“Food, glorious food. Cold jelly and custard.” Oliver made his preferred dessert famous in the song from the musical bearing his name. But not all desserts are born equal, especially when it comes to sugar content and calories.
To help your kids eat better, you need a few tricks up your sleeve. They come in the form of funky names, great taste, and ingredients that won’t rot teeth or pile on the pounds. Here are the healthy desserts for kids you need to know about.
Fruits are a great good source of vitamins and minerals. They help to prevent vitamin C and vitamin A deficiencies. Children who eat fruit as part of an overall healthy diet will usually have a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
If your kids have their five a day, that’s great, but making half their dessert plate fruit is great for healthy eating.
Fruit provides nutrients; these include potassium, fiber, and folic acid. Blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries all contain phytochemicals that can bring added health benefits.
The sugar in fruit is a great source of much-needed energy for kids. For the best flavors and value, you should buy fresh produce that’s in season.
Sometimes, time is short, so remember that flash-frozen fruit or fruit that’s been canned with no salt or heavy syrup can be just as good.
Below are some ideas for healthy desserts to put in your child’s lunch box.
Arrange peeled mango and papaya slices in a lunch box container. Add some drained pineapple that’s been canned in natural juice. Add a few strawberries.
Slice a banana into a bowl and mash it with a fork. Squeeze in some lemon juice, as this will help stop the banana from turning brown.
Add a few tablespoons of low-fat natural yogurt and mix it up with the banana. Put this in a small separate container.
To reduce the cost, you could either use one type of fruit or try apple and pear slices instead. Remember to squeeze a little lemon juice over the top of these hard fruits to stop them from browning.
The great thing about oat bars is that you can make them in advance. They’ll keep for at least a week in a sealed container.
Line a square baking sheet with some parchment paper. Finely chop two-thirds of a cup of dates and place in a saucepan with two tablespoons of agave syrup or honey.
Add half a cup of olive oil spread. Mix and heat until the spread has melted.
Add a quarter cup each of dried apricots, hazelnuts, and raisins to the saucepan along with third thirds of a cup of oats, and some flax and sunflower seeds. Stir the date and dried fruit mixture well.
Pour the mixture into the sheet and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. When it’s cooled, cut the dessert into 12 slices.
It doesn’t get much easier than this. Heat a little vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Throw in two-thirds of a cup of popcorn kernels, place the lid on, and shake the pan so the kernels get coated in the oil.
Place your pan over a medium to high heat. The kernels will soon begin to pop. When they do, be sure to carefully shake the pan from time to time.
Once the popping has finished, take the pan off the heat and let it cool for around ten minutes.
Add a teaspoon of piri-piri seasoning and half a cup of pomegranate seeds along with a little black pepper. Stir the mixture through.
Lightly grease a square baking tray with vegetable oil. Stir together half a cup of flour, half a cup of brown sugar, a tablespoon of cocoa powder, and a teaspoon of baking powder.
In a separate bowl, whisk an egg and add a grated apple, and half a cup of fat-free buttermilk. Mix this with the flour mixture, pour into the baking tin, and bake for 30 minutes. Once cooled, cut into pieces.
Add it to your kid’s lunchbox along with some fresh orange segments. Keep the rest of the brownie pieces in an airtight box in the fridge.
This is another simple dessert that tastes great. Finely grate the zest from an orange and then squeeze the juice from it. Slice another orange into segments, removing all the pith and peel.
Put two and a half cups of skim milk, half a cup of ground rice, the orange zest, and a teaspoon of mixed spice into a non-stick saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens.
Add the orange juice and a quarter cup of raisins. Cook over very low heat for one to two minutes. When it’s cooled, pour the pudding into a container and sprinkle over more raisins and add the orange segments.
You should always try to avoid buying flavored yogurts. Stick to plain low-fat or fat-free Greek-style yogurt. Take out some frozen mixed berries the night before and leave them in the fridge to defrost.
The following morning, add these to a portion of the yogurt. Mix in two teaspoonfuls of local honey; this can really help your child if they suffer from pollen allergies. Put the mixture into an airtight container.
For a weekly treat, grate in a square or two of dark chocolate with a high cocoa content.
With a little imagination, you can prepare healthy desserts for kids well in advance. Keep them in an airtight containers in the fridge so they can be taken out on the mornings you need them.
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