It’s officially school holidays, and if I hear the kids open the pantry door one more time whining “I’m hungryyyyyyyy” I’m going to scream. This healthy apple doughnuts recipe has come from pure desperation, the need to keep the kids busy for more than one nanosecond as well as keep their tummy satisfied!Continue Reading →
Easter is just around the corner, and that means pretty soon you will be (or may already have been!) surrounded with many chocolate choices everywhere you go. Easter is such a fun time for the family, so the dilemma I always face is – how to let my kids build childhood memories of this season by not missing out on chocolate, and yet continue the healthy eating lessons that I am trying to impart to them?
Teaching your children healthy habits
As you know, it is fun to treat yourself a little, and chocolate is such a big part of everyone’s treats, especially kids! Little treats are not only enjoyable to eat, but making them together builds kids’ confidence in learning how to identify and use good and healthy ingredients.
Having little treats in your life can also be a good habit to pass onto your children, as long as you talk about treat food as sometimes food, rather than as a reward or bribe for something.
All food is okay in moderation, and while foods like lean proteins, fruit and vegetables, good oils and calcium sources are needed every day, treats like chocolate are perfectly okay from time to time.
Healthy relationships with food can be created by modelling your own good habits to your children (who literally never stop watching and copying you!). Baking with your children and encouraging them to taste new ingredients is a wonderful way to show them that chocolate is fine sometimes.
Mixing a much-loved ingredient like chocolate with something super-healthy like chia seeds and goji berries (that your kids may be a bit more reluctant to eat on their own) can help introduce different food experiences, tastes and textures.
How to have a healthy relationship with chocolate this Easter
Rather than go out and buy lots of supermarket chocolate eggs, maybe this year you could try buying some handmade good quality chocolate, in smaller portions. Maybe you can encourage your kids to get involved in the process by letting them pick the chocolate they like from a range of chocolate you have selected. The prettiest packaging usually will help my daughter narrow down her choice!
If you are looking for some easy recipes to try out with your children, here’s a quick no-fail recipe that I always use at home. It is so quick and easy, there is not even a need to fire up the oven! Definitely a win for busy mums and dads.
Easy No Bake Chocolate Treat
This recipe is awesome, and not just because of the no-bake aspect. You also have to appreciate a recipe that has only three steps, and that you can throw together from literally anything you’ve got in the pantry (as long as you have the chocolate).
Since it is Easter, go ahead and indulge yourself a bit by using good quality dark chocolate for this recipe. I love dark chocolate as it generally has the highest content of antioxidants among the chocolate choices available. Don’t skimp and buy the home brand cooking chocolate, if you can. Because there are so few ingredients and such minimal work done to the chocolate, you will taste the difference if you get the quality stuff.
I love having a few of these in a container ready for when you need a little treat late in the evening, they have a glorious blend of sweet and savoury flavours with a hint of bitterness (from the dark chocolate) to them.
You can get creative and try all sorts of different topping combinations, with some that your kids might love for after school, or others that could just be for grown-up special occasions. You could even make funny faces and shapes with the toppings!
Chocolate and Goji Berry Clusters
- 100g of dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup of goji berries
- 1 cup of seeds (or nuts) of choice (I like to use sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
- Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and goji berries to sprinkle on top
- In a microwave or double boiler, melt the chocolate and stir until smooth.
- Stir in the goji berries and the seeds/nuts. Using a spoon, form bite-size clusters on baking paper. Sprinkle chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and goji berries on top for extra crunch.
- Cool in the fridge until they harden.
- For some special Easter fun, wrap the chocolate up yourselves and decorate them with your kids. The sky is the limit when it comes to the packaging!
You might like to try some of the following alternatives for toppings:
- 1 cup chopped dried mango and a ½ cup desiccated coconut
- ½ cup natural chunky peanut butter and 1 cup chopped dates
- 1 cup dried blueberries and 1 cup mixed seeds
- 1/2 cup honey and 1 cup air-popped popcorn
- 1 cup chopped pistachios and 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup sultanas, 1 cup puffed quinoa and 100s and 1000s for sprinkling on top (kids love this one!)
I hope you enjoy this simple and quick chocolate cluster recipe, and build many wonderful chocolate memories this Easter. I would love to hear how you have made your chocolate clusters, tag @littlepeepeats and @thecaffeinetrifecta on Facebook or Instagram to show us!
Suk-yi is the owner of The Caffeine Trifecta, an online marketplace for quality coffee, tea and chocolate. She is a caffeine lover, blogger, entrepreneur, air quality consultant, environmentalist, world citizen, wife and mother. She explores various topics related to coffee, tea, chocolate and everything in between on her blog. Make sure to follow her on her Facebook Page, Instagram Page and Pinterest Page.
