Wednesday, 4 October 2017
Editor Choice Kids

8 Quick, Kid-Friendly Dinner Ideas

As a busy homemaker, you must have faced with dilemma of feeding your finicky children meals that are tasty, nutritious and yet quick to churn up. Indeed, picky-eaters and scarcity of time are the two biggest woes of every parent. Well, for your information, dinner doesn’t necessarily have to be a constant feud against the clock and fussy taste buds. The following quick dinner ideas for kids are healthy versions of all the meals your children love, and the best part is that they take no more than 20 minutes to prepare.

So, make sure your cute little picky eaters look forward to dinner everyday by serving them one of these easy, kid-friendly meals:

1- Chicken meatballs

Chicken meatballs are a lovely dinner choice for the weekends. Popular with kids and grown-ups alike, they come across as succulent, nutritious and sinfully decadent! Serve them on skewers, or wrapped in flat bread-Your children will thank you for this hearty meal at the end of a tiring day in school.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Serves- 4

Ingredients:

1 cup of wholegrain breadcrumbs

1kg of chicken mince

2 lightly beaten eggs

2 tsp of powdered chicken stock

2 tsp of cumin

4 tbsp of vegetable oil

2 cloves of garlic

Directions:

-In a large bowl, toss in the chicken mince, eggs, cumin, bread crumbs, chicken stock and garlic.

-Combine properly with the help of a metal spoon.

-Roll small portions of this mixture into equal-sized balls.

-In a frying pan, heat the oil and fry the meatballs all together over medium heat, turning them constantly with the help of an egg slice. This won’t take more than 5-7 minutes to cook through.

2- Spaghetti with Lemon, Tuna and Breadcrumbs

Kids love spaghetti, and a dash of lemon and the flavors of tuna are both enough to spice up a regular spaghetti. This scrumptious pasta dish has its protein boost from tuna and extra nutritional benefits from olives and parsley.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients :

Coarse salt

ground pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 slices of whole-wheat sandwich bread

3/4 pound of spaghetti

3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons of Kalamata olives

1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley

2 cans of drained, chunk light tuna in water

Directions :

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thereafter, boil a large pot of salted water. In the mean time, pulse bread and a teaspoon of oil in a food processor till the crumbs get coarse. Then spread them on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Once done, bake it until it turns golden and toss occasionally for 6-8 minutes.

-Cook pasta in boiling water till it’s done. Drain the pasta and retail half-a-cup of pasta water. Now add the parsley, olives, lemon zest, lemon juice and a tablespoon of oil. Add enough pasta water for coating the mixture. In the end, add the tuna and toss gently. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs before serving.

3- Cheesy Lasagne Rolls with Spinach

Entice your kids into eating at home this Sunday by serving them a modern twist on an old weeknight classic- lasagna. Instead of slathering sheets of pasta with cheese and sauce, serve the noodles as pretty roll-ups, each stuffed up with a generous helping of wilted spinach, ricotta and marinara, and garnished with a gooey topping of melted mozzarella. And if you wish to increase the protein content, add in some sausage crumbles.

Preparation Time- 10 minutes

Cooking Time- 25 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients :

1/2 pound uncooked lasagna noodles

1 1/2 cups prepared marinara

1 1/2 cups packed baby spinach

1 cup ricotta cheese

Salt

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Directions :

-Preheat the oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit. In the mean time, boil a large pot of salted water, add the noodles and cook until it’s all done, i.e roughly for 8-10 minutes. Drain all the water and transfer the noodles gently onto a clean work bench.

-Grease a casserole dish or roasting pan with some cooking spray and set it aside.Work with a single noodle at a time while spreading with about two tablespoons of marinara and two tablespoons of ricotta, then top it with spinach. Roll up the noodle snugly by starting from one end, and then arrange them in a pan, with the rolls held close together. Pour the remaining marinara over the rolls and sprinkle with some mozzarella. Bake until the lasagna rolls get all golden and bubbly. This should take no more than 20 minutes.

4- Pot Noodles

Kids love packaged noodles, but unfortunately they are not really very healthy with all that sodium included into their spice packets. So the next time you want to feed your tiny tot’s growling stomach with a warm, healthy and tasty meal, consider making noodles similar to the store-brought, packaged ones. It would make for a good snack after school.

Ingredients :

5 oz of fine dried egg noodles

3 tsp of dark soy sauce

8 fl oz of chicken stock

3 oz of frozen sweet corn

2 oz of frozen peas

1 spring onion, sliced

1 tsp of cornflour

Directions :

-Use pre-cooked noodles or cook them according to the instructions given in the packet. Drain them and keep them aside. Now, in a pan, put the stock, peas, sweet corn and soy sauce over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook it for two-three minutes.

-Then, mix cornflour with two teaspoons of cold water in a small cup and add it to the contents of pan. Cook the mixture while stirring it for another minute until the liquid gets thickened slightly. Thereafter, add the spring onion and noodles and reheat for sometime, while stirring it.

