Advertising
Advertising

15 Fun And Healthy Recipes For Parents To Cook With Their Kids

15 Fun And Healthy Recipes For Parents To Cook With Their Kids

As summer approaches, the days get longer; so your child will be playing outside more and more often! We have found some great recipies to give your child more energy to run around while keeping it healthy!

1. Raw Sesame Seed Bars
raw-sesame-seed-bar-recipe-image-1

    These natural bars are simple and easy to make while also great fun for your little one to help make with you! We all know how much kids like cooking! These bars use ingredients which are easy to source, most of which you probably already have in your kitchen. The recipe doesn’t require any equipment, which means it’s easy to make in big bunches—so you can invite all your kids’ friends over and make lots of bars! This is not only a healthy and fun thing for all the kids to do, but also gives them more confidence in the kitchen. It’s a nice thing to do for the holidays or over the weekend!

    http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-sesame-seed-bar-recipe

    2. Raw Chocolate Shake
    raw-chocolate-shake-recipe-image-1

      Who doesn’t like chocolate? It’s the secret indulgence that no one admits out loud they have too much of. But deep down, we know we could cut back!

      Well guess what? Kids also love chocolate! So why not incorporate some hidden fruit in there too? The Raw Chocolate Shake is your answer!

      This shake is super easy to make. The recipe says to add banana, but you can experiment with different ingredients. Just throw everything into the blender and you’re done! What’s not to like? Even better, it can be chilled to cool you down in the summer heat.

      http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-chocolate-shake-recipe

      3. Raw Chocolate Avocado Pudding
      raw-chocolate-avocado-pudding-recipe-image-0

        Yes. Another chocolate recipe. Don’t get too excited! It has hidden avocado in it—but shhh! Don’t tell the kids!

        Advertising

        This is another throw-it-in-the blender recipe which is great to do with the kids (watch out for fingers).

        http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-chocolate-avocado-pudding-recipe

        4. Spicy Mixed-Potato Wedges
        996_2_1384440352_lrg

          Who said chips weren’t healthy? This recipe is a bit more technical, but it can be done! These wedges open up the door to new spices and tastes for your little one, as well as showing them that there are healthier alternatives to the bad, but good-tasting foods in life.

          http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/smoky-mixed-potato-wedges/#VLiOw17yLpLUvtmP.97

          5. One-cup Pancakes with Blueberries
          1019_1_1426258101_lrg

            Pancakes? Who said that?

            Pancakes. I mean, who doesn’t like pancakes? Throw in some blueberries and you’ve even got fruit in there! Share your love for pancakes with this easy-to-follow recipe that your child can help out with!

            These pancakes aren’t the healthiest on the list, but after all your hard work throughout the rest of the week making these tasteful treats, they aren’t too bad!

            http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/one-cup-pancakes-with-blueberries/

            Advertising

            6. Mint and Fruit Smoothie
            68390

              Just imagine—you’re sat in the garden as the sun beats down on you, your kid is playing in the pool and you reach to your right; not to pick up your phone, but your cold smoothie! This Mint and Fruit Smoothie is a fun thing to make with your kids! It’s a healthy alternative to a coke in the fridge and is packed with vitamins and other good stuff. The mint is sure to keep you feeling fresh and ready to play football once your kid has had enough of the water! Your child will also enjoy the refreshing taste of this blended drink!

              http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Mint-and-Fruit-Smoothie/Detail.aspx?evt19=1&referringHubId=15096

              7. BLT Salad
              450720

                Ah, the classical BLT, something which is in some people’s everyday routine! Well, now you and your kid can make a more summer-oriented salad! This salad is easy to make, not needing a lot of ingredients to make a healthy and tasteful lunch. It doesn’t need much preparation, and your child will feel involved when they can cut the tomatoes (with supervision) or even just wash the salad! There are many ways for them to get involved in making this lunch for themselves or for all the guests when they come around!

                http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/BLT-Salad/Detail.aspx?evt19=1&referringHubId=15096

                8. Broccoli, Rice, Cheese, and Chicken Casserole
                398375

                  Greens. The one thing your child turns their nose up at. But with this recipe, you can prove that not all green things have to taste bad!

                  No, I’m not talking about adding green food dye to a cake.

                  I’m talking about this healthy casserole which your kid can help you prepare! This recipe is a bit more complex and boosts your kids’ confidence in the kitchen dramatically! Help show them that being healthy can also be tasty with this recipe!

                  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Broccoli-Rice-Cheese-and-Chicken-Casserole/Detail.aspx?evt19=1&referringHubId=15096

                  Advertising

                  9. Extra Easy Hummus
                  521586

                    Well, it’s in the name isn’t it? Why not introduce your kid to new flavors and textures with this easy-to-make hummus! The simplicity might just shock them, while they might shock you by dipping some carrot sticks into it! It’s a perfect side with any of the other recipes listed or as a small snack.

                    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Extra-Easy-Hummus/Detail.aspx?evt19=1&referringHubId=15096

                    10. Smoothie Ice Lollies
                    742_1_1350907634_lrg

                      Perhaps you loved a smoothie already listed? Or you just want to try a different one? You can say no to the ice cream van and make your own ice lollies with your kid! These lollies are super easy to make and the result can be very tasty but also very door-opening! You can try new fruits in these lollies and experiment, meaning you’re also experimenting with your kids’ food pallet and exposing them to new things that they may not have tried on their own!

                      http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/smoothie-ice-lollies/#lxAMwDy40tzlezXq.97

                      11. Mango Cooler
                      328_1_1350312383_lrg

                        This mango cooler is easy to make and has many purposes, whether you and your kid want to sit out in the garden and enjoy this drink or want to cool your mouth from that spicy meal you just had. It’s a great and easy thing to make during the summer. Your child can help out in numerous ways and enjoy the sweet product at the end!

