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The Healthy Kids Meals/Snacks Spot!

Parents on and off VW are always asking what healthy foods can I feed my kid??? ((that they will actually eat)) This is especially important for vegan kids......
I thought it would be great to have a place to compile our favorite kid recipes and snacks to direct people to, along with reviews of those recipes and ideas to see if they actually work. :) I also love to see what my other trusted VW moms have been cooking up that works.

First off here is the "Kid-Friendly Recipes" link on VW.....
http://vegweb.com/index.php?board=148.0

Off of here I have made and recommend the following....
Flashback Mac and Cheese
http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=16227.0

Kale Chips
http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=16634.0

L2A's Cookie Burgers
http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=30799.0

The "what did you eat today parents/kids forum..."
is also a great place to get new ideas when you are out of food ideas, and to calm your nerves when your picky toddler will only eat 1 or 2 kinds of foods a day.

http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=29256.0

Here is the "parenting tricks of the trade" forum...it also lists different healthy ideas
http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=30190.0

The "what to bring for lunch is also a popular worry/question...here are some past topics on that...
http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=27288.0
http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=30236.0

Here are good blogs with recipes and kid-freindly ideas...
http://rhiw.blogspot.com/
http://vegandad.blogspot.com/

Other healthy kid meals tips I have are smoothies, (they are messy, but a great wat to sneak in foods like kale.)
Blended soups and sauces are also great ways to get in veggies undetectably.  Kea's dad makes her a bean and veggie soup in the crock pot every couple of days and it includes everything from kale, to quinoa and amarenth, beans, and sometimes even seaweed, (which makes me sigh with happiness.)

Lately I have been cooking up a pot of brown rice with amarenth and quinoa, in homemade veggie broth.  My daughter LOVES it and its really easy to make.  It includes roughly....2 cups uncooked brown rice, 1 cup uncooked quinoa, and 1 cup uncooked amarenth....I just add enough veggie broth to this so that it goes about 3 inches over the top of the grains, throw in a couple bay leaves, bring it all to a boil and simmer, covered until the rice is tender, adding more broth if neccesary.  I even break the rules and stir it a few times.  It makes a texture similar to a lazy risotto...kinda mushy and "moist" but I like it that way and so does my daughter....I have noticed that if I add too much amarenth it tastes a little too "earthy/dirt-like"

Please, please add other recipes, ideas, and links to help us all!

hmmmmm...thought of a few more things.....
*everyone's heard of having fresh fruit and veggies avalible to get kids to want to eat them, this is soooo true.  We have our fruit sitting in a big basket on the counter, Kea can see it and requests fruits, (usualy apples and bananas) almost every time we walk into the kitchen
*  I have occasionally had success with putting VERY small pieces of raw brocolli/carrots/and cauliflower on her tray and her eating them....I've included hummus and 'ranch' dip for them, but she usually just licks this with her fingers and eats the veggies seperate

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Tricks I do with the little boy I nanny (he's 19 months and vegan):

Smoothies (the best!), I pack with peanutbuter or almond butter and flax oil, he loves them and never knows how healthy they really are.
Raw Veggies: He really seems to like Raw veggies, so I pile his plat with tomato slices, hearts of palm and even raw mushrooms.
Sesame-Almond Tofu: We have a premade brand of this here that he loves, so I often give it to him as a snack and he gobbles it right up, even more so than if it's part of a meal!

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Caitlin is less picky that me in many ways.  She loves fruits and veggies.  Until reading some of the posts here, I thought that was typical.  I have trouble getting her to eat more fatty foods like nuts, and she's not a big grain eater except for white rice and noodles of any kind.  Smoothies are greater for sneaking things in, and straw cups make them pretty much mess free.  She also LOVES mushrooms and usually eats most of them raw while I preparing them to be cooked.  That is great for me, because I don't like them.  One thing that works for her at least is to let her pick out the veggies she wants to eat at the store.  Somehow selecting what veggies we buy and then picking out the actual vegetables out of the bin seems to make her think she is part of the process, which makes her more likely to try new things.  The last time we did some serious produce shopping, this guy kept giving us really strange looks when he realized that Caitlin was begging for yellow squash.  It was funny. 

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wow, where do these raw veggie lovin' kids come from?!  Kea, (and this is probably true for many toddlers,) has "onO and "off" days with veggies.  Fruits are no problem, but veggies can be, (other than those in her soup, which she eats most days and is loaded with veggies.)  If she is served raw veggies, or veggie pieces in pasta 1/2 of the time she annouces that they are
'yucky" and throws them on the floor.  There are, however, the days where she asks for raw brocolli, or "dino leaves"---(what we call greens and salads.)  Thinking on your toes and as hard as it is having a non-chalant attitude for those days when she refuses her veggies helps it so veggies don't become a battle for us.

