5 Foods (Your Kids Will Eat!) with Unexpected Health Benefits

As moms, all we want is for our children to be healthy and happy. We’ve all seen the smiles as our kid excitedly licks the icing off a cuckcake or gobbles up fast food chicken nuggets and fries, and then frowns when he or she is given a plate full of celery and carrots and a glass of milk. There has to be a happy medium! Whether it’s starting the day off with a healthy breakfast or packing them a nutritious—and fun—school lunch, check out some simple recipes your kids will eat with unexpected health benefits below.

1. Breakfast Smoothies with Coconut or Almond Milk

For a fast meal that is delicious and packs a nutritious punch, whip up a quick fruit smoothie for breakfast. Purchase a bag of frozen fruit and mix 1 cup with 1 cup of either chilled almond or coconut milk. Berries like strawberries and blueberries work well, as do frozen bananas. Almonds may lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels, and coconut is full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. The resulting breakfast will fill your children up and put a smile on their face, guaranteed!

2. Veggie Dips

Vegetables on their own are boring. Add a dip and your kids won’t be able to get enough. Mix a cup of sour cream with a package of powdered ranch dressing mix for a flavorful dip, or combine equal parts pesto and cottage cheese in a blender for a tasty alternative. Many kids don’t like the texture of cottage cheese, but when it is blended with the pesto, it will become creamy. Cottage cheese is high in protein and Vitamin D, and will help meet your child’s recommended daily requirement for calcium. Keep a plate full of pre-sliced carrot and celery sticks and sliced cucumbers and red pepper strips in the fridge with one of these healthy dips and watch your kid reach for a healthy after-school snack.

3. Edamame

Edamame is a young soybean that has been harvested before the beans have had a chance to harden. You can find edamame in their pods or with the beans removed in both fresh and frozen preparations at most supermarkets. It is full of fiber and protein, plus vitamins C and A, calcium and iron. Edamame can be prepared in a number of ways that are fun for kids to eat. One easy preparation is to steam the edamame beans in the microwave for a few minutes and then sprinkle them with sea salt. Your child will pop the beans in his or her mouth like popcorn!

4. Apple-Cheddar Panini

For a quick and nutritious lunch or dinner that your kid will ask for again and again, try this easy recipe from Healthy Eating. This scrumptious sandwich is filled with calcium and fiber, giving your child healthy bones and a satisfied stomach. Spread honey mustard dressing on whole wheat bread and then layer sliced apples and cheddar cheese on top. Grill it for a few minutes until the cheese is melted. We won’t tell if you make one for yourself, too.

5. Yogurt Tube Dessert

Ice cream is always a favorite, and we suggest you keep sweet treats in moderation. One substitute that will satisfy your kid’s sweet tooth is to freeze yogurt tubes. It will have the consistency and sweetness of ice cream, but loaded with protein and calcium instead of sugar and additives. They’ll never know the difference.

Do you have any healthy and quick recipes your children just love to eat? Share them in the comments!