Friday, March 2, 2012

Fast Healthy Meals with Kids

As a working mom, you want to feed your family the most healthy and tasty but not take too much time. It's all about planning and selecting kid-friendly cuisine, and realizing that you do not need to make a gourmet meal each time.

My kids love rice, the rice that is mostly brown, only sold at a Korean grocery store (Galleria.) The rice is so yummy, my kids and I could eat it just plain; but it is high in fibre and contains extra vitamins and minerals. We eat it at least once a day, usually at dinner time. I have a rice-cooker with a timer, so I just wash and time it so it is ready by 5 pm.

The kids also love plain or seasoned dried, flat seaweed sheets (the same kind that you wrap sushi, called "nori" in Japanese). Nori is high in iron and is "one of the richest in protein (up to 50 percent of the plant's dry weight), and one sheet has as much fiber as a cup of raw spinach and more omega-3 fatty acids than a cup of avocado. Nori contains vitamins C (a potent antioxidant) and B12 (crucial for cognitive function) and the compound taurine, which helps control cholesterol." (

One of their favorite meals is the rice, nori, cucumbers and cheese, which only take minutes to prepare once the rice is done.

Other quick entree favorites are listed below.

1. "Smart" pasta (has extra fibre without the "wheaty" taste) with shredded cheese and some pasta sauce.
2. Tacos with cheese.
3. Homemade pizza with Fleishmann's Pizza Dough Yeast (no need to wait for it to rise, just mix it in with the flour)
4. Udon noodles (frozen or dried) in soup with fishcakes
5. Hand-made frozen yummy Dumplings (just boil)
6. Buckwheat noodles with soba sauce
7. Boiled tofu, sliced and then topped with some soy sauce with rice
8. Organic soy chicken with rice
9. Veggie, Kidney bean, mozzarella cheese Lasagna

Along with the entrees, I usually chop up at least one vegetable (peppers, cucumbers, carrots) or cook corn or peas. After the meal, I serve one type of fruit. They like all fruit. I find that if I serve a mix of fruit everyday, it loses its novelty, so I serve only one fruit per meal. Having said that, we serve much of that one fruit, as my 2 daughters are known to finish one strawberry container in one sitting. After fruit, we sometimes have ice cream.

These meals only take less than 30 minutes except for the chicken and lasagna, which may take about an hour with most of it baking/boiling time.

Breakfast is usually a high fibre cereal (I add wheat bran to each bowl) with organic milk, pancakes, toast, or leftover rice and miso soup from the night before with some fruit.

Lunch is sometimes leftover dinner, sandwiches, noodles and soup, or simple tortilla wraps with veggies and fruit. One mom friend mentioned she wanted to make a lunch muffin with cornmeal, bran, cheese, carrots - sound yummy and great to pack in a lunchbox!

Hope that give you some ideas to think about.
Have fun in the kitchen - recruit the kids to help too.

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