These delicious Lamb Burgers on Pita have been a simple, tasty, go-to dinner for my family this summer. The beauty of this recipe is it can can be easily deconstructed so as to give children a choice of what they might like to eat in their own desired combination.
We love to serve our Lamb Burgers as a platter style meal, this gives the kids confidence and control of their meal time which reduces anxiety in them and the whole meal time occasion.Continue Reading →
This article ‘The Essential list of Kids Sandwich and Wrap Fillings’ is a collaboration between Adventure Snacks and Little Peeps Eats.
To help everyone out with the new school year and encourage happy kids and interesting lunchboxes, we have put together a list of the ultimate list of kids sandwich and wrap ideas. These have been tried and tested and approved by some of the harshest food critics on the earth, our kids!
The Essential list of Kids’ Sandwich and Wrap Fillings
School is now back, and my son has made it very clear he wants nothing but sandwiches for his lunch each day.
I know I am a bit lucky that he likes sandwiches however, there are many parents out there who struggle to get their kids to happily eat school lunches. If this is you – check out our Facebook support group.
To help everyone out and inspire some creative lunchboxes, I have put together a list of the ultimate kids sandwich and wrap ideas. These have been tried and tested and approved by some of the harshest food critics on the earth, our kids!
If you want your kids to look forward to opening their lunchbox each lunchtime, this is the list you need.
Kids’ Sandwiches: Friend or Foe?
We all know that dreaded feeling; opening up the lunchbox at the end of the day to see all of the food lovingly made and completely uneaten. Satisfying kids with healthy food in their lunchbox is one of the trickiest challenges of parenting.
To be honest, most days I’m reaching for the jar of Vegemite, but I’ve been looking for different ideas to keep my son’s lunchbox fresh and interesting (giving myself bonus points if I can squeeze in a bit of extra nutrition as well!)
Lots of children either don’t like sandwiches, or get sick of having the same thing every day. Or one day they love a certain type of sandwich and the next they suddenly despise it!
Sandwiches and wraps are an easy go-to for parents as they are quick, cheap, and convenient to make, stay fresh and are usually a balanced meal.
But if you have a fussy eater, that effort could be all going to waste. Here are some tips to make everyone happy.
Tips to Make Kids’ Sandwiches & Wraps Easier
Fresh sandwiches every day would be lovely, but not many parents, in reality, can get a freshly baked loaf of bread every morning. In real life, you need to embrace what is practical as well as economical. Instead of jogging to the local bakery each morning, you could try:
- Wraps made with mountain bread and other flatbread options, which stays fresher for longer in the pantry. Have you ever checked out the Wrap’d (pictured above)? We love ours! They are perfect for packing wraps, as well as great for the environment. Wraps can be a nightmare for your kids to unwrap a whole lot of cling wrap from, these make it super easy. They are also great for sushi.
- Newer options from the supermarket like brioche buns, sandwiches made from crackers (like Saladas or Cruskits) or sandwich thins, again which all stay fresher for longer and offer variety to your children.
- Baking savoury muffins or frittatas in bulk and freezing them for easy access.
- It’s really important to keep sandwiches fresh, which can be difficult in this heat. It’s worth investing in a good quality insulated lunch bag, and don’t forget the Ice Pack to keep it fresh all day. This handy ice pack is great if you like to pack things like cheese or yoghurt in your kid’s’ lunchbox as well, which are much more enjoyable when they are not warm and smushy.
- Let’s not forget about Mother Nature. The Keep Leaf baggies are also a good option for Mum to pop a sandwich in her handbag for work. Schools who advocate for a nude food philosophy will love you for using these, plus you really do save money in the long run on products like this one.
Pro tip: It is also great idea to make sandwiches in bulk and freeze them to make morning lunchbox packing quicker and easier.
Make Lunchboxes Attractive
Although the last thing you probably feel like doing in the morning is going all ‘Masterchef’ and plating up fancy meals for your kids, making their lunches attractive just may help to get them eating.
Involving your child in the packing and selecting process can help too, as they are more likely to eat things they helped to make, buy or choose. You could give them some parameters, for example at least one fruit item, one dairy item and one fun treat, but within that let them choose what snacks to put in their lunchboxes.
Kids of all ages can have trouble with crusts. We’d love to say you should persevere and leave the crust on, but stubborn kids will let heaps of good sandwich go to waste in an effort to avoid tasting crust.
