Tag Archives: Recipes

Fun Family Recipes

As parents and caregivers, you make a big difference in what your kids think and do. When children see you making healthy choices—such as eating right and being active—there’s a good chance they’ll do the same.

Nutritious food doesn’t have to be bland or take a long time to prepare. Get the whole family to help slice, dice, and chop, and learn how to cut fat and calories. Here are 60 healthy and fun family recipes!


Source:  National Institutes of Health – Healthy and Fun Family Recipes

Rainbow Fruit Salad

Good as a side dish or dessert, this salad made from fresh fruit is naturally low in fat, saturated fat, and sodium and is cholesterol-free.

What you need:

  • Fruit salad:
  • 1 large mango, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, halved
  • 2 cups seedless grapes
  • 2 nectarines, unpeeled and sliced
  • 1 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
  • Honey orange sauce:
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1½ Tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • dash nutmeg

What to do:

  1. 1. Prepare the fruit.
  2. 2. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and mix.
  3. 3. Just before serving, pour honey orange sauce over the fruit.

How much does this recipe make?

  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Serving size: 4-oz cup

Nutritional analysis (per serving):

  • Calories: 96
  • Total fat: 1 g
  • Saturated fat: less than 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 4 mg
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Carbohydrate: 24 g
  • Potassium: 302 mg

Source: Health.gov; Recipes

Chic Penne

Note: Get a grownup’s help with this recipe, which requires using the oven/stove.

Prep time: 55 minutes

What you need:

  • 1 box whole-wheat penne pasta (14 ounces)
  • 3 cups of raw broccoli florettes
  • ¾ cup of precooked chicken strips (4 ounces)
  • ½ cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (2 ounces)
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons skim milk (1.5 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper

Equipment and supplies:

  • Pot for cooking pasta and steaming broccoli
  • Colander for draining pasta
  • 13×9-inch baking dish
  • Steamer basket for broccoli
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Skillet
  • Oven/stove

What to do:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. 2. Cook pasta according to directions until crisp-tender. Drain pasta.
  3. 3. Place drained pasta in a 13×9 baking dish.
  4. 4. Place broccoli in a stockpot of boiling water or a steamer for about 5 minutes.
  5. 5. Rinse with cool water.
  6. 6. Add the drained broccoli and the precooked chicken strips to the pasta.
  7. 7. Sprinkle shredded cheeses over pasta mixture.
  8. 8. In a mixing bowl, combine milk, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.
  9. 9. Pour milk mixture evenly over the pasta mixture and mix in with a spoon.
  10. 10. Cover baking dish with foil.
  11. 11. Bake 30 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and cheese is melted.

How much does this recipe make?

  • Six servings

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD

Source: KidsHealth; Chic’ Penne

Fun Fruit Kabobs

Try these kabobs for a quick and easy snack!

Prep time: 15 minutes

What you need:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana
  • 1/3 c. red seedless grapes
  • 1/3 c. green seedless grapes
  • 2/3 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup nonfat yogurt
  • ¼ c. dried coconut, shredded

Equipment and supplies:

  • knife (you’ll need help from your adult assistant)
  • 2 wooden skewer sticks
  • large plate

What to do:

  1. 1. Prepare the fruit by washing the grapes, washing the apples and cutting them into small squares, peeling the bananas and cutting them into chunks, and cutting the pineapple into chunks, if it’s fresh. Put the fruit onto a large plate.
  2. 2. Spread coconut onto another large plate.
  3. 3. Slide pieces of fruit onto the skewer and design your own kabob by putting as much or as little of whatever fruit you want! Do this until the stick is almost covered from end to end.
  4. 4. Hold your kabob at the ends and roll it in the yogurt, so the fruit gets covered. Then roll it in the coconut.
  5. 5. Repeat these steps with another skewer.

How much does this recipe make?

  • 4 servings.
  • Serving size: 1 kabob

Nutritional analysis (per serving):

  • 141 calories
  • 3 g fat
  • 28 g carbohydrate
  • 3 g fat
  • 1 mg cholesterol
  • 2 g saturated fat
  • 52 mg sodium
  • 103 mg calcium
  • 0.5 mg iron
  • 3 g fiber
  • Note: Nutritional analysis may vary depending on ingredient brands used.

Variations and suggestions:

  • Roll your kabobs in something besides coconut. Try granola, nuts, or raisins, or use your imagination.

Reviewed by: Allison Brinkley, RD, LD/N

Source: KidsHealth; Fun Fruit Kabobs

Recipes for Healthy Kids: Cookbooks for Child Care Centers and Schools

The recipes in this cookbook feature foods both children and adults should consume more of: dark green and orange vegetables, dry beans and peas, and whole grains. All of these healthy recipes are low in total fat, saturated fat, sugar and sodium.

With fun names like Porcupine Sliders, Smokin’ Powerhouse Chili, and Squish Squash Lasagna, these kid-tested, kid-approved recipes are sure to please children and be an instant hit!

Free print copies of the cookbooks are available from the USDA to schools and child care centers who participate in Child Nutrition Programs, or you may download a PDF copy.