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kids corner

Chicken w/ Honey Mustard

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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. raw honey

  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

  • 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar

  • Nonstick cooking spray or olive oil cooking spray

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 Tbsp. water

  • 1 lb. raw chicken breast tenders, skinless

  • 1 cup whole wheat Panko bread crumbs (Japanese-style bread crumbs)

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sliced raw almonds

  • 1 dash sea salt or Himalayan salt

  • 1 dash ground black pepper

 

Instructions

  1. Combine honey, mustard, and vinegar in a small bowl; mix well. Chill.

  2. Preheat oven to 425° F.

  3. Line baking sheet with foil; lightly coat with spray.

  4. Combine eggs and water in a medium shallow bowl; whisk to blend.

  5. Soak chicken in egg mixture for 30 minutes, turning once; set aside.

  6. Combine bread crumbs, almonds, salt, and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag; shake to combine.

  7. Working with a few pieces at a time, lift chicken from egg mixture, letting excess drip back into bowl, and drop into bag containing bread crumb mixture. Seal bag and shake to coat; repeat with remaining chicken.

  8. Place chicken on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes, until no longer pink in the middle and golden brown.

  9. Serve with honey mustard dipping sauce.

Container Equivalents

1 Red

1 Yellow

1 Blue

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

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Ingredients

  • 4 slices low-sodium sprouted whole-grain bread torn into large pieces

  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 1½ lbs. raw 93% lean ground turkey

  • 8 slices turkey bacon cooked, chopped, divided use

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • ¼ cup dill pickle relish

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped

  • 1 medium onion chopped

  • ¼ cup all-natural ketchup

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

  2. Place bread in food processor; pulse for 10 to 20 seconds, or until bread turns into coarse bread crumbs.

  3. Combine bread and almond milk in a large bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes.

  4. Add turkey, ¾ of turkey bacon, cheese, pickle relish, egg, garlic, and onion to bread mixture; mix well with clean hands (or a rubber spatula).

  5. Place turkey mixture in loaf pan. Spread ketchup evenly over meatloaf. Sprinkle evenly with remaining turkey bacon.

  6. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160º F, and meatloaf is cooked through.

Container Equivalents

1 Red

1 Yellow

½ Blue

Broccoli Tots

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Ingredients

  • 12 oz. broccoli florets (about 5 cups)

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • ⅔ cup whole-grain Panko bread crumbs

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • ¼ cup finely chopped green onions

  • ⅔ cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • ¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper

  • 2 tsp. hot pepper sauce (optional)

 

Instructions

  1. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with spray. Set aside.

  2. Boil water in steamer or large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high. Place broccoli in steamer basket; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender-crisp and bright green. Drain and chop.

  3. Preheat oven to 400º F.

  4. Combine broccoli, egg, bread crumbs, garlic, green onions, cheese, salt, pepper, and hot sauce (if desired) in a large bowl; mix well.

  5. Refrigerate, covered, for 15 to 30 minutes.

  6. To make each tot, shape approximately 2 to 3 Tbsp. broccoli mixture into tot shape. Place on prepared baking sheet.

  7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Turn over; bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown.

Container Equivalents

1 Green

½ Blue

Spaghetti Squash Fritters

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked spaghetti squash, well-drained

  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped (approx. ¾ medium)

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 Tbsp. chives, finely chopped

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1½ tsp. finely grated lemon peel (lemon zest)

  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs, gluten-free

  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch (preferably GMO-free)

  • ½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

  • olive oil cooking spray

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.

  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly coat with olive oil cooking spray. Set aside

  3. Combine spaghetti squash, onion, garlic, chives, eggs, lemon peel, bread crumbs, cornstarch, salt, and cheese in a large bowl; mix until thoroughly combined.

  4. Form spaghetti squash mixture into 12 ¼-cup patties. Place patties on prepared pan. Lightly coat tops with spray. Bake for 15 minutes, turning patties over after 7 minutes.

