Fiber for kids: High fiber recipes for kids

By Christina Sharkey, clinical dietitian at CHOC

Adequate and proper nutrition is important for a child’s normal growth and development and since January is National Fiber Focus month, this is a great time to make sure that you and your family are getting enough fiber in your diet. Fiber is a beneficial part of our diet because it helps keep us full longer, control blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol and promotes regular bowel movements.

Incorporating fiber in your child’s diet: How much fiber does your child need?

Here’s how much fiber your children should be eating every day:

Age Male Female
1-3 years 14 grams 14 grams
4-8 years 19.6 grams 16.8 grams
9-13 years 25.2 grams 22.4 grams
14-18 years 30.8 grams 25.2 grams

Source: The Institute of Medicine, based on 14gm/1000 calories/day (for age)

High-fiber foods for kids

As a parent, you may be concerned that your child isn’t getting enough fiber. Offering foods that are naturally high in fiber makes it easy to reach the recommended intakes.

Foods that are naturally high in fiber include:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • whole grains
  • legumes

High-fiber snacks for kids

Some examples of snacks and other foods that are high in fiber include:

Grains

Food Serving Amount of fiber
Cooked oatmeal 1 cup 4 grams
Cooked brown rice 1 cup 3 grams, vs. just 0.7 grams in white rice
Cooked whole wheat pasta 1 cup 5.5 grams, vs. just 2.5 grams in regular pasta
Air popped popcorn 3 cups 3.5 grams

 

Legumes and nuts

Food Serving Amount of fiber
Cooked kidney beans, lentils or black beans ½ cup 6.5-7.5 grams
Cooked edamame ½ cup 4 grams
Almonds 1 ounce 3 grams

 

Vegetables

Food Serving Amount of fiber
Cooked broccoli 1 cup 4 grams
Avocado ½ of a piece 5 grams
Raw jicama ½ cup 3 grams

 

Fruit

Food Serving Amount of fiber
Raw raspberries or blackberries ½ cup 4 grams
Raw pear 1 piece 5.5 grams
Raw orange 1 piece 3.7 grams
Raw banana 1 piece 3.3 grams
Raw medium apple 1 piece 4.8 grams

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

How to increase fiber in your child’s diet

If you’re looking for more ways to increase the amount of fiber in your child’s diet, here are some tips:

  • Leave the skins on fruits and vegetables.
  • Use whole wheat flour in place of white flour.
  • Replace white bread and cereals with whole grain options. Look for whole wheat, rye, oats or bran on the ingredient list.
  • Add fruit to whole grain cold or hot cereals.
  • Add fruit, nuts or whole grain granola to yogurt.
  • Add vegetables to scrambled eggs, omelets or pasta.
  • Aim to offer whole grains that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
  • Foods that are labeled as a “good source of fiber” have at least 2.5 grams of fiber per serving. If you’re not sure how to read nutrition labels in the products you buy, check out this guide.
  • Choose whole fruit instead of juice.
  • Include fruit and vegetables with every meal. Aim for 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
  • Put veggies, like lettuce, tomato or avocado, on sandwiches.
  • Add beans to soups and salads.
  • Add bran to baked goods.
  • Offer air-popped popcorn, whole-grain crackers, fruit, or vegetables as healthy snack options.

High-fiber recipes for kids

Besides just adding fruits and vegetables to your meals and snacks, consider trying these fun high-fiber snacks and recipe ideas. Many of these can be made in advance for busy days.

Chia Pudding

Yield: 4 servings

Fiber: 6 grams/serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of vanilla-flavored unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup of plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus optional 4 teaspoons for serving
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Chia seeds
  • 1-pint strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, gently whist the almond milk, yogurt, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, the vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt until just blended. Whisk in the chia seeds; let stand 30 minutes. Stir to distribute the seeds if they have settled. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, in a medium bowl, toss the berries with the remaining 4 teaspoons of maple syrup. Mix in the almonds.
  3. Spoon the pudding into four bowls or glasses; mound the berry mixture on top and serve.

Recipe via Food Network

Blueberry Morning Glory Baked Oatmeal

This baked oatmeal recipe includes lots of fiber and can be made in advance for busy mornings!

