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Healthy Kid-Friendly Recipes for the New Year

check out these tasty dishes

Need some ideas on how to get your little one to eat healthier foods? We found several kid-friendly recipes that are sure to please little palates, and are good for you too. Your kiddo will be begging you to make these dishes all year long.

Crispy Garlic Baked Potato Wedges

What You’ll Need:

6 large russet potatoes, rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (or 3 tsp. garlic powder)
3 tsp. salt (adjust to your taste)
1 tsp. paprika
2/3 cup finely grated or shredded parmesan cheese, divided
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley

What You’ll Do:

Preheat oven to 390 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets or trays with parchment paper and set aside. Cut each potato in half, lengthways, then cut each half in half (lengthways again). Do this until you have 8 wedges. Make sure they are about the same thickness and size.

In a small jug, combine the oil, garlic, salt and paprika. Place the wedges onto the baking sheets. Pour the oil mixture over the potatoes and toss together to coat evenly. Arrange the potato wedges in a single layer on a large baking tray, with the skin sides down.

Sprinkle with half of the parmesan cheese and extra salt if needed. Bake for 35 minutes, turning wedges half way through baking time, until gold, crisp and cooked through (test with a fork!).

Sprinkle with parsley and the remaining parmesan cheese. Voilà!

Light Mac & Cheese

What You’ll Need:

12 oz. fusilli or elbow pasta (feel free to substitute your favorite gluten free pasta if you like!)
1 1/2 Tbsp. buttery spread
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk of choice (go low fat for a healthier choice)
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cups shredded cheddar (or vegan cheddar if you prefer)
12 oz. broccoli florets
2 Tbsp. parmesan grated topping (nutritional yeast also works)
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs (can also opt for gluten free here too)
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper to taste

What You’ll Do:

In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta and broccoli together, according to the package. Spray your baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, melt the butter spread; add the onion and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.

Add the flour and cook 1 minute or until flour is gold and well combined. Whisk in the milk and broth, then raise the heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Remove from heat, add cheese, and stir until melted. Stir in the cooked pasta and broccoli, then pour into the prepared baking dish.

Top with breadcrumbs and Parmesan (or that nutritional yeast), and spray a little more cooking spray on top. Bake for 15–20 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden. Yum!

Pro Tip: Remember, this is healthy mac and cheese, so it won’t be as cheesy or gooey as the usual. This dish is still full of flavor though.

5 Ingredient Bean Burgers

What You’ll Need:

1 can kidney beans
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 spring onions, chopped
Small bunch fresh cilantro
Salt and black pepper

What You’ll Do:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking tray and set aside. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. Take the mixture out of the processor and form into large patties and place on the baking tray.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until patties have dried out and are crispy on the outside. Serve with buns and your choice of toppings.

Pro Tip: If your kiddo has a walnut allergy, exchange them for another nut with a similar size and flavor, such as pecans. Want to avoid nuts in general? Consider using pumpkin seeds as an alternative—these have a mild flavor and similar texture.

Pro Tip #2: This will easily make 4–5 patties (depending on how large you make them), so there’s no need to double the recipe unless you’re cooking for a large group.

Energy Balls

What You’ll Need:

1 1/2 cups whole rolled oats (chopped lightly in a food processor)
1 1/2 cups crispy rice ceral
1/2 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds (ground)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

What You’ll Do:

Stir together peanut butter, coconut oil and honey in a small mixing bowl until smooth. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Pour peanut butter mixture over dry ingredients and mix until evenly combined.

Chill mixture for 20–40 minutes. Press 2 Tbsp. of mixture together into small balls and store ina covered glass container. Pro Tip: Don’t roll the balls. They will crumble!

If a ball shape is not preferred, you can also press the mixture in a greased 9×13 pan, chill and cut into 4 rows of 8 squares.

Chill the energy balls (or squares) for 30 minutes, then enjoy!

Pro Tip #2: These will last for 2 weeks if stored in the refrigerator.

Pro Tip #3: These have lower calories and sugar if you use unsweetened coconut and natural peanut butter.

Baked Apple Chips

What You’ll Need:

2 apples

What You’ll Do:

Remove the apple core, then thinly slice the entire apple. Grab a cookie sheet and line with parchment paper. Place the apple slices on the sheet. Sprinkle the slices with cinnamon. Bake at 275 degrees for two hours. After one hour, flip the slices over so they bake evenly.

Pro Tip: Check them at the hour mark, and then every 30 minutes after. Once the slices look crispy, take them out.

Image courtesy of iStock.