Recipe Notes

If using freshly baked spaghetti squash, wait for it to be cool enough to handle, place inside a clean kitchen towel, and wring out excess moisture.

Spaghetti squash fritters are great dipped in a little reduced-fat (2%) Greek yogurt.

Container Equivalents

½ Green

½ Yellow

½ Blue

Carrott Cake Muffins

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 1 tsp. baking powder, gluten-free

  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger

  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

  • ¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup

  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

  • ¾ cup grated carrots (approx. 1¼ medium)

  • ¼ cup crushed pineapple, in 100% pineapple juice, drained

  • 3 Tbsp. light sour cream

  • 3 Tbsp. powdered sugar

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

  2. Prepare 12 muffin cups by lining with muffin papers. Set aside

  3. Combine oats, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; mix well. Set aside.

  4. Combine coconut milk, eggs, maple syrup, extract, carrots, and pineapple in a medium bowl; mix well.

  5. Fold coconut milk mixture into oat mixture; mix well.

  6. Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.

  7. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating pan after 15 minutes.

  8. While oatmeal cups are baking, make icing. Combine sour cream and powdered sugar in a small bowl; mix well. Set aside.

  9. Let oatmeal cups cool in pan until you can handle them. Remove to a cooling rack.

  10. Drizzle each oatmeal cup with approximately 1 tsp. icing before serving; serve warm.

 

Recipe Notes

As soon as oatmeal cups are cool, place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 1 day. If storing longer, place in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Container Equivalents

1 Yellow

Sweet Potato PB Cookies

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Ingredients

  • 1½ cups mashed cooked sweet potato (approx. 3 small)

  • ½ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (preferably Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Baking Flour, red label)

  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp. coconut sugar

  • ¼ cup all-natural peanut butter

  • 1½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

  • ½ tsp. xanthan gum

  • ½ tsp. baking powder, gluten-free

  • 1 dash sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

  2. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly coat with spray. Set aside.

  3. Place sweet potato, flour, sugar, peanut butter, pumpkin pie spice, extract, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt in food processor; process until a smooth batter forms, scraping down sides as needed.

  4. Dollop twelve balls, approximately 2 Tbsp. each, onto each prepared pan. Lightly flatten with back of a fork that has been dipped in water (or coated with spray).

  5. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating pan after 7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool on pan before serving.

 

Recipe Notes

Xanthan Gum is a thickening and stabilizing agent often used in gluten-free baking to provide structure to baked goods that typically comes from gluten. Xanthan gum is also used in sauces and dressings to help thicken and emulsify ingredients. It can be found in the grocery store with the gluten-free baking ingredients or online.

To prepare sweet potatoes, pierce whole sweet potatoes multiple times with a fork and bake at 350° F. for 45 minutes, or until soft to the center.

 

Store leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days

Container Equivalents

1 Yellow

1 Teaspoon

Banana Muffins

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Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray (optional)

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp baking soda

  • ½ tsp fine sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

  • 1 large egg lightly beaten

  • ¼ cup raw honey

  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin organic coconut oil melted

  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 3 medium ripe bananas mashed

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

  2. Prepare 12 muffin cups by lining with muffin papers or lightly coating with spray.

  3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; mix well. Set aside.

  4. Combine egg, honey, almond milk, oil, and extract in a medium bowl; mix well.

  5. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; mix until just blended.

  6. Gently fold in bananas.

  7. Evenly divide batter among prepared muffin cups.

  8. Bake 18 to 23 minutes, or until tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

  9. Transfer muffins to rack; cool.

 

Container Equivalents

½ Purple

1 Yellow

1 tsp.

Coco Loco Wonder Whip

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup reduced-fat (2%) plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 1 Tbsp. cacao nibs

  • 2 tsp. pure cacao powder

  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla (or coconut) extract

  • Pure maple syrup (or raw honey*) (to taste; optional)

 

Instructions

  1. Combine yogurt, coconut, cacao nibs, cacao powder, extract, and maple syrup (if desired) in a medium bowl; mix well.

 

Notes

You can use any natural sweetener of your choice.

