Make Unhealthy Foods Healthy

Article from: My Family UK

It’s not uncommon for kids to have a penchant for junk food. Prying that burger out of their hands may not be an easy feat. Our advice is to stop trying.

Junk Food

Follow these home-made tips on ways to make typically unhealthy foods healthy. The kids will love it: they’ll seem the same. You’ll love it: they’ll be healthier and happier. It could be a lot simpler than the struggle, and will start your kids on the path to health.

1) Pizzas

At home, make a wholemeal base for a fibre boost, or cut a foccacia in half or use wholemeal pitta bread. Make a mixture of chopped tomatoes and tomato puree to go on the top and then, depending on your taste, top with a variety of vegetables, olives, tinned tuna or lean meats. Finish with grated cheese and cook for twenty minutes. Arrange on the table and watch as your flock grab and scatter to their hearts content.

2) Homemade burgers

Make your burger from the leanest beef you can find. Add onions, parmesan, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and garlic and finally an egg to bind it all together. Grill instead of frying until golden brown and crispy. Garnish with lettuce, cucumber, salsa and cheese and serve with wholemeal rolls.

3) Popcorn

Keep the fun in family film night by cooking the popcorn in olive oil and adding a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper, or a slight scattering of sea salt.

4) Vegetable Crisps

Packets of crisps are often full of salt and saturated fats. Try thinly slicing your own potatoes and baking your own crisps in the oven instead. The thinner the crispier so you could use a peeler for this. Put them in bowl with some sunflower oil and a little sea salt, and toss to give them a good coating. Then lay them on a grease proof baking tray and pop in the oven for 30 minutes at a reasonably high heat. You can even try making vegetable crisps with carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes. Before serving give them a light coating of honey for an extra flavour.

5) Chips

Instead of frying your chips, which uses far more fat, bake yours. Great alternatives to the common potato are parsnips, courgettes and sweet potatoes. Simply chop them into chip-like sticks and drizzle oversome olive oil. For extra taste, add a sprinkle of sea salt (nottable salt as the body is unable to process it), black and/or cayenne pepper, which is mild enough even for kids. Bake until crispy and chip-like.

6) Fry-ups

Make your Sunday fry up into a Sunday grill up and it’ll immediately become far healthier. Trim the fat off your bacon and grill alongwith tomatoes or chopped mushrooms. Poach your egg in a drop of vinegar for 4-5 minutes, and add a few tablespoons of baked beans which are bubbling over with iron and protein.

7) Ice lollies

Up your children’s vitamin C intake by several levels with natural ice lollies. Simply blend up their favourite fruits until smooth, add a squeeze of lemon as a natural preservative, pour into lolly orice-tray moulds and freeze. There’s absolutely no need for chemical-filled, shop-bought lollies when these are so delicious and simple to make.

8) Sweet things

Cookies, biscuits and brownies that aren’t sweet aren’t going to be eaten. But do they really need to be all that sweet? Substitute the sugar in your home-made cookies and cakes by adding healthier ingredients such as oats, nuts, raisins, dates, prunes and seeds. This is a great way to get those vital vitamins and minerals into your child’s diet.

9) Chicken Nuggets

This is a fabulously messy meal to make at home and so the kids will love it. Cut your lean chicken breast into small bite-sized pieces. Set up four bowls and depending on how many children you have, each child can be assigned to their own bowl.

  • Bowl 1: Flour and a spice (cayenne pepper, five chicken spice or paprika)and salt and pepper
  • Bowl 2: Beaten egg
  • Bowl 3: Breadcrumbs
  • Bowl 4: Keep this clean for the finished articles Work it like a conveyor belt, covering each piece of bite size chicken in each substance. Then cook on a slow grill to levels of desired crispiness.

10) Kebab

Simply buy some mince pork or lamb, mix together with garlic, coriander,salt, pepper, parsley, cumin and an egg, and grill. Share into pittas with houmous, salad, salsa, raw onions, roasted peppers and whatever else you can stuff in there and challenge your children to eat without anything falling out!

Further Information

For further information, and for more great ways to have fun with your family, log on to With a huge collection of articles covering everything from child safety to rainy day activities, you’ll find all the help, guidance and entertainment you need to be a great parent. Go to My Family UK now!

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