the outdoor adventures in our area, including skiing, hiking, camping, and open water swimming. She is especially thrilled to have her kids starting to love the same hobbies, and spends a lot of time shuttling them to the pool, Lake Tahoe or the ski area depending on the season. Lynnette’s life is a blur of kid activities, mediating sibling arguments, making homemade meals, and hugs and kisses, mixed with days of working in content marketing.

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