In our house, the teens eat the same food as us adults, just like they have always done. The most important thing is healthy, nutritious, real food and healthy fats. It is absolutely vital for growing children so that their bodies get all the nutrients needed, but good food is also needed to help them concentrate with their studies. We all know how harmful sugar is, but only a few parents realise just how much sugar many of the foods eaten by children these days actually contain. Foods like cereals, yoghurt, bread, fruit juice, crisps, energy bars or cakes don’t belong in the lunch box of anyone, let alone children. Yet, this is mostly what these kids eat these days, every day. No wonder there are so many health problems with kids from allergies to eczema, but also behavioural problems, mood swings, restlessness, problems with weight. These are very difficult for kids to handle, we as parents should take more responsibility. Your children will thank you if you teach them the basics of good food right from the start. Children don’t naturally want sweets or crisps, it is us adults who teach them to eat this stuff, until they, too become dependent on wrong food. You should not get your children dependent on these foods to begin with.
A big part of a healthy diet is a shared dinner at home, every day, and including your children in cooking and preparing the dinner as much as possible. Kids naturally love good, real food and when they learn to only eat proper food at home and are able to prepare it too, they lear to appreciate proper food later in life too. They will learn to make the right choices. Even with teenagers, when eating good food when growing up, they learn to make right, healthy choices later in life too. They learn to recognise how bad quality food makes you feel, compared to how real food makes you feel. Any possible problems with weight starts to resolve with teenagers very quickly after starting to eat properly, they feel better and have lots more energy.
Good food for students
They need a good breakfast packed with protein and fat, such as good old bacon and eggs. Breakfast like that will keep their hinger at bay and they have enough energy and are able to concentrate well at school. Eggs are actually a very good choice for breakfast and children usually like them. They can be prepared very quickly into a delicious filling breakfast. Good quality natural yoghurt with berries and nuts is also a very good breakfast as well as different kinds of smoothies.
Kids need a good lunch at school. Most kids take pack lunches with them, and usually a packed lunch is the best option anyway because most ready prepared school lunches are made with cheap carbohydrates, so are basically just sugar. Not much protein at all, never proper good healthy fat. This kind of food does not fill them up, but cause them to be hungry again very quickly and will also make them tired. We normally go for a good salad that I quickly prepare at home, in the morning, with tuna, mackerel, chicken, cheese or eggs, or, soup that I pack into flasks. Home-made tomato soup, pumpkin soup, sausage soup or chicken soup are absolutely delicious and fill the kids up quickly.
Usually our kids need just a small snack when returning from school, such as a piece of fruit, until dinner.
One of the most important things in a family is shared dinners. We always sit down to eat together, every single day. Family meals are very important to children, even according to many studies. It is understandable that occasionally shared dinners are not possible because work commitments or hobbies, but, but all families should try and sit down together to eat as much as it is possible. No watching TV during meals! Every day dinners don’t have to be complicated gourmet meals, but simple, delicious food. It is important though that these meals are healthy and real food. You can prepare a good meal on a budget too, do not go for anything ready-made. You want your kids to eat proper food that’s good for them.
I have found talking to my kid’s about health issues with food, the problems with artificial fats and the problems with sugar, to be very useful. They have learned to like proper food and know to avoid sweets because of the way sugar and additives make them feel. This way they learn to make the right choices later in life themselves.
In my family, the most popular meals with our teenagers are aubergine lasagne, sausage stew, chilli con carne and different kinds of chicken and fish dishes. Even the weekend specials can be made into very tasty, healthy versions, and it is certain that no one misses any ready made meals.
Home made kebab
First of all, make the sauces: Chili sauce (chop one small onion and sauté in a small saucepan in olive oil. Add a drizzle of vinegar and tinned tomatoes (one can), or fresh cherry tomatoes if you prefer. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper) and garlic sauce ( mix together one pot of creme fraiche, crushes clove of garlic, small amount of cream and a squeeze of lemon juice). Then all you need is good meatballs (lamb mince with some onion, garlic, one egg, fresh mint, ground coriander, salt and pepper), or meat skewers from lamb or chicken and a good fresh salad. Roasted peppers is something that also goes very well with this dish. This is easy to make and delicious.
Home made simple burger
You will need bread rolls made with almond flour for this one. Make some home made beef burgers with minced beef which you can season with salt, pepper, a spoonful of good mustard (sugar free, so Dijon is the best one) and some chill powder. Make some tomato sauce the same way as with the kebabs. Place one almond roll on the plate, add some crispy lettuce, mayonnaise (we use home made mayonnaise or garlic sauce) and the beef burger. Add some good cheddar cheese onto the burger and some tomato sauce. You can decorate the burger with two slices of crispy cooked bacon. I find this burger so much tastier than any other + it does not make you feel tired afterwards.
Pizza with cauliflower
Make a delicious pizza base by grating 300g of cauliflower and mix it together with 150g of grated cheese and an egg. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture onto non-stock paper on an oven pan and cook in 175 degrees for 15 minutes or so. Then add all the fillings you like, and return to the oven for another 10 minutes until your cheese is nicely melted.