*Do not feed honey to children younger than 1 year.

How to talk to Kids about food

As if we weren’t already tasked with teaching our kids literally everything else in the world, it’s our job as parents to instill healthy eating habits that will shape their relationship with food for the rest of their lives.

Oh, and do all that without giving them any weird food hang-ups or body-image issues. No pressure!

In all seriousness, the way you talk to your kids about food and nutrition can have a lasting impact on their health.

With the right approach, you can help them build a healthy body image and develop a positive relationship with food — and maybe even sidestep some of the psychological challenges that can make it so hard to lose weight as an adult.

If you don’t know where to start, Ultimate Portion Fix will help you and your whole family establish healthy eating habits for life. This nutrition program from Autumn Calabrese includes the FIXATE Vol. 2 Cookbook, a PDF of 75 Healthy Lunch Ideas for kids, and much more.

Here are a few helpful tips for talking to your kids about food:

Focus on health, not weight

The childhood obesity rate has tripled over the past 40 years, so it makes sense that you might stress about keeping your kids healthy — especially if you’ve struggled with your own weight. But research suggests that focusing on weight rather than health is more likely to lead to unhealthy dieting habits down the road.

So when you’re talking to your kids about nutrition, leave weight out of the conversation, and focus on all the ways food can help their brain and body work better.

Let them dictate portion sizes

It may be hard to believe when you just watched your kid dip spaghetti in ketchup or eat a cold hot dog, but kids actually tend to be more intuitive eaters than adults — and they’re good (sometimes annoyingly so) at stopping when they’re full. Kids are naturally mindful. At any given meal or snack, a child might be more or less hungry than usual. Parents must learn to trust kids and their appetite so kids can, in turn, learn to trust themselves. Use the Ultimate Portion Fix for your own plates and instead talk about them as food groups and be sure your child has a variety of colored containers at each meal. Example: red, yellow, green etc.

Don’t label foods “good” or “bad”

The only food that is categorically ‘unhealthy’ is a food a child is allergic to or one that’s been spoiled or contaminated. Nothing else needs to be judged in that way. Sure, you don’t want your toddler to eat three giant pieces of chocolate cake — but instead of telling them sugar is bad for you, explain that some foods help you grow and stay healthy, while others are just fun “sometimes” snacks.

How to get your picky eater to eat heathier...

1. Don’t panic

While it’s normal to worry about your kid’s nutrition (that’s kind of your job!) a study in Singapore found that picky eating habits rarely affect growth.

Researchers also noted that getting angry when your kid refuses a food can only make things worse.

“What a kid is or isn’t eating should not be the focus of dinner conversation,” says Jill Whitney, L.M.F.T., and picky-eating expert. “Talk about everyone’s day, with the food as backdrop… that makes for much calmer and more pleasant mealtimes, which is as important as nutrition.”

2. Change your language

It’s OK to gripe about your picky eater with other parents, but steer clear of labels if your kid is within earshot.

“If you talk about how your child is a picky eater, he may come to see that as a core part of who he is,” Whitney says. “It’s much better to use language that implies his picky eating is a stage — ‘Sam doesn’t like cauliflower yet,’ or ‘Alexis is still learning to like salmon.'”

After all, a palate can change; you might have hated Brussels sprouts as a kid, but now you order them every time you see them on a menu.

3. Consider the example you’re setting

Maybe your meat can’t touch your veggies. Maybe you hate the smell of cilantro.

Maybe you — and by you, I mean me — can’t look at yellow mustard without gagging. Everyone has food hangups, and kids are no exception.

“It’s amazing to think about all of our picky eating habits and then expect children to automatically branch out,” says Amy Isabella Chalker, a registered dietitian who specializes in children’s healthy eating habits.

Rather than forcing your child to eat everything on his plate, let him decide what he’s ready to try — even if it’s just a dinner roll and a scoop of corn.

