Quick and simple healthier food swaps the kids won’t even notice

Kids are hard to please, especially when it comes to convincing them to eat healthy foods. So the key is to choose alternatives that taste so good they won’t even realise it’s good for them. You don’t want to be slaving over a stove to get more vitamins in them, which is why I wanted to share some of to the easiest and speediest recipes I’ve tried – all of which go down really well in my household. Plus, they’re all suitable for veggies, as well as a couple being vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free too.

Swap chicken nuggets for lentil veggie nuggets

There aren’t many kids who don’t go crazy for chicken nuggets, but they’re generally high in fat, over processed and packed with additives. I’ve looked hard for healthy and tasty vegetarian nuggets that we could all share and found a winner in these red lentil and vegetable nuggets. They’re protein rich and have a firm texture without the need to use potato – cheese and breadcrumbs plus grated carrot and courgette help them to bind together instead. This recipe includes peas and sweetcorn for extra nutrients, but we like green beans so I slice them small and swap in.

Swap oven chips for sweet potato fries

Instead of reaching for a bag of chips from the freezer, we shake things up a bit (quite literally) with Shake Shake Sweet Potato Fries. Because these are well seasoned, the kids don’t notice they’re made from sweet potato, and the three coloured peppercorns are novel. Fresh from the fridge, you sprinkle on the sea salt and pepper seasoning, shake the bag and bake for about 20 minutes. What’s so good about sweet potatoes is that they’re really high in Vitamin A, and also have more fibre and Vitamin C than regular spuds.

Swap chocolate bars for no-bake cocoa bars

The latest Change4Life TV adverts got me thinking (as they’re designed to do) with their stat that half the sugar kids consume comes from snacks and sugary drinks. We don’t drink a lot of fizzy drinks, but we definitely needed a swap for chocolate bars and biscuits. This vegan, dairy- and gluten-free recipe for no-bake snack bars gets its natural sweetness from dates and coconut. It also uses cocoa powder for that chocolate hit instead of sweet and high-fat chocolate.

Swap sugary cereals for homemade muesli

It’s not just cakes and biscuits that have lots of sugar in, many cereals are high in sugar too, but not this homemade muesli. There’s not a bit of sugar added, not even maple syrup or honey, but the dates add a little sweetness. As the oats, pecans and sunflower seeds are toasted it adds a really moreish depth of flavour. This one’s quick enough to whizz up on a school morning, as you only need to toast the main ingredients in a pan quickly before serving with plain yoghurt and berries. Skip the puffed wheat if you want to go gluten-free and opt for soy-yoghurt if you want it to be dairy-free too!

Let me know what works in your house to get the kids to eat healthy alternatives.

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