Yield: 1 pan (6 servings)

Fiber: 6 grams/serving

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 medium apple, grated
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk of your choice (I used almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, divided. If using frozen berries thaw them slightly.
  • 1/4 cup pecan pieces for topping, optional
  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes for topping, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8×8 – inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, coconut, apple, carrot, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the milk, maple syrup, egg and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Arrange 1/2 cup of the blueberries along the bottom of the baking dish. Pour the oat mixture over the top of the blueberries evenly. Pour the milk mixture over the top of the oat mixture as evenly as possible. Tap the baking dish on the counter a couple of times to evenly distribute.
  5. Top the oatmeal with the pecans, remaining blueberries and coconut flakes.
  6. Bake 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and set. Cool on a wire rack and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Flavor the Moments

Roasted Chickpeas

If you are looking for something crunchy, a great high fiber snack is roasted chickpeas. Adding different flavorings can add some variety, and this is a great way to replace chips.

Yield: 6 servings

Fiber: 6.5 grams/serving

Ingredients:

Chickpeas:

  • Three 15-ounce cans of chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use avocado oil)

Taco Seasoning:

  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated onion
  • Kosher salt

Vinegar-Lime Seasoning:

  • 2 teaspoons distilled vinegar
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Kosher salt

Onion-Garlic Seasoning:

  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • Kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Put a few layers of paper towels on your work surface. Strain and rinse the chickpeas in a strainer, then shake off as much water as possible. Transfer them to the layer of paper towels, top with more paper towels and pat them gently and roll them around a bit to dry. Discard any papery skins that have peeled off or are about to peel off. Slide the chickpeas onto a large, rimmed baking sheet and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Roast the chickpeas, stirring them occasionally to keep them from burning in spots, until a little shriveled and crispy, about 45 minutes. Start checking them at around 35 minutes to make sure they are not burning.
  4. Meanwhile, make the seasoning mixes. For the Taco Seasoning: Mix the chili powder, coriander, cumin, granulated garlic and onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
  5. For the Vinegar-Lime Seasoning: Mix the vinegar, lime zest and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
  6. For the Onion-Garlic Seasoning: Mix the granulated garlic and onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
  7. When the chickpeas are done, divide them evenly among three medium bowls. Toss each batch with 1 tablespoon of the oil, then toss 1 batch with each of the seasoning mixes.
  8. Return the chickpeas to the baking sheet, keeping each batch separate. Roast them for three minutes, just to cook the seasonings slightly. Let cool completely on the pan on a rack, about 30 minutes, then transfer to airtight containers. The chickpeas will keep for one day and will soften slightly as they sit.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network

Hearty Navy Bean Soup with Ham

This homemade soup recipe, from my own grandmother, has a hearty amount of fiber. Pairing this with warm whole-wheat bread and roasted carrots is perfect.

Yields: 6 Servings

Fiber: 8 grams/serving

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound navy beans, washed well
  • Ham bone and any small bits of leftover ham
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped and sautéed in 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ cup shredded raw russet potatoes
  • ¾ cup chopped celery and ¼ cup chopped celery leaves
  • About 2 teaspoons of salt, depending on amount of ham used
  • ¼ teaspoons ground black pepper
  • ½ cup drained tomatoes (fresh or canned) cut into medium size pieces
  • ½ cup fresh green onion tops

*Note: the tomatoes and scallions may be omitted, but they help add some color and vegetables to the soup!

Directions:

  1. Soak the navy beans with 6 cups of warm water. Let stand overnight.
  2. The next day, pour beans and water in which they were soaked into a large pot. Add more water if needed to cover the ham bone.
  3. Combine all ingredients except for tomatoes and green onion tops.
  4. Cook soup in a covered pot over low heat for about 1.5-2 hours or until the beans are very soft.
  5. If using a ham bone, pull out bone and allow to cool briefly before removing any remaining ham bits and cutting into bite size pieces. Add the ham back to the soup and discard the bone.
  6. During last 10 minutes of cooking, add tomatoes and green onions and cook slowly uncovered.
  7. When done, taste, and season further if necessary.
  8. If soup appears thick, add a little water or stock of your choice. If soup appears thin, cook uncovered for a few minutes.

