Happy New Year from all of us at Little Cooks Co. We hope it brings you much joy, and that your little cooks enjoy lots of food adventures this year! Whether growing their own food, learning new kitchen skills, or making mess and fun cooking up a storm with you, all of it serves to empower children with confidence in the kitchen and an ability to nourish themselves when they are older 😊

To help, and to give you some inspiration for some healthy meal planning, here are 10 of our favourite family meals that little cooks can also get involved in cooking (if time permits!). Click the headings to go to the recipe pages, which are all printable:

1. Halloumi and Green Bean Bake 

A one tray bake of dreams! There's plenty of chopping children can help with (these kid friendly knives are amazing) and you can experiment with different vegetables depending on your family's tastes. Halloumi also makes a great alternative to meat as it's a great source of protein.

2. Marvellous Meatloaf

A classic family meal, with a few twists to increase the nutritional punch it delivers! Oats for fibre and beta-glucans, grated veggies for increased vitamins and minerals, plus a delicious sweet tomato sauce to serve it with

3. Shepherd’s Pie Jacket Potatoes

Comfort food at its best! This recipe can be made using mince or lentils, and is packed with vegetables. Again, you can mix up the veggies you use, depending on your family's tastes. Why not set a family challenge to try one new vegetable a month in 2022?! 

4. Fishcakes

This recipe turned one of our little cooks from a fish-hater to a fish-lover! These are a fantastic meal to make with children as there's lots of rolling and squishing involved, and they are packed with goodness - omega 3 from the fish, vitamin A from the sweet potato, and the polenta makes a fab gluten free alternative to regular breadcrumbs (and works sooooo much better too!)

5. Nachos

Nachos are such a fun family meal! Serving meals from bowls in the middle of the table for everyone to help themselves is also a great way to empower children to think about their appetites and recognise when they are full. This is called intuitive eating and it's something that is being talked about a lot in nutrition circles at the moment as something that needs encouraging more.

6. Baked Meatballs

Another wonderful meal that is sweet, comforting and packed with veg! Children can help roll the meatballs and grate the veg (this grater is a great one for kids to use), and will love the sweet, cheesy meal that is served up....especially if they've helped make it!

7. Sweet Potato Crust Quiche

This is an ingenious recipe! The pastry is made from grated sweet potato, cheese and egg, and the filling can be made with your preferred quiche toppings (though we love the creamy spinach in this recipe!)

8. Veggie Packed Pad Thai

A super quick and delicious meal to serve on busy school days! When we know we are making a rice dish, we pop it on to cook ahead of time, so it can be quickly added to the recipe. Plus allowing it to cool before using in a recipe increases the amount of resistant starch in it, which is great for balancing blood sugar levels (just make sure you store it well and reheat fully).

9. Minty Lamb Meatballs

Delicious minty meatballs with a yummy sweet tomato sauce. This recipe is another great one for kids to help with, and it can be served on skewers or rolled in a wraps, adding to the fun!

10. Veggie-Packed Burgers

A healthy twist on the classic burger! These can be made in advance and frozen ready for when you want to cook them. Lay out a number of additional fillings on the table and let children assemble their burgers - lettuce, avocado, onion, tomato, cucumber. You could also try it with one of our favourite brands of ketchup that is made with real ingredients and very minimally processed - Dr Will's

January 04, 2022

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