To help with this problem, I love the Lunch Punch Sandwich Cutters, which help to make things quirky and interesting for fussy children without actually wasting lots of bread in the process. The cute shapes add a whole lot of fun to sandwiches, making them look more visually appealing.
Buying a cute lunchbox also really helps to get them enticed for eating. We love some of the bento boxes on the market at the moment, which are not only sweet but awesome for the environment (and stop kids from losing lots of individual containers as well).
What do they need nutritionally?
When it comes to kids’ sandwiches, you are best to aim for something which provides a source of protein (such as meat, fish, chicken, cheese, egg, legumes or nuts) as well as fibre from fruit, vegetables or grains.
The best tips to follow include:
- Try to incorporate a salad item, and as many as three or four
- Go for wholemeal or multigrain bread instead of white
- Limit butter and instead switch it for spreads like avocado, hummus, or mayonnaise
- Try to keep added salt and sugar to a minimum
Most schools are a no-go zone for nuts (life would be SOO much easier for many parents if they could just choose the peanut butter sanga, I know!) and some may also ban eggs and dairy. Make sure that you know your school’s policy before sending anything to school.
Filling Ideas for Kids’ Sandwiches they are certain to love
Here is a fantastic list of ingredients, you can mix and match as you like. Try to include at least one thing from each of the first two categories, but otherwise, play around, get creative and have some fun!
Here are some ideas for combinations you should try:
- Cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato
- Ham, cheese, sliced apple and sweet pickles
- Ham, cheese, tomato and sweetcorn
- Chicken, avocado, baby spinach and mango chutney
- Cheese, pear, lettuce, celery and cranberry spread
- Cheese, avocado and vegemite
- Tuna, sweetcorn, mayonnaise and fruit chutney
- Smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese
- Sliced apple, grated carrot, sultanas and cream cheese
- Haloumi, grilled capsicum and hummus
- Cucumber and vegemite
- Curried egg with celery and lettuce
- Chicken schnitzel with coleslaw
- Corned beef with swiss cheese and sweet pickles
The best you can do is try some variety and have some fun with it, and get your kids involved in the preparation as well.
If you have some more ideas for awesome kids sandwiches, we’d love to hear them, make sure you comment.
Rachel Cassidy is the founder of Little Peeps Eats. She is a passionate food blogger and brand ambassador, but her most important job is being a mum! Little Peeps Eats helps families take the stress out of mealtimes by providing healthy, kid approved recipes, as well as fussy eating tips and tricks. Their website hosts a directory of nutritionists, resources and mealtime products to ensure that you have everything you need at your fingertips when it comes to feeding your family.
This article on Healthy Smoothies for Kids is a collaboration between Little Peeps Eats and Bambino Love.
Every parent knows the struggle of getting their kids to eat healthily. To make life easier for mums and dads, I have put together some recipes for healthy smoothies for kids. These recipes have fast become of our favourite new lunchbox inclusions!
Healthy Smoothies for Kids – the perfect Lunchbox snack!
The fresh fruit and vegetables we have on offer in Australia is just wonderful, and makes us the envy of the rest of the world.
We all know that our kids need to eat fruit and veggies every day to get the vitamins and minerals that they need, but getting them to eat their apple or carrot sticks is not that easy.
So many of us have diligently add fruit and veggies into the lunchbox every morning, only to have it come back warm, sweaty and bruised at the end of the day.
The answer to getting your kids to enjoy their fruit and vegetables is in attractive presentation. The flavours of healthy whole foods are incredible, but for some reason, there are many kids just that just don’t like Mother Nature’s packaging.
Healthy Smoothies for Kids – Simple and Delicious
I have started to make my kids’ smoothies at home and been astonished by how much the boys love them. I love to pour freshly made smoothies into our Squeasy Snackers, to make them easily packable and transportable, making smoothies a great option for lunch boxes, car trips, days out and anything else you and your little ones might be getting up to.
As a snack while out, one of these kids’ smoothies gives them the energy boost they need, but in a lovely slow release form, rather than the hit they get from high sugar snacks. You won’t have to deal with the resulting sugar crash and your kids will be much more pleasant and alert for the rest of the day.
The variety in smoothies means that your kids won’t get bored with the same lunchbox ideas over and over again. They will open their lunchbox to a delicious surprise every day.
Parents don’t mind paying a little more for good quality products that are healthy for our kids and make life easier in general – this product is one that will absolutely make your life simpler. If you are looking for variation in your lunchbox ideas, you will love this.
Your teachers will be thanking you, and asking you to give these recipes to the other school parents.
Squeasy Snackers – why you need these in your life!
