Easy, fun recipes to make with your children.

By Catherine McCord
catherine I get countless emails every day from parents and readers of my website, weelicious.com, looking for advice because they can’t get their kids to eat anything healthy. As a mother of two kids under four, I understand all too well what a stress it can be trying to prepare three meals (and snacks) for your family 7 days a week.

So, how do we get kids to fall in love with fruits and vegetables and actually WANT to eat them? It’s important to realize that kids are told what to do and when to do it almost all day long, so when they have the ability to control something — like the food that goes in their body — they won’t hesitate to do it. And that can make life tough for concerned parents.

I find a large part of the problem is that parents treat kids like passive, rather than active, eaters. Even if you are already serving your kids healthy foods, if you’re just putting it in front of them without letting them have a hand in how it gets there, getting them excited about eating it is tough. It doesn’t have to be.

Have you ever tried getting your kids involved with the food they eat? Try taking them to your local farmer’s market (there’s a search box on weelicious so you can find your local market). Let them get to know the people who grow their food and sample the fresh fruits and vegetables together.

Visit a U-Pick farm or better yet, grow something in your backyard or window box. You’ll find, no matter how young they are, they’ll start viewing their food differently.

Also, when kids are given jobs in the kitchen, they tend to be much more excited about the food they eat because they feel like they had a hand in the process of making it. At the end of the day, empowering kids to learn about food, see how it’s grown, try new things and be a part of the process will go a long way in creating healthy eaters for a lifetime!

Mango Pops (Makes 4 Cups-8 Popsicles)
2 Mangos, peeled and chopped
1 Cup Rice Milk
2 Tbsp Honey
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until pureed.
2. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.
3. Serve.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Breakfast Cupcakes (Makes 20 Mini Cupcakes)
1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Peanut Butter (you can also use almond, cashew, or sunflower butter)
1 Large Egg
2 Tbsps Sugar
1 1/4 Cup Milk (low fat or whole)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Whisk the first 3 ingredients in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the peanut butter, egg and sugar until combined, then whisk in the milk until incorporated.
4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined (you don’t want to over beat the mixture).
5. Grease or line mini muffin tins and fill 2/3 of the way up with the batter.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
7. Cool.
8. Spread the top of each cupcake with frosting (recipe below) and serve.
*This batter can also be used to make pancakes
Jelly Frosting (Makes about 2 cups)
1/2 Cup Whipped or Regular Cream Cheese (softened)
1/4 Cup Jelly, Jam or Preserves
1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined (you want the mixture to be smooth like frosting).
2. Spread on cupcakes and serve.

Catherine McCord launched Weelicious in 2007, providing a solution to parents’ hectic lives by showing them how to cook recipes that are kid-friendly, quick and nutritious. With a background in culinary arts from New York City’s prestigious Institute of Culinary Education, and a passion for food, Catherine has developed recipes that appeal to a range of ages. Weelicious focuses on educating kids and involving them in the process with how-to cooking videos featuring Catherine’s own two children.