The holiday season is a frenetic time of year.
Parties, finding the right present for your friends and family, food preparation; the list goes on and on. It’s often easier to prepare meals for adults as children can be a little picky at times.
Indeed, a lot of traditional Christmas flavours can be an acquired taste for the younger ones, so preparing in advance with some simple Christmas recipes that the children will love is definitely a step in the right direction. It’s important to make sure that your kids aren’t just stuffing their faces with lots of sugar and saturated fats – everything is fine in moderation but the last thing you need is your child complaining of a bad toothache or experiencing sudden weight gain after eating too much junk food.
There are a lot of healthy, kid-friendly favourites you can recreate during this Christmas period made from ingredients that can be delivered directly to your door. The vast range of Christmas recipes available ensures that you can keep your children satisfied and happy throughout the holiday season.
Here’s a list of 5 Christmas recipes to try with the kids this holiday season:
1. Frozen watermelon trees
Watermelon trees are a delicious and easy Christmas-themed snack perfect for the kids and family. Deliciously sweet, watermelon trees are quick and simple to whip up, meaning the kids can help out in the kitchen too. Just cut some ‘tree’ shaped pieces from a watermelon and store in the freezer. When it comes time to serve, coat the watermelon in an icing and decorate with whatever your kids want. Sultanas or blueberry are a nice, healthy option, though small chocolate or carob chips can work well too. These are perfect for a hot summer’s day and far better than ice blocks rich in refined sugar.
2. Chocolate coconut cubes
You don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen, labouring away over a hot oven. Instead, consider these “no bake” chocolate slices. Simply throw all the ingredients into the blender and let the machine do all the work! This healthy little treat features rolled oats, almonds (replace with more oats for those with nut allergies), dates, cacao, vanilla bean paste and coconut flakes to give it that classic Christmas feel. Place into a tray and cut into fun, cubed size pieces so for kid-friendly serving sizes. Then sprinkle with desiccated coconut and place into the freezer for 1-2 hours. They will then be done and ready to serve!
3. Healthy gingerbread men
Gingerbread biscuits are a historic Christmas treat. The only problem is a lot of the supermarket brands are loaded with refined sugar and other additives, which obviously aren’t the healthiest option for your children. Instead, consider cooking your own gingerbread men at home, using authentic ground ginger as opposed to fake alternatives used in other products. Instead of synthetic sugars, use honey, which is a far healthier alternative. Throw in some wholemeal flour and coconut sugar and you’re well on your way to having a healthy, delicious snack.
4. Veggie snack plate
Many kids aren’t having enough vegetables in their daily diet. This becomes even more of a problem during the Christmas season, where the consumption of processed foods often skyrockets. Instead of sugary snacks and high-carb treats, consider making a cute vegetable snack plate. The Christmas aesthetic is all in how well you design and lay it out. Grab a fresh cucumber and slice it into ten thin circles. Place the cucumber slices into a pyramid shape to make it resemble a Christmas tree. Then simply decorate the tree with small vegetables such as cherry tomatoes or small pieces of carrot. Buy a star cutter and use it to make the carrot pieces look like ornamental stars.
5. Sweet Potato Chips
One of the big problems with modern diets is that they involve the heavy consumption of unhealthy, processed snack foods like potato crisps. Indeed, these crisps are pumped full of all types of nasties – saturated fats, salt, MSG and artificial colours and flavours.
Avoid these by making some sweet potato crisps as a healthier alternative. All you’ll need are sweet potatoes, olive oil and sea salt and other herbs and spices to season as you wish.
Start by thinly slicing your sweet potato so that you have your ‘chips’. Preheat your oven and in a mixing bowl, coat your slices evenly with olive oil. Place them on a baking paper-lined tray, and then put them in the oven for 20-25minutes, making sure to turn them halfway through. Keep an eye on them as they may be ready 5 minutes earlier! After they are done, you can season them with your sea salt, herbs, and spices. These are a great alternative to your regular potato chips and can be served with hummus or other healthy dips!
Try one or a few of these recipes over the Christmas break to get into the festive spirit with your kids without the guilt of junk foods. Now all you need to worry about is answering their tricky questions about Santa!