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This may sound like stupid advice, but whe Caitiln was younger I had better luck getting her to eat new things off my plate than if I served them to her directly.  She would see I was eating and enjoying something that she didn't have on her plate and ask for a bite.  Most of the time she would like it and ask for "MINE" which meant she wanted some on her plate.  If I just served the new food by itself, she would play with it, and if I served it with foods I knew she liked, she'd just eat those and ask for more.  I'm guessing this worked because of the way toddlers always want what someone else has. 

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The little kiddos i used to babysit always had teddy grahams from their mom but they'd see me eating raw sugar snap peas or red peppers and would ask for them again and again. So, I second the idea of letting them see you eat it and let them wonder about what that delicious veggie is. I also think kids tend to like the sweeter vegetables raw more often than something like broccoli. Of course, there are always the kids who likes what no one expects kids to like. My cousin used to ask for tuna sandwhiches at 6 in the morning. I'd be holding my nose away making it for him.

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I made a tofu-quiche-ish dish for Easter yesterday and Kea LOVED it, it was filled with tons of mushrooms, asparagus, artichokes, and brocolli.  (all in small pieces, but still quite a lot)  I like what you were both saying about letting them see you eat it, in the past Kea has randomly eaten different veggies off of my plate that she NEVER would have eaten otherwise. 

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I agree with the better from my plate trick. I do the same with the little boy I nanny, he was all over my red lentil soup today  ;D

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This may sound like obvious advice, but I thought I'd post it in case it helps anyone.  Recently Caitlin has been not wanting to drink smoothies.  I guess she's bored with them.  Anyway, I've been freezing leftover smoothies in popsicle molds.  She loves popsicles, and will eat these like crazy.  With no added sugar, I don't feel bad about letting her eat them, even for breakfast.  Throwing a small amount of raw cashews in the blender with it makes it creamier and adds some healthy fats for her.  I've been doing this for a couple weeks now, and she hasn't yet requested the last commercial popsicle in the freezer yet.  I take that to be a good sign. 

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This may sound like obvious advice, but I thought I'd post it in case it helps anyone.  Recently Caitlin has been not wanting to drink smoothies.  I guess she's bored with them.  Anyway, I've been freezing leftover smoothies in popsicle molds.  She loves popsicles, and will eat these like crazy.  With no added sugar, I don't feel bad about letting her eat them, even for breakfast.  Throwing a small amount of raw cashews in the blender with it makes it creamier and adds some healthy fats for her.  I've been doing this for a couple weeks now, and she hasn't yet requested the last commercial popsicle in the freezer yet.  I take that to be a good sign. 

yum! What a great summer treat.  I kinda want one myself.  I made these lentil sloppy joes a couple days ago, w/ red peppers, cauliflower and carrots..mine took about 1 hour to get to the consistency I wanted....anyways Kea kinda liked them, and ate & her serving of them
http://vegandad.blogspot.com/

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My daughter showed me today that raw mushroom can be peeled and eaten strangely like string cheese.  Caitlin eats them plain all the time, but this would probably work with a dip.  I know this works for regular white mushrooms and portabellas, but I'm not sure about any other types.  I just thought I'd mention it, because it might be a way to get a kid to try something they wouldn't otherwise consider trying. 

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My daughter showed me today that raw mushroom can be peeled and eaten strangely like string cheese.  Caitlin eats them plain all the time, but this would probably work with a dip.  I know this works for regular white mushrooms and portabellas, but I'm not sure about any other types.  I just thought I'd mention it, because it might be a way to get a kid to try something they wouldn't otherwise consider trying. 

interesting! I've found mashing steamed cauliflower in with Kea's mashed potatoes is awesome, she doesn't even notice it.

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I am stealing that smoothie popsicle trick!

At the moment i don't feel like there isn't anything River wouldn't eat. She is going through a growth spurt, and i swear she is going to go from 3 1/2 year old to 13 year old over night with as much as she has been eating! like 5 servings for dinner (and we are talking adult servings!). she has never been so crazy hungry before, it is kinda funny, and i know she will go back to her normal eating habbits once this growth is done.

Chili has always been a go to for us. it is simple to toss in the crockpot in the morning, and uses a lot of nearing the end veggies. River loves chilli, she had 3 servings in less than an hour the other night.

she totally loved the kale chips

i am pretty lucky, b/c there really isn't a veggie that she has been introduced to that she doesn't like. and i notice it weird that when ever we go out to eat the waitresses are pushing "traditional kid dishes" on her, eventhough she just wants steamed veggies and rice. they are even more shocked when she eats it. :)

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