I love the Squeasy Snacker for a bunch of reasons. They are super simple to get the smoothies into because of the wide opening, and also easy to wash and dishwasher safe.
One of the biggest problems with any sippy product for children is the bacteria that can build up in the spout if you can’t wash them properly – I have gotten sick of throwing out cheaper sippy cups and drink bottles because they became so grotty inside and couldn’t be cleaned.
The Squeasy Snacker comes apart and cleans thoroughly, which is one of the biggest concerns with sending smoothies to school in the lunchbox (especially with milk in them).
They are also freezer safe, so convenient to make ahead of time, I’ll grab from the freezer in the morning and find it’s perfectly defrosted by morning tea time
We love to take them in the car as there is really no risk of spillage!
They are tough and durable as well – with my two boys and continual use over the last 12 months they still hold up beautifully and are in great condition.
Use code LOVELPE to save 10% on on all products (including the Squeasy Snacker!) at Bambino Love!
Want to win your own Squeasy Snacker?
It’s easy! Simply join our Fussy Eating Tips, Recipes & Lunchbox Ideas Facebook group for all the details! There are two sets of 3.5 oz and 6 oz Squeasy Snackers to be won. Huge thanks to our great friends at Bambino Love for the awesome prize, just in time for back-to-school!
Notes on my Kids Smoothies
The other awesome product you will need when making healthy smoothies for kids is a blender of some kind.
You don’t need a bullet blender or juicer specifically, a regular stand blender, or even a stick blender will do. But once you start making these, your blender will become one of your most reliable kitchen appliances, so this will be money well-invested, I assure you.
With most of the recipes below just throw everything into the blender and blitz until you are happy. If they are too thick add a little water to juices or milk to smoothies to thin them out.
Feel free to substitute the milks listed to whatever milk or milk substitute you enjoy such as almond, soy, rice, almond, lactose-free etc. Coconut water usually works well in a refreshing smoothie!
Healthy Smoothies for Kids – My favourite recipes!
Sunshine Orange Smoothie
Packed with Vitamin C, this creamy Sunshine Orange Smoothie recipe will put a spring in your step come rain or shine! We love to have this for breakfast on a warm summer’s day!
Grab the recipe from My Fussy Eater here.
Dairy free chocolate smoothie
I wouldn’t have thought a chocolate smoothie could be so delicious and yet be sugar free! This vegan and nut free recipe is a wonderful option for children that may have related intolerances or allergies. A fabulous option at any time on a hot summers day!
Grab the recipe from Goodie Goodie Lunchbox here.
A Green Smoothie that is not Green
Did you know that berries can do an amazing job of hiding green veggies in smoothies? I certainly didn’t before discovering this amazing smoothie. Yup… the image of the purple smoothie above contains both broccoli and cucumber, and teamed up with other tasty ingredients it is bloody delicious! Both my boys have given it the thumbs up!
Grab the Recipe from My Kids Lick The Bowl here.
Healthy Smoothie Freakshake
Who ever said smoothies can’t be fun? To achieve something like this, I’ve typically had to take the kids to a cafe and request a sugar laden milkshake. We are happy to do these things once in a while, but if I can recreate something at home thats equally fun and delicious – for a whole lot less sugar, it gets extra points from me!
Grab the recipe from Eats Amazing here.
Very Berry & Beetroot ‘Super Smoothie’
They don’t call this a Super Smoothie for nothing. With super foods included that are really high in nutritional value such as beetroot, spinach and chia seeds – it will give your kiddos an instant nutritional boost!
Grab the recipe from Baby Led Feeding here.
PBJ Smoothie – Peanut Butter, Raspberry and Banana
I had my kids won over at the mere mention of peanut butter! Inspired by the classic sandwich filling, this flavour combination will have your kids coming back for more!
Grab the recipe from Sneaky Veg here.
Avocado Blueberry Smoothie
Avocados are a fabulous creamy addition to smoothies, packed with heart-healthy fats. It pairs beautifully with blueberries, making this smoothie an absolute winner!
Grab the recipe from The Lemon Bowl here.
Peach Carrot Smoothie
Did you know that there are actually more nutrients in raw veggies? For this reason, I love to add them to my smoothies! If you are hesitant about trying carrot in a smoothie – don’t be. The sweet peach camouflages the raw flavour of the carrot, and it one of my boys absolute favourites.
Grab the recipe from Primavera Kitchen here.
Th Razzle Dazzle has a sweet-tart flavour, and the combination of raspberries, mango and pineapple truly make this the ultimate summer smoothie!
Grab the recipe from Delish here.