5- Citrus Grilled Shrimp

This spicy yet healthy dinner recipe takes as much time to prepare as it takes for your tot to nap. It can be grilled up in no time and provides a decent balance of all the vital nutrients.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients :

20 large shrimps, shelled with tails left on

1/4 cup of squeezed lemon juice

3/4 cup of olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

6 minced garlic cloves

Directions :

-Prepare around four to five skewers. Now place up to 6 shrimps on each skewer but make sure they touch each other only lightly but don’t cram up too close together.

-Whisk together the minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, cayenne pepper, salt and olive oil in a small bowl. Pour the mixture in a plastic freezer and then add the shrimp skewers. Beat the mixture around the shrimp well so that they are covered totally. Then seal the bag and place it inside a dish or another bag inside the refrigerator. Following that, marinate the shrimps for four hours.

-Heat the grill to medium heat and place the marinated shrimp skewers. Continue to grill the skewers for around three minutes each side, or till the shrimp gets pink and cooked through.

6- Hidden veggie pizza

What better way to tempt your naughty kids into eating their daily greens veggies than by presenting them with a flavorful pizza loaded with nutritious greens and topped with a generous sprinkling of creamy mozzarella. Your kids won’t know your little trick and will urge you to repeat this dish (or rather, trick) again and again!

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients :

1 gourmet pizza base

750 g passata

1 celery stick

1 carrot

3 mushrooms

1 onion

1/2 zucchini

2 clove garlic

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 buffalo mozzarella

1 tbs balsamic vinegar

1 handful of basil leaves

Directions :

-Toss in the chopped veggies, garlic cloves and onion into the food processor and blend them together until they become a fine, thick paste that no way resembles vegetables!

-Now add two-three tablespoons of olive oil into the frying pan kept over medium heat. Add the blended vegetables and fry them well until they are succulent and aromatic.

-Next, add the salt, sugar and passata to the pan. Simmer the mix until the sauce has thickened up considerably.

-Add a dash of balsamic and simmer for five minutes more.

-Keep the pizza base on a slightly greased oven tray and spread it with the veggie sauce, as well as slices of mozzarella.

-Then, cook for ten to twelve minutes till the cheese melts and turns golden and bubbly.

-Remove it from the oven and sprinkle it with basil leaves. Slice it into wedges and serve piping hot!

7- Mexican Skillet Casserole

Packed with rice, cheese and beans, this Mexican delight is perfect for those nights when you are desperate to nourish your kids with a warm comfort food that appeases the palate and does justice to the intestine as well. Serve with corn chips or roll up this delectable mixture in a tortilla with romaine lettuce for a heavenly burrito. Also, since it’s full of lean protein, veggies, healthy carbs and fats, it acts as the complete meal, which means you need not worry about side dishes with this one!

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves – 8

Ingredients :

2 teaspoons of canola oil

4 minced garlic cloves

1 pound ground round

1 3/4 cups of chopped onion

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

2 tablespoons of chili powder

3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 (15-ounce) can black beans

1 3/4 cups hot cooked white rice

2 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with jalapeños

Directions :

-Add oil to a hot skillet kept over medium-high heat. Toss in the onion and garlic, and saute for three minutes or until tender.

-Toss in the beef and cook for four minutes or till it browns. Continue stirring to crumble, then drain it off.

-Stir in the cumin, salt and chili powder. Add tomatoes, beans and rice, and cook over medium heat for two minutes while stirring
occasionally.

-Sprinkle with cheese and remove it from heat. Let it stand for one full minute or till the cheese melts.

8- Pasta With Ground Turkey & Broccoli

This dish uses ground turkey, an all-time family favorite and a leaner and healthier alternative to beef or sausage that also cooks up pretty quick. Chopped garlic and red pepper give the pasta a nice spicy flavor and the Parmesan topping at the end makes for a gooey, succulent spoonful.

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serving: 3

Ingredients :

3 tablespoons of olive oil

pound of orecchiette

2cups broccoli florets

2 cloves of chopped garlic

1 pound ground turkey

teaspoon of crushed red pepper

1teaspoon fennel seed

kosher salt

Parmesan cheese

Directions :

-Cook the pasta and add the broccoli at the last minute, Drain the water and return the broccoli and pasta back to the pot.

-In the meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet kept over medium-high heat. Then, add in the garlic, turkey, fennel seed and crushed red pepper and cook, while breaking up the meat with the spoon till the browns for three to five minutes.

-Season with a teaspoon of salt. Then toss the turkey mix with the pasta and broccoli and two tablespoons of oil. Present the dish with a generous topping of Parmesan cheese.

Ending Note…

No more battles over feeding your children the right amount of nutrients for dinner. These quick dinner ideas for kids squash your child’s urge to feed their food to the pet dog, or ditch homemade dinner for a quick bite at the local fast food joint. Besides being easy to prepare and delectable, they cleverly combine boring and bland ingredients (like kale, spinach) with yummy ones (like cheese), thereby giving you the opportunity to feed your kids healthy dishes without even letting them know they are healthy!

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