by Kara Reilly DipNT mNTOI

Kids love nothing more than getting involved, getting their hands dirty and doing an activity together with siblings or parents. Sometimes they may need a little nudge, with all the distractions available these days, but once you get started they love it and the love tasting the results even more!

This is such a great way to get kids learning about food and even to get fussy eaters to try new foods. Having some input into the recipe and the making of the food really empowers kids and makes them feel very grown up.


With 1 in 4 kids overweight or obese, we really need to get down to their level and start showing them basic kitchen skills and teaching them about food from an early age, if they are to have a hope of a healthy adult life.

So some very easy options for you to start off with! All of these are no-bake so you dont have to worry!

Treat Balls

Soak 2 handfuls of dates in  2 tbsp boiling water. Blend 100g nuts, pecans and almonds go down well with kids. Separately blend the dates & water into a paste. In a bowl mix dates, nuts, 4 tbsp cacao powder, a little honey or maple syrup to taste. You can play around with it, maybe they would like to add raisins or other dried fruit. Have fun than shaping them into balls and rolling in cacao, coconut or ground almonds. They’ll love getting their hands dirty!


Smoothies and Smoothie bowls

Kids love making smoothies. Lay out lots of fruit and veg, nut/goats milk, coconut water and give them the freedom to choose what they want to put in. Try out different combinations. Make one yourself also and show them that things like a little carrots, lettuce, peeled courgette, celery, beetroot don’t actually make that much difference to the taste (try them individually at first and celery and beetroot just a small chunk at first!) If you want to get adventurous, add in avocado, nuts, seeds, milled flax or chia.

For a smoothie bowl simply add less liquid, so it’s good and thick and eat out of a bowl rather than drinking it. This can be a great alternative to a breakfast cereal. Top with nuts, seeds, raisins, whatever you like.


No bake granola bars

Blend 100g nuts and 100g seeds, to a rough mix rather than a fine powder (or go with finer if you want to hide them!). Melt 3 tbsp almond butter and 3 tbsp coconut oil and then blend with a banana. A handful of gluten free oats (optional). Blend 2 handfuls of soaked dates to a paste. Mix nuts, seeds, dates, almond butter, coconut oil, dates and banana. They’ll love mixing this gloopy mess and licking the spoon! Press into a shallow tray/dish and refrigerate. You can top with a little dark choc if you like. Once chilled cut into bars and store in a lunch box, if you can keep them that long!


Simple chocolate dipping bowl

Cocktail sticks, fruit and dark chocolate, this is the easiest crowd pleaser around! Prepare chunks of fruit, kids can get to work on peeling bananas picking off grapes, washing the fruit, etc, while you do the chopping. Melt a bar of dark chocolate in the microwave, taking care not to burn, or over a bain-marie (pot of boiling water on the hob!). Add a touch of honey or coconut oil to taste if its too bitter. Set up the fruit around the bowl of chocolate, give everyone a cocktail stick or fork and dig in! This one doesn’t last too long!!


Fruit Stacks

These are great little snacks. Simply slice a banana, apple of pear and stack with a nut butter spread between each slice. Top with little-chopped nuts, chia seeds or sesame seeds. Berries work great too. Fill raspberries with almond butter or strawberries topped with a little coconut cream are great! Great fun playing around with different combinations!


Nice cream

Banana based ice cream is a great one if you have any dairy intolerance in the house. But regardless this is a tasty easy to make ice cream substitute that the kids will love! Chop banana and freeze. Blend from frozen, adding whatever flavour you prefer, vanilla extract, fresh strawberry or cacao powder. Sweeten as you need with a little good quality local honey or maple syrup.


Chocolate Bark

Another quick and easy one, simply melt dark chocolate and add whatever takes your fancy, chopped nuts, seeds, chia, dried fruit, fresh fruit, anything. Lay flat on greaseproof paper and refrigerate. Once chilled, crack into sections and enjoy!!


Down the line if you want to start getting more adventurous as they are getting older and are able for more, the possibilities are endless:

  • Oat Cookies are a great one, just a one bowl mix, make a log, chop into cookies and lay on the tray
  • Healthy Buns are the same, bung the mix in the food processor Nutri Bullet and into the muffin tin
  • Buckwheat Pancakes are a real winner, again make the mix in the Nutribullet or blender, add some extras at the last minute like raisins, blueberries or dark choc chips and into the frying pan, supervising of course!
  • Helping to prepare the dinner, prepping veg etc if they are old enough to use a sharp knife!
  • Making salads, using a grater is a handy way, or a grater in a food processor can be so quick and. Grated beetroot, carrot and apple go down very well with smallies!
  • Play around with making dressings can be good too, all you need is a jar with a lid, 3 parts extra virgin olive oil to 1 part apple cider vinegar, and then whatever else you want to add e.g. honey/maple, tamari/soya sauce, salt & pepper, herbs, spices, coconut milk, tahini, lemon, lime, orange. Experiment!

Have Fun!


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