Fun fact: Carl Daikeler, Beachbody’s CEO and co-founder, does not like vegetables. Solution? His wife Isabelle and nutritionist Darin Olien created Shakeology so Carl would eat his greens.

4. Try, try, try… and try again

Don’t write off a food just because your kid tried it and hated it (or refused it altogether).

Research has shown kids sometimes need to be offered a food several times before they accept it.

“Some kids are naturally more open to new experiences,” Whitney says. “[But] the slow-to-warm-up kids may need to be exposed to new foods a number of times before they’ll be open to them, so keep offering them.”

5. Reward responsibly

There’s a fine line between rewards and straight-up bribery, but as a parent, you’re already a tightrope-walking master.

Instead of bribing your kids with dessert — which can reinforce the idea that sweets are better than veggies — Whitney suggests rewarding with verbal praise such as, “I know, isn’t that delicious?!” or “I’m so glad you tried it!” when they sample something new.

6. Include something familiar at each meal

I’ve used foods my picky eater already enjoys as a gateway to new grub: “You know how much you like baked beans? I bet you’d love lentils!”

Pairing a new food with an old favorite can encourage food acceptance, so when you plan dinner each night, Chalker says, “Try to include at least one familiar food so your child isn’t overwhelmed.”

If your little ones aren’t 100 percent into fruits and veggies just yet, a Daily Sunshine shake is a fun way to introduce them to healthy foods.

This shake is formulated especially for children, with a fruit and vegetable blend, plant-based protein, and healthy fats. It also comes in two familiar and tasty flavors: chocolate and strawberry banana.

“It helps reinforce healthy, balanced eating, in an easy, flexible manner,” says Isabelle Daikeler, creator of Daily Sunshine and wife of Beachbody CEO Carl Daikeler. “It provides all the ingredients we know are very important for our kid’s well being and often, foods which are difficult to get him to eat!

 

7. Get them involved in grocery shopping and meal prep

It’s important for kids to “feel included and engaged in the entire feeding process, from beginning to end,” Chalker says.

But she cautions against lecturing them about calories and vitamins. Instead, focus on making it fun: Challenge them to find a fruit they’ve never tried in the produce aisle, or ask them to help crack the eggs when you’re making quiche.

“It’s beneficial for children to observe these healthy habits, understand the food cycle, and connect to their food in an educational way,” Chalker adds.

8. Create FOMO

“Rather than going head-to-head with your kid, talk about what he’s missing out on: ‘You don’t want this delicious shrimp? More for me!'” Whitney says.

Or chat with the rest of the family about how yummy it is. You know how kids will ignore a toy until they see someone else playing with it, and suddenly they need to have it right this second? Same principle.

9. Use peer pressure

Obviously, peer pressure is the worst — but it’s also a totally useful parenting tactic, and sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

“Tap into their desire to be older,” Whitney says. “Say, ‘Well, I guess you’re not old enough to enjoy butternut soup’ or ‘Yeah, eating only a few things is something little kids do — you’ll outgrow it.'”

10. Pay attention to presentation

Sure, it’s annoying when your kid eats three applesauce pouches a day but refuses to touch an actual bowl of applesauce.

But presentation plays a big role in kids’ perception of food. A study at Stanford University found that when kids were presented with two versions of the exact same food — one in a McDonald’s wrapper, and one in a plain wrapper — they gave the Mc-e-Dee’s grub significantly higher ratings.

11. Think outside the mac ‘n cheese box

When your kid rejects a piece of bread because the crust is “too crusty,” you might assume anything more adventurous would be out of the question.

But some kids actually prefer strong flavors. “Don’t avoid offering foods simply because you don’t think your child would like it — they may surprise you!” Chalker says. “There’s no harm in offering a wide range of foods, from the mundane to the exotic, as long as familiar foods are presented alongside novel ones for some degree of comfort.”

The same kid who won’t touch certain shapes of pasta might devour a plate of pad thai with spaghetti squash.

You never know until you try — and worse case, at least you’ll enjoy the leftovers.

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