Summer is around the corner, and as we starting coming into longer days and warmer temperatures, our bodies become more active and it’s natural that we start to desire lighter, fresher meals. Most parents with younger children are looking for activities to keep their children busy that might include summer camps and days at the pool, and providing them with healthy meals and snack options should be a top priority. It can be difficult to find meals that are easy to prepare and pack into lunch boxes and incorporating healthy foods that they will actually eat can be difficult.
There are lots of fun ways to keep your kids excited about eating healthy, and allowing them to get involved in the kitchen and assist in making healthy recipes will keep them interested and provide them with life-enhancing skills and experience. Finding a few simple and healthy recipes that taste delicious and are easy to make will empower these youngsters to take an active role in their health and diet.
From my experience with two daughters under the age of 10, dips and nut pâtés are a fun and easy way to help keep children interested in their food. It’s simple to chop carrots, celery, cucumbers and zucchini into dipping sticks and you can also use romaine lettuce leaves and collard greens to make a wrap. All you need to do is to find a few recipes that your children enjoy and encourage them to assist you in the kitchen as you prepare them.
A favorite recipe in our household is the Better Than Tuna recipe that our very own Hippocrates Chef Renate created, and it is also a favorite amongst the guests here at HHI. The recipe uses sunflower seeds so it’s lighter than other pâtés that use heavier nuts and perfect for the summer! It’s easy to spread onto lettuce leaves and perfect for dipping. All you need is a food processor to make this recipe, and the kids will have fun adding the ingredients and watching as the seeds turn into a thick, creamy and delicious pâté. They can also help remove the leaves from the head of lettuce and chop up some of the easier to cut vegetables like zucchinis and cucumbers. We also enjoy making a raw hummus dip and guacamole.
Allowing the children to be directly involved in the food prep empowers them to be in control of their diet and health and will help instill healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.
Better Than Tuna by Chef Renate Wallner
3 C. Hulled Sunflower Seeds (soaked 4 to 8 hours, rinsed)
½ C. Water
¼ C. Lemon Juice
3 Squirts of Braggs Amino Acid or kelp to taste (optional)
- Process in food processor until thick and creamy.
- Put pâté into large bowl.
1 C. Diced Celery
½ C. Diced White Onions
Serve on romaine lettuce leaves, collard wraps or use as a dip with vegetable sticks and enjoy!
Article by Andrea Nison