                        http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/mango-cooler/#dURdWQvlH6Closcs.97

                        12. Root Vegetable Salad
                        1015_2_1392816248_lrg

                          Who said eating vegetables were boring? With this tasty salad you can impress your little one by peeling vegetables into thin strips. These strips can be made into a variety of different sizes and even shapes! If your kid can’t fully see what he’s eating..what is there to say no to? This salad is a different approach to introducing your little one to more vegetables, and it’s super easy to make! Perhaps mix this salad with that Extra Easy Hummus? That would make for a tasty summery lunch!

                          http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/root-vegetable-salad/#xfwDt5esO4MeosIJ.97

                          Advertising

                          13. Banana Bread
                          1103_6_1421684817_lrg

                            Banana bread—perhaps not one of the healthiest ways to get fruit into you and your child, but it’s certainly a nice way to do it! This is something a bit different that you could try with your kid! Walking down by the river and feeding the ducks some normal bread while basking in the sun and eating your banana bread you just baked that morning? How nice would that be? This recipe isn’t too tricky, but it will amaze your little one! Baking still amazes me sometimes!

                            http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/banana-bread/#GF8PPKOxsv98BvZH.97

                            14. Super Smoothies
                            1104_1_1421757510_lrg

                              Full of different fruits, these smoothies are a great way to start your day or to impress guests who come over for a barbecue! The recipe is flexible for other fruits too, so you can experiment and make some great and refreshing drinks! All of the smoothies listed are an easy thing to make with your little one, but also a great way to get more fruit in them than they realize!

                              http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/super-smoothies/#bVtj07xHR0jz3yXG.97

                              15. Crunchy Chicken Pieces with Yogurt Dip
                              1017_2_1426258163_lrg

                                Just chicken nuggets, right? That’s what you can show your kid as they breadcrumb the chicken! It’s easy to get your kid involved in this recipe, since there are several things you can let them do to help you out. It comes with a side of herby yogurt and some fresh tomatoes.

                                http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chicken-recipes/crunchy-chicken-pieces-with-a-herby-yoghurt-dip/#2JZhyryefqRoZXpl.97

                                I hope you have found some nice things you can make with your kids! Enjoy the time you spend with them and enjoy the food you make!

                                Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

                                More by this author

                                15 Fun And Healthy Recipes For Parents To Cook With Their Kids 10 Milestones No Parent Should Miss

                                Trending in Food and Drink

                                1 20 Easy Smoothie Recipes for Weight Loss 2 The Best Refreshing Morning Routine: Have a Vegan Breakfast 3 25 Best Weight Loss Breakfast Ideas for Busy People 4 8 Best Teas for Weight Loss and Fat Burning 5 27 Healthy Pressure Cooker Meals (with Easy Recipes)

                                Read Next

                                Advertising
                                Advertising
                                Advertising

                                Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                                Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                                Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                                Feeling tired all the time?

                                Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

                                I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

                                Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

                                If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

                                In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

                                What Happens When You’re Too Tired

                                If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

                                Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

                                • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
                                • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
                                • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
                                • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
                                • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
                                • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
                                • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

                                Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

                                Unfortunately, yes!

                                Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

                                Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

                                Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

                                Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

                                Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

                                Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

                                1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
                                2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
                                3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

                                The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

                                It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

                                Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

                                Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

                                If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

                                Advertising

                                Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

                                Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

                                But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

                                Symptoms of fatigue include:

                                • Difficulty concentrating
                                • Low stamina
                                • Difficulty sleeping
                                • Anxiety
                                • Low motivation

                                These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

                                Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

                                How Much Sleep Is Enough?

                                The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

                                Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

                                So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

                                The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

                                Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

                                Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

                                If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

                                And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

                                It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

                                4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

                                Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

                                1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
                                2. Exercising regularly
                                3. Using stressbusters
                                4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

                                So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

                                After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

                                In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

                                Advertising

                                I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

                                Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

                                • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
                                • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
                                • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
                                • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

                                The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

                                And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

                                But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

                                L — Living Healthy

                                Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

                                So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

                                In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

                                As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

                                Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

                                1. Unplug

                                Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

                                So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

                                2. Unwind

                                Do something to relax.

                                Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

                                3. Get Comfortable

                                Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

                                Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

                                Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

                                Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

                                If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

                                Advertising

                                Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

                                This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

                                E — Exercise

                                Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

                                That’s what happened in my case.

                                But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

                                As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

                                My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

                                That made sense to me.

                                So, I decided to swim.

                                I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

                                Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

                                Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

                                So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

                                If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

                                A — Attitude

                                Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

                                When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

                                Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

                                Breathing.

                                But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

                                Advertising

                                Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

                                1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
                                2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
                                3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
                                4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
                                5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
                                6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

                                This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

                                When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

                                Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

                                N — Nutrition

                                Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

                                If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

                                Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

                                For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

                                Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

                                Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

                                1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
                                2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
                                3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
                                4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
                                5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
                                6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
                                7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
                                8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
                                9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

                                Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

                                That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

                                Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

                                The Bottom Line

                                If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

                                If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

                                If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

                                • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
                                • Regular Exercise You Love
                                • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
                                • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

                                Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

                                More Tips to Help You Rest Better

                                Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
                                [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
                                [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
                                [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
                                [5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
                                [6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
                                [7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
                                [8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

                                Read Next