If there’s one thing my boys will always eat, it’s apple! As soon as I spotted this recipe I had a feeling it would be a winner with the kiddos, and it was. The simple blend of apple, milk, yogurt, almond and honey is a delicious blend much enjoyed by our whole family.
Grab the recipe from Food Viva here.
Hidden Veggie Smoothies
Attention parents of fussy eaters!! Hidden veggie smoothies are a wonderful option to increase nutrition in your kids diet. There area number of winning combination here that we’ve enjoyed experimenting with.
Grab the recipes from Yummy Toddler Food here.
Strawberry Quinoa Smoothie
The sweetness of strawberries makes this one naturally popular with the kiddos. I love that it contains quinoa flakes and chia seeds, which really boost the nutritional profile.
Grab the recipe from Kidspot here.
We hope you enjoyed reading all about our favourite healthy smoothies for kids. If you are looking for some lunchbox inspiration, you may be interested in our recent review of the OmieBox. Is it really the holy grail of lunchboxes? Check out our thoughts here!
Rachel Cassidy is the author of this article and the founder of Little Peeps Eats. She is a passionate food blogger and brand ambassador, but her most important job is being a mum!
Little Peeps Eats helps families take the stress out of mealtimes by providing healthy, kid approved recipes, as well as fussy eating tips and tricks. Their website hosts a directory of nutritionists, resources and mealtime products to ensure that you have everything you need at your fingertips when it comes to feeding your family.
Are you looking for kid approved festive recipes, as well as grabbing a bargain on some practical but FUN Christmas gifts?
Our Christmas Editorial is full of tasty kids Christmas recipes that the kiddos will just love to help you make, and some bargains on stocking fillers your little peeps are bound to love, from all of our favourite Little Peeps Eats featured businesses.
We’ve also got a pretty sweet giveaway on kids books & knife – a great prize for any budding chef!
Use promo code LPEXMAS18 to shop all the offers below!
All offers valid until 12 December to allow time for Christmas delivery (unless noted otherwise).Continue Reading →
This article ‘Seven cool recipes to favour natural yoghurt for kids’ is a collaboration between Sinchies and Little Peeps Eats.
One of the first and most convenient snack foods we can give our kids is yoghurt. Starting from six months of age, the yummy flavour and easy texture make it a simple and healthy option. Here are some of my favourite recipes to flavour natural yoghurt for kids, from baby and beyond!Continue Reading →
This article ‘Foolproof baby led weaning recipes + essential tips for getting started!’ is a collaboration between ezpz Australia and Little Peeps Eats.
When it comes to learning how to feed you baby, there is a minefield of information out there. I remember feeling completely overwhelmed by it all with my first. To make this process easier for you – I’ve included my hot tips to make the process easier for you, my favourite baby led weaning recipes, and other useful information.
Let’s start from when it all begins. When your baby is six months of age, they are likely now ready to start solid foods and move on from a diet that is made up entirely of breastmilk or formula. Solid foods are introduced gradually so that your baby gets used both to eating and to processing each type of food. There are two main methods of teaching your baby to eat; baby led weaning and parent led weaning.Continue Reading →
This article ‘Essential Guide to preparing meals for picky eaters’ is a collaboration between Emondo Kids and Little Peeps Eats.
Serving meals to picky eaters can be a huge source of frustration for many families. There is something truly deflating about serving up a delicious home cooked meal to your family, only to have it completely rejected. I’ve been there. I think most mums have, right?
Both of my boys have been through stages of picky eating, and during these times there has been much trial and error, seeking advice from experts, and learning on the go.
Our mealtimes are much calmer now, and actually enjoyable for our family. I’d love to share with you all of the things that I’ve implemented that have been a game changer to our mealtimes.Continue Reading →
This article ‘Simple healthy lunch ideas for busy mums’ is a collaboration between Baby Bento and Little Peeps Eats.
I can’t believe how long I’d been neglecting my own health and nutrition. Especially when I place so much importance on ensuring my kids eat a healthy, balanced diet. Particularly at lunchtime! Why is it that I will stand there for 10 minutes to prepare a variety of healthy lunch foods for my kids, and then make a quick piece of toast for myself? It makes no sense. It’s almost embarrassing, but I’m all about being honest and I figure if I do this, chances are there are some other mummas that are in some bad habits also.
This year I’ve focussed a lot on self care, making sure that I’m not just looking after everyone else in the family – but myself as well. Starting with lunches!
I work part time – so you’ll see some of the simple healthy lunch ideas below are suited to mums at home, and others suited to working mums also.Continue Reading →