Recipe courtesy of CHOC dietitian Christina Sharkey’s grandmother

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

Try a twist on tacos by swapping your typical meat for a plant-based protein that is high in fiber.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Fiber: 7-10 grams/serving

Ingredients:

Roasted Sweet Potatoes:

  • 1-2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes (~2 cups cubed)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

Beans:

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 1 15-ounce can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Apple cider vinegar or water, as needed

Serve with:

  • 10-12 tortillas
  • ½ cup tomatillo salsa verde
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • ¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese (can substitute with parmesan or feta cheese)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, salt, cumin and chili powder. Spread on a baking sheet in an even layer. Roast for 15 minutes, then use a spatula to flip the potatoes over. Roast for another 15 minutes or until sweet potatoes and have puffed up and have crisp, roasted edges.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the onions and ½ teaspoon salt and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno, and sauté for 2 more minutes. Fold in the beans and cook. Stir occasionally until the beans are soft and seasoned, about 10-15 minutes. If beans seem dry or bottom of pan starts to sizzle, add a splash of apple cider vinegar or water as needed. Taste and season as needed.
  4. Warm the tortillas.
  5. Serve the tacos. Layer the tacos with sweet potatoes and black beans. Serve with avocado slices, minced cilantro and cheese.

Recipe courtesy of Simply Recipes

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Planning for a smaller Thanksgiving this year

By Stephanie Chang, clinical dietitian at CHOC

 Thanksgiving is just around the corner and many of us are thinking about what we’re going to do for Thanksgiving 2020. You might be thinking:

“We won’t be able to have the big family celebration with our extended family.”

“We won’t be able to have a big potluck with our friends.”

“I don’t know how to cook turkey!”

“I usually volunteer to pick up the pumpkin pie and now I’m responsible for the whole dinner?!”

“What am I going to do with a whole ham or whole turkey when I’ve only got four people to feed and two of them are small children?”

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are encouraged to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with just the members of our household. How can you manage creating a special meal on a smaller scale?

There are lots of healthy and delicious options for those of us cooking for a small group. We can choose simple dishes that make it manageable for only one cook to make an entire meal. This year, we may have to forego the five or six side dishes we might be used to having for potluck dinners and instead focus on a few simple and tasty sides to make the meal complete.

The protein

In years past, the whole turkey or the whole ham might have been the star of the meal. However, this year that may be too much for one household. Consider making this year special by choosing a different protein for a smaller group. A whole roasted chicken can be a smaller, manageable protein choice for a family if a whole turkey seems daunting. Chicken is a good source of protein and contains minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.

Roast chicken with rosemary

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, rinsed (about 3 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh rosemary

 Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Stuff with the onion and rosemary. Place chicken in a 9×13-inch baking dish or roasting dish.
  3. Roast for two to two-and-a-half hours, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken.

 Recipes courtesy of AllRecipes.com.

The side dishes

 To keep side dishes simple, choose winter vegetables that are in-season and plentiful at the grocery store this time of year. These mostly root vegetables tend to remain fresh for a long time, so if you are not able to use them all on Thanksgiving Day, the uncut ones can be stored for another time. Root vegetables can be washed and cut ahead of time to cut down on time in the kitchen later. If you are short on oven space, roast the vegetables first, then the protein. While the protein is cooling, you can heat the vegetables in the oven while allowing them to brown more for a better roasted flavor. Root vegetables provide fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, beta carotene and folate.

The recipe below is a colorful mixture that provides a variety of tastes and textures. Recipes like these can be easily halved or have items omitted if there is an ingredient that won’t work for your family.

Roasted potatoes, carrots and Brussels sprouts

 Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots (about ¾ pound), cut into 1 ½-inch thick circles
  • 1 ½ cups Brussels sprouts (about ½ pound), halved
  • 4 cups red bliss potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1 ½-inch thick slices
  • 3 medium parsnips (about 1 pound), cut into 1 ½-inch thick slices
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1 ½-inch thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Grease a baking sheet with extra-virgin olive oil. Place vegetables on baking sheet and add herbs, salt and pepper. Toss well, evenly coating all the vegetables with the seasonings and oil. Add more oil if the vegetables seem dry.
  3. Spread the vegetables evenly on a large baking sheet. Place on middle rack in oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

 Recipe courtesy of Food Network.

 To make things easier on Thanksgiving Day, consider preparing cornbread the day before or Thanksgiving morning. Then by dinner time, it will be ready to simply heat and serve! The corn meal in the recipe adds 6 grams of fiber per 1 cup and also provides iron, B vitamins and vitamin A.

Honey cornbread muffins

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ stick butter, melted
  • ¼ cup honey

 Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, butter and honey. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.
  3. Place muffin paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Evenly divide the cornbread mixture into the papers. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.

 Recipe courtesy of Food Network.

 Thanksgiving dinner may look a little different this year, but it can still be a special day shared with your household around a delicious and healthy meal.

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The benefits of adding chickpeas to your family’s diet

By Laura Clapper, registered dietitian at CHOC 

Incorporating chickpeas – also known as garbanzo beans – a staple ingredient in hummus, into your family’s diet can result in a variety of health benefits.

