It's not always easy to get the kids excited about eating vegetables. That's where these recipes come in! Hidden veggies and clever new ways to incorporate them at teatime make it that little bit easier...
Healthy recipes for kids
We know it’s not always easy to get your kids excited about their dinner or eating all their veggies. This clever collection of recipes allows you to meet them in the middle thanks to their fun appearance yet healthy ingredients.
You’ll be happy knowing they’re getting a nutritious meal and they’ll be happy having a meal made especially with them in mind. Your kids will love the funny faces on everything from pizza to fish pies, the baked potatoes which look like naughty little cartoon mice and even fishcakes that look like…well, fish!
Have a go at making these fun and colourful dishes to make sure your child gets plenty of veggies and healthy, lean protein.
Click through to see all of our healthy recipes for kids…
First up is our easy-to-make sunshine pasta!
Why it’s good for them: With four different types of veggies hidden in this pasta dish, it is packed full of healthy doses of essential vitamins and minerals your child needs to stay well. These include calcium, potassium, folate and carotenoids – helping to give them tip-top eye sight as well as strengthening their immune system.
Why it's good for them: These lovely little burgers hide five different types of veggies - from leeks to mushrooms and best of all - the kids won't suspect a thing! Full of dietary fibre, these crunchy morsels will keep your little one's gut happy and maintain a healthy digestive process.
Why it's good for them: Using fruit to sweeten dishes is an ideal way to avoid that nasty white sugar which damages teeth and tummies. With plenty of fruit and veggies, this clever dish is a great way to help towards the five-a-day. This mild curry is finished with coconut milk which is thought to help fight infections and viruses.
Why they'll love it: It looks just like a grown up curry which they'll think is very sophisticated of them! Kids also love the sweet and mild sauce - it's full of familiar fruity flavours.
Get the recipe: Annabel Karmel's fruity chicken curry
Why it's good for them: Made with lean minced beef, and very little else these burgers, which the kids can help make, are much healthier than any ready-made version. Beef is a natural way to include iron-rich food in your child's diet, making sure they have plenty of energy to keep going all day.
Why they'll love it: They feel like a naughty treat. Kids also love being involved with the making process and being able to choose their own toppings from a range of colourful salads which you can serve up beside the burgers.
Get the recipe: Mini burgers
Why it's good for them: Protein is essential to keep us going all day long, and children are no exception - they need it too. These lean chicken cuts are one of the healthiest ways to give them a good amount of protein at dinner time. This recipe is also a way to keep them happy and full up without worrying about any possible nasties that might be in the pre-made type of nuggets.
Why they'll love it: What kids don't like chicken nuggets? They'll also love being allowed to pick the chicken strips up with their hands and dunk them into the sauce they like the best.
Get the recipe: Annabel Karmel's chicken dippers
Why it's good for them: It's good to try and include a couple of days during the week where you eat vegetarian meals as a family because not only will this benefit the environment, it will also give you a healthy dose of veggies. Sweetcorn is a great source of dietary fibre, keeping your littler peoples' tummies happy.
Why they'll love it: Kids can't get enough of veggies like carrots and corn thanks to their super sweet flavour. They'll love these colourful patties, just like we do!
Get the recipe: Sweetcorn fritters
Why it's good for them: Peas come with lots of perks in the forms
of vitamins and minerals. They're especially high in vitamin C, which
could help keep those nasty coughs and cold away. This dish is really
simple to make too, so you won't have to spend hours in the kitchen
rustling it up.
Why it's good for them: Beta-carotene, found in tomatoes, is a
natural way to keep your little one's skin soft and smooth as it
protects against sun damage. Thanks to their high contents of vitamin K
and calcium, tomatoes also tip the scale on the healthy bones factor,
keeping your kids' bones strong and healthy.
Why it's good for them: We're not saying pizza is the perfect dinner to eat all the time, but when made from scratch, it's lots better for your family than a packet version. Making your own pizza dough is easier than you might think and cuts out any additives or preservatives from your average pizza. Plus you can add lots of veggies on top too including sweet red pepper and soft button mushrooms.
Why it's good for them: Salmon is one of the best ways to introduce omega-3 fatty acids into your children's diets. These healthy fats have brain boosting properties which will make your little people even brainier than they already are!
Why they'll love it: With a crunchy outside, and a familiar mashed potato centre kids will love the combination of textures. Also, who wouldn't want to eat a fishcake that looks like a fish?
Get the recipe: Crunchy salmon fishcakes
Why it's good for them: Children need healthy whole grains to support their growth. This tasty sandwich, made with seeded bread, will make sure they get a good daily portion of them. Packed with lovely salad veggies too, it's also a handy way to get them eating their greens.
Why they'll love it: A three-tiered sandwich isn't something they'll see all the time, they'll love its novel look and tasty filling.
Get the recipe: Children's club sarnie
Why it's good for them: The humble spud actually has quite a lot of health benefits that you might not know about. Rich in B6, these earthy vegetables help to maintain a balanced mood, something any mother of a toddler will appreciate. Potatoes, when cooked with their skins on, are also high in potassium, keeping metabolism high and healthy.
Why it's good for them: The protein in chicken will keep your little monsters bursting with energy until bed time. An added benefit of coating them in crunchy sesame seeds is that they contain high levels of zinc, just what kids need to keep their bones nice and strong for all that jumping they'll no doubt be doing.
Why they'll love it: The crunchy coating is such a delicious alternative to batter that the kids won't even notice is actually good for them!
Get the recipe: James Tanner's honey and sesame chicken with vegetable rice
Why it's good for them: Aside from being a wonderful source of protein, eggs are also known for muscle building power. Keep your mini athletes running on a healthy dinner, packed with a healthy balance of protein from the eggs, carbohydrates from the potato and essential vitamins and minerals from the veggies.
Why it's good for them: These cheeky little faces are hiding a healthy mix of white fish and salmon in a comforting creamy sauce. Getting a variety of fish, as in this recipe, is essential to get you children an all-round range of vitamins and minerals.