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New Year’s Resolution: Jump Start Your Child’s Healthier Eating Habits with These Three Simple, Irresistible Recipes

foodIf you have a child who resists eating anything healthy, you’re not alone; there are countless picky young eaters out there. But don’t give up—or give in to your child’s desire for a junk food-only diet. This year, make a resolution to help expand your child’s palette. You can start with these three simple but appealing and, most importantly, healthy recipes: Chicken Noodle Soup, Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast and Flower Salad.

Oh, and there’s another benefit to these tasty nutritious recipes:  they give your little ones an opportunity to help in the kitchen, learning important life skills while spending quality time with you.

Chicken Noodle Soup: The Classic Kid Favorite

Recipe courtesy of National Chicken Council

1          chicken (3 pounds), liver discarded

2 1/2    quarts cold water

4          carrots, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

2          onions, peeled

2          celery stalks with leaves, cut into 4 pieces

6          cloves garlic, peeled

2          fresh thyme sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2    teaspoons kosher salt

1          teaspoon whole black peppercorns


1          cup small pasta, cooked

1          cup frozen peas, thawed

1/8       teaspoon salt

1/8       teaspoon pepper

2          tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

2          tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


To prepare broth: In large pot over high heat, bring chicken and all remaining broth ingredients to boil. Reduce heat to low; skim surface of broth to remove foam. Let simmer 1 1/2 hours, skimming occasionally, and turning chicken. Add more water if necessary to keep chicken submerged.

Remove chicken with tongs and cool. Strain broth through fine sieve. Discard celery, herbs and spices. Reserve onions and carrots. Remove any excess fat from top of broth with spoon.

Pull chicken meat from bones and discard skin and bones. Dice chicken and reserve. Quarter cooked onions, if desired.

To prepare soup: In large pot over high heat, return strained chicken broth and bring to rolling boil. Add reserved onions and carrots. Reduce heat to low; stir in reserved chicken meat, pasta and frozen peas, cooking until warm. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with dill and parsley.

Flower Salad

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger

Servings: 1

Building healthy habits is the top reason moms cite for encouraging more learning when it comes to food, according to research conducted by IPSOS, global market and opinion research specialists, on behalf of Cuties – the sweet little clementines. Even when the weather is colder outside, recipes like this Flower Salad—with its oh-so-appealing presentation—can encourage kids to eat healthy for a lifetime.


1          Cuties clementine

9-10     thinly sliced strips red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces

1/2       grape tomato

1          celery stick, cut to 3 inches

2          small leaves romaine lettuce

1          piece English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and cut to 1 1/2 inches then thinly sliced


2          tablespoons plain Greek yogurt

1/2       teaspoon honey

1/4       teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Peel clementine and separate sections almost all the way, leaving attached at the base. Place on plate with base down. Place piece of red bell pepper between each citrus section, and half tomato in center to form flower.

Place celery and lettuce leaves underneath as stem and leaves. Arrange cucumber slices below to represent grass.

In small bowl, stir together yogurt, honey and lemon juice.

Serve dip in dish alongside flower, or in a mound underneath cucumber slices.

Nutritional information per serving: 76 calories; 0.5 g total fat; (0.3 g saturated fat, 0.2 g poly fat); 4 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 2 mg cholesterol; 21 mg sodium.

Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast

Recipe courtesy of the USDA

Whether it’s before school or after sleeping in on a Saturday morning, breakfast is a popular meal for children of all ages. Next time you and your family rise and shine, go with this recipe for Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast to keep the whole gang happy.

2          large eggs

2          tablespoons fat-free milk

1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon

2          slices whole-wheat bread

1          teaspoon soft margarine

4          teaspoons light pancake syrup

In flat-bottomed bowl, crack eggs. Thoroughly whisk in milk and cinnamon. Dip bread slices, one at a time, into egg mixture, wetting both sides. Re-dip, if necessary, until all egg mixture is absorbed into bread.

Meanwhile, heat large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add butter. Place dipped bread slices in skillet. Cook 2 1/2-3 minutes per side, or until both sides are golden brown.

Drizzle with syrup. Serve when warm.

Nutritional information per serving: 190 calories; 8 g total fat; (3 g saturated fat); 10 g protein; 19 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 215 mg cholesterol; 250 mg sodium.


About Elizabeth Heubeck

Elizabeth Heubeck, a native of Baltimore, is a former editor of Baltimore's Child and the mother of two teenagers. Currently, she spends much of her spare time wishing she was a gourmet cook (or at least a solid short-order cook), hoping the piles of laundry would disappear and, in the warmer months, battling weeds in her flower beds.

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