Health benefits of chickpeas

 Chickpeas have a soft creamy texture and a nutty, buttery taste.  In addition to being filling, they offer many other benefits:

  • Protein and vitamin-packed
  • Low saturated fat
  • Fiber rich
  • Naturally gluten-free
  • Good for gut health
  • Good for blood sugar control

In addition to these health benefits, they are a sustainable crop which requires less water to grow than wheat or rice, have a long storage life, and are a more affordable source of protein than meat.

How to add more chickpeas to your diet

You can add chickpeas to chili, soups, stews, salads, grain bowls and homemade veggie burgers. They can be ground into flours as well.

Chickpea flour is versatile and nutritious and is good for plant-based and gluten-free diets.

Chickpea flour has a fine texture and a mild, nutty, earthy flavor. It is good for both sweet and savory dishes. Try substituting a few tablespoons of chickpea flour in recipes that call for wheat or rice flour.

Chickpeas can be purchased canned or raw. If you choose to cook your own, you can soak them in plenty of water overnight followed by simmering for two hours on the stove. Or, you can place one cup raw, un-soaked chickpeas with 4 cups water in a pressure cooker to cook for about 40 minutes.

How to make your own hummus

Hummus is a delicious dip made from chickpeas. It is best paired with crackers, pita bread or vegetables such as celery, carrots, cucumbers and sweet peppers. Hummus can be purchased in the market or easily whipped together at home using the recipe below.

Quick and Easy Hummus

Makes 4 servings

1 can (about 15oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons tahini or sesame paste

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Enjoy as a dip or spread onto sandwiches or wraps.

Leftover hummus may be covered and refrigerated up to one week.

Roasted Chickpeas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and line 15”x10”x1” baking sheet with foil. Drain and rinse two cans of chickpeas. Spread in a single layer over foil. Remove any loose skins. Bake until crunchy about 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Immediately toss hot chickpeas with oil and spice mixture. Cool completely.

Spice mixtures:

  • Rosemary sea salt — Whisk two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, one tablespoon minced fresh rosemary and half a teaspoon of sea salt.
  • Orange curry — whisk two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, one teaspoon grated orange zest and one tablespoon curry powder.
  • Lemon pepper — whisk two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, one teaspoon grated lemon zest, and two teaspoons freshly cracked pepper.

Source: Taste of Home.com

Get important nutrition tips like these sent straight to your inbox

Kids Health, delivered monthly, offers “healthful” information for parents.

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How to get kids involved in the kitchen: Tips for parents

By Lindsay Rypkema, clinical dietitian at CHOC

School is back in session, and although for most this means in-home learning for the time being, there is no better time to get your kids involved in the kitchen, as recipes nicely tie into reading and math lessons. Take out all your measuring cups and spoons to teach them how to read the numbers and the meaning of different measurements such as ounces, tablespoon, teaspoon and cup. Have your child calculate what the measurements would be if the recipe was doubled or cut in half.

Here are a few simple, family-friendly recipes that will help get kids involved in the kitchen.

Berry-licious smoothie bowl

These smoothie bowls can provide a lot of good nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and protein, depending on ingredients included. Greek yogurt is a good choice as a base because it is high in protein. This recipe calls for almond milk, but you can use whatever type of milk your family currently consumes.

Ingredients:

Ice, for thickening

1 cup frozen berries

½ medium banana, frozen

½ cup almond milk

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

*Consider the following as additional toppings: chia seed, ground flaxseed, fresh fruit, chopped nuts, shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. Blend the berries, banana, milk and yogurt. Add ice to thicken as needed.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and add toppings of choice.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network

Frozen Berry and Spinach Ice Pops:

The weather is still hot, so check out this twist on the standard popsicle using healthier ingredients. These smoothie-like popsicles are packed with antioxidants and are a good way to sneak in some extra spinach for picky eaters. Keep in mind you can blend spinach into most smoothie-type recipes without changing the taste, and avocado can be used to make them creamier.

Ingredients:

1 cup milk

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup frozen cherries

½ cup Greek yogurt

½ cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

3 tablespoons honey

Directions:

  1. Blend milk, blueberries, cherries, yogurt, spinach and honey in a blender until smooth; pour into ice pop molds.
  2. Freeze until solid, at least two hours.

Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes

Alphabet pizza:

Pizza is a favorite of many children, so this is a good way to get your child involved in the kitchen. This recipe calls for alphabet cookie cutters which is a fun way for younger children to practice their letters. If you don’t have alphabet cookie cutters, use whatever shapes you currently have available in your home. Provide a wide variety of vegetable toppings such as bell pepper, tomato, mushrooms, onions and spinach for added vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Look for meats that are minimally processed and have fewer additives such as nitrates.

Ingredients:

Premade pizza crust

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon oregano

Pinch of salt

1 ½ cups pizza sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1 cup mini pepperoni

*Recommend additional vegetable toppings as mentioned above

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush olive oil all over.
  2. Using letter cookie cutters, cut out desired letters. Spread a spoonful of sauce onto each piece and top with cheese and mini pepperoni. Bake until cheese has melted and dough is golden.

Recipe courtesy of Delish

Get important nutrition tips like these sent straight to your inbox

Kids Health, delivered monthly, offers “healthful” information for parents.

Related posts:

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Comfort baking with a healthier twist

By Elise Harlow, clinical dietitian at CHOC

With more free time on our hands this summer than most, many of us have turned to baking to provide some comforting treats for ourselves and our families. Baking at home is not only a great way to experiment with new recipes, but also a good time to get the kids in the kitchen. Having your kids bake with you in age appropriate ways can help them learn to cook, get familiar with new foods and maybe even practice some math and reading skills by helping follow a recipe. Most comforting treats do a lot to satisfy our soul but little to satisfy our nutrient needs. Here’s some recipes for comforting treats with a twist so we can feel both satisfied and nourished!

Whole wheat banana bread muffins

This banana bread muffin recipe uses mostly whole wheat flour with a small amount of white flour. By using whole wheat flour, you get an added fiber boost!

Yields: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups mashed very ripe banana (about 3 large bananas)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, optional

Instructions:

  1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk together the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk together the coconut oil, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and egg whites in a separate medium bowl until well combined. Stir in the mashed banana. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until combined. Stir in the chopped walnuts if using.
  3. Fill the lined muffin cups about three-quarters of the way with the batter (a generous 1/4 cup in each; see Cook’s Note). Bake on the center rack until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Cook’s Note – when measuring flour, spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods. A cookie or ice cream scoop makes it easier to portion the batter.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network

Vegan banana bread

For those of us running low on butter and eggs, this vegan banana bread recipe is for you!

Yield: 1 loaf (8 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 ¼ cup)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup plain soy-milk yogurt (Note: if you do not need this recipe to be 100% vegan, you can use regular plain yogurt)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and two long sides of a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on each long side, and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk the bananas, sugar, yogurt, oil and vanilla together in another medium bowl. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until the batter just comes together (it’s OK if there are lumps). Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes; tent the loaf with foil if it is browning too quickly. Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then lift it from the pan by the parchment overhangs and cool completely on the rack. Store the loaf in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network

Blueberry pancakes

These pancakes use oatmeal instead of flour for extra fiber and protein, and the blueberries add some e extra vitamin C.

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • ½ cup blueberry

Instructions:

  1. Mash bananas in a large bowl until smooth. Mix in eggs and vanilla until well combined, then mix in oats. Fold in blueberries carefully.
  2. Heat a skillet to medium and add in a scoop of the pancake batter. Smooth out to form an even layer. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until you start to see bubbles releasing from the top of the batter. Flip and cook until the other side is golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Garnish your pancakes with your favorite toppings! (We used Greek yogurt, granola, fresh blueberries and maple syrup.

Recipe courtesy of Tasty

White bean chocolate chip cookies

Don’t let the beans in this recipe scare you! By using these mild tasting beans, there is less butter and more fiber and protein than regular chocolate chip cookies.

Yield: about 2 ½ dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup cooked or canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, beat together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Meanwhile, put the beans in a food processor; add the maple syrup and puree until very smooth.
  3. Add the bean mixture to the creamed butter in the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on medium speed until completely smooth, stopping and scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula several times, about three to four minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions; add the vanilla and mix until combined. Scrape down the bowl. Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled; it will smooth out when you add the dry ingredients.
  4. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking soda and salt together into a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto the prepared pans, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies begin to turn golden around the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes; do not overbake. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes on the pan before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network

Brownies

This brownie recipe uses less butter than standard recipes. The secret is the applesauce, which you would never guess is in there and provides extra vitamin C and fiber!

Yield: 16 brownies

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup applesauce

Topping

  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and cinnamon; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in applesauce. Pour into an 8-in. square baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  2. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares.

Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home

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