Fast/convenience foods are easy, but they’re far from the ideal diet for a growing human. Once in a while it’s OK, but making fast food a regularity creates a potentially harmful nutritional foundation with its high caloric load and low nutrient density (hence the term “junk food”). But eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated.
I’m no Jamie Oliver, so if it can’t be made with an oven/stove, a blender, a knife, and a spatula, I don’t make it. Here’s a quick and nutritious fix that touches on each of the three food groups (plus a bonus, because we all love dessert).
My kids are not big fans of meat. It’ll blow your mind what you can do with other high-protein foods such as lentils and garbanzo beans. You can mash them up and combine them with basic spices and oils to make a dip, or shape them into balls or patties. One of my kids’ dumb-easy favourites is lentil “meatballs.”
Vegetables and fruits
Make it a smoothie! Spinach is considered one of the most nutrient-rich leafy greens on the planet, and its taste and texture get a super boost with the addition of fruit. Let your kids help by picking their own ingredients. Strawberries, blueberries, and bananas are great options.
An ode to the humble oat: from the classic bowl of warm oatmeal to pancakes, from nutritious smoothie addition to muffins, this breakfast staple is the most nutrient-dense grain available, and it can be made into almost anything edible within minutes—including the venerable oatmeal cookie.
Although it’s not a food group, if you and your kids are ice cream lovers, this one’s a game changer. Its ingredients? Frozen bananas and cocoa powder.
Peel 4 bananas and freeze them for at least 4 hours. Place frozen bananas in a blender container, add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) cocoa powder (or to taste), and blend until creamy. Boom. Done. Your kids will love it—and you’ve just become “Fun” and “Healthy” Dad.
This is an excerpt from an article originally published in the June 2020 issue of alive Canada, under the title “Daddy Dining Support Group.”