Celebrating Nutrition Month with the Kid’s Taste Test

Finding healthy recipes that your children will love.

In honor of National Nutrition Month, I decided to once again challenge our talented Nationwide Children’s Hospital chefs.

Kids Eating Healthy Sandwiches

My question:  How can we adapt kid’s favorite foods to add more nutritional punch?

As always the chefs were up for the challenge with some great ideas and suggestions.  I made the avocado grilled cheese and tomato soup recipe last night – delicious!

Avocado Grilled Cheese With Tomato Soup

  • 2 slices of nice fluffy multigrain bread
  • 3 pieces of cheese (sharp cheddar, American, provolone)
  • 1/4 avocado-rough puree, not smooth.

The cheese will melt and hide the “green stuff” from the skeptical eyes of children.

Spread the avocado on one side of the bread, top the bread with the remaining cheese, and use slow, low heat to brown both sides.

For the soup, heat the tomato soup using milk to add calcium and some vitamins then puree 1/4 cup cooked red beans and 1/4 cup cooked pureed carrots and add it to the soup. It thickens a little bit and provides all the benefits of beans without any taste, the carrots balance the sweet. It makes a nice heartier soup.

Oven baked “Fried Chicken”

  • 1 chicken breast (or leg or thigh)
  • 1 bag of 100 calorie pretzels – crushed
  • 2 pieces of whole grain bread – ground into crumbs
  • 2 Egg whites
  • Flax flour
  • Pinch or black pepper
  • Cooking Spray

Mix bread crumbs and pretzel together.  Sprinkle a scant amount of pepper on the chicken breast, dredge in flax flour and then dip in egg white, roll in the crumb pretzel mixture to coat.

Place on cookie baking sheet or a glass dish lightly coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 375 until 165 degrees internal temp (approximately 25 minutes). It is crunchy, healthier than fried, juicy and golden brown.

Chicken Soup

  • 1 can (48 oz) chicken broth
  • ¼ cup celery diced
  • ¼ cup onion diced
  • 1/2 cup carrot diced
  • Chicken breast (pan seared or baked) diced
  • 1 tbs. Olive oil
  • Rice noodles
  • ¼ cup cooked white beans, or lentils, or cooked brown rice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste. (one tsp. kosher salt and a pinch of black pepper.

Place chicken breast in the soup pot and brown, add the veggies cook until translucent, remove about ½ cup of the veggies and the chicken breast from the pan and hold to the side. Pour the broth into the pot.

Take the veggies you removed along with the beans, lentils or brown rice and puree until smooth. Slowly add this back the broth. Dice the chicken small and add back to the soup. This will give you a wonderful hearty soup that will be filling and delicious.

Last but not least…..quickly cook the rice noodles in boiling water for about 1-2 minutes and add to soup.

Other Pointers from the Chefs

“One of the ways I get my daughters involved is at the grocery store.  They get to pick new fruits and vegetables for us to try and to use when we cook. It allows them ownership and makes them feel like they have a say in what they eat.”

“When we are cooking at home they love to chop , cut and do anything to help which they are very proud of and want to eat just to show everybody they cooked it and how yummy it is.”

“If you introduce new recipes early on you don’t have to hide the nutrition because they think the recipe is always supposed to be this way.”

“One rule for us is that if it doesn’t offer flavor or color then don’t add it.”

We’d love to hear from you:  Comment with your favorite healthy “kid-friendly recipes” so we can pass them along.

Donna Teach
Donna Teach is Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at Nationwide Children's. Her job is to help the hospital feel "connected" – Connected to each other, connected to our patients and their families, referring physicians, the community and the world.

2 thoughts on “Celebrating Nutrition Month with the Kid’s Taste Test

  1. Sidney Lillie on said:

    Dry breadcrumbs are made from dry bread which has been baked or toasted to remove most remaining moisture, and may even have a sandy or even powdery texture. Bread crumbs are most easily produced by pulverizing slices of bread in a food processor, using a steel blade to make coarse crumbs, or a grating blade to make fine crumbs. A grater or similar tool will also do.:

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  2. Take whole grain pita pockets slice down the middle or you can buy them in halves…buy peppered turkey breast chipped at the deli about a pound then in a bowl mix fat free ranch dressing chopped green onion a small bag, just a little bit of shredded lettuce,green an red bell peppers diced also about half of both peppers,diced tomatos i use the cherry tomatos around 5-8 of them,an shredded mozzerela cheese around a cup. (salt an pepper to taste optional)

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