By Kristin Cheng, registered dietitian at CHOC
Current shelter-in-place orders have changed so much about our day-to-day lives, including how we navigate cooking. Many families are eating at home more often, making shorter grocery trips, and finding more creative ways to utilize limited ingredients. This extra time with kids at home can serve as a great opportunity to involve your little ones with hands-on cooking and meal prep.
Get out your chef hats! Here are some of our favorite kid-friendly recipes to transform your quarantine days into a fun family activity —with a delicious treat as a bonus:
No-bake frozen yogurt berry granola treats
- 4 tablespoons peanut butter
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 2 cups granola
- 2 ½ cups Greek yogurt, any flavor
- ½ cup berries or dark chocolate chunks for garnish
- Mint for garnish, optional
- Heat peanut butter and honey in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until melted.
- Pour into a medium sized bowl and stir to combine with granola.
- Divide mixture evenly into 12 lined muffin cups. Press firmly to the bottom.
- Top each cup with yogurt, divided evenly.
- Garnish with toppings of choice.
- Cover tightly with foil and freeze for at least two hours.
- Keep frozen and thaw for a few minutes before eating.
Recipe courtesy of Tasty.
Mini egg frittatas
- 8 large eggs
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup fillings of choice: finely chopped or sliced ham, chicken, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, spinach, olives, parsley, tomato
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Spray two muffin tins with nonstick spray.
- Whisk eggs, milk, black pepper, and salt in a large bowl.
- Stir in cheese and desired fillings.
- Pour mixture into each muffin tin to about ¾ full. This will allow some room for the egg to puff up.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the egg puffs up.
- Use a rubber spatula to remove the muffin cups from the tin.
Recipe adapted from Food Network.
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (120°-130°F)
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus some extra for rolling dough
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
You can also use any premade 12” pizza crust, pita bread or naan bread as a crust substitute.
- ⅓ cup tomato sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 cups toppings of choice: mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, onion, olives, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, pineapple, pepperoni, chicken, ham, basil, garlic, artichokes, etc.
- Add yeast and water to a large mixing bowl. Stir once to activate yeast and let it sit for five minutes.
- Add flour, salt and olive oil. Mix until a dough is formed and knead on a floured surface for two minutes.
- Place in a greased bowl and turn to fully coat in oil. Cover and let it rise for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F as you wait for the dough to rise.
- After 20 minutes, place the dough on a flat surface and roll into a 12” circle. Place on a 12” greased pizza pan.
- Spread tomato sauce evenly on the crust.
- Sprinkle cheese evenly atop the tomato sauce.
- Add desired toppings.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling or turning brown and the crust is starting to crisp.
Recipe adapted from Food.
- 2 oz. rice vermicelli
- 8 rice wrappers (8.5” diameter)
- 8 large cooked shrimps – peeled, deveined and cut in half or 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
- ½ cup raw carrots, chopped
- 1 ⅓ tablespoons fresh Thai basil, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 lettuce leaves, chopped
- 4 teaspoons fish sauce
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- ½ teaspoons garlic chili sauce, optional
Hoisin peanut sauce
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon fine chopped peanuts
- Boil water in a medium saucepan. Boil rice vermicelli for three to five minutes or until al dente and drain.
- Fill a large 10” plate with a thin layer of water. Dip both sides of the rice wrapper for one second on each side to soften. Lay wrapper flat on another clean plate.
- In a row across the center, place two shrimp halves (or shredded chicken), a handful of rice vermicelli, carrots, basil, mint, cilantro and lettuce. With the row laying horizontally, fold the bottom side inward, followed by the left and right sides. Slowly roll the wrap upward to seal completely.
- Mix sauce ingredients in two separate small bowls.
- Dip wraps into sauce and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.
- 2 zucchinis, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Cut zucchini into 3-inch pieces.
- In a large bowl combine panko breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic powder, basil, salt and pepper.
- Whisk eggs in a shallow bowl.
- Dip zucchini in eggs, coating evenly, and then toss in bread crumb mixture.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway.
- While fries are baking, combine all dip ingredients in a small bowl and set aside in the refrigerator.
- Dip and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Taste.
Berry banana smoothie
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1 frozen ripe banana
- 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
- 1 cup milk, or dairy-free alternative
- 1-2 tablespoons honey optional
Note: if using fresh fruit, add ice
- Add all ingredients into the blender and puree until smooth. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Food Network.
Rainbow fruit kabobs
- Cut an assortment of fruits. Some examples include pineapples, grapes, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, watermelon, apples, tangerines, honeydew, cantaloupe, kiwi and bananas.
- Arrange fruit on skewer sticks.
Bugs on a log
- Celery stalks, cut into 3” pieces
- Spread: peanut butter, Greek yogurt, or hummus
- Toppings or “bugs” — raisins, cranberries, blueberries, peas, black beans or diced peppers
- Place desired spread along the groove of celery stalk.
- Top it off with “bugs” of choice.
For more health and wellness resources from the pediatric experts at CHOC, sign up for the Kids Health newsletter.
How to prevent and treat respiratory illnesses this season
Unfortunately, many kids get infected with respiratory illnesses in the fall and winter seasons. CHOC experts highly encourage all eligible members of households to receive their annual flu shots. Other preventative measures like good hygiene and staying home when sick can help protect families from illness. The following articles and guides provide more information.
At CHOC, we specialize in providing a full continuum of pediatric nutrition services, including inpatient and outpatient services, depending on our patients’ needs.