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7 Healthy Recipes Your Kids Can Help Make

Some of our all time favorite 'Healthy Kids Cook' episodes that are perfect for getting healthy and having fun

nicole persun headshot pinto portrait

Published on: January 13, 2017


Is "eat healthy" one of your New Year's resolutions? Yeah, us too. To celebrate another year of healthy eating and having fun, we've rounded up some of our favorite healthy recipes that you can your kids can make together! 

Note: ParentMap and PCC Natural Markets have partnered to produce an exciting web series called Healthy Kids Cook, designed to encourage families to make a healthy habit of cooking fresh food together in the kitchen, and to help explore the farm-to-table journey of some of your favorite foods. 


1. Mix and match granola

Watch the video!

Prepare something lighter with this handmade granola recipe from PCC Natural Markets.

Get the details Chef Jackie and her Healthy Kids Cook helper, Arnica, as they volunteer at a local food bank before heading to the kitchen.

What you need:

  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup mixed nuts and seeds (see note)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup neutral-flavored oil (sunflower, coconut or safflower)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (see note) (optional)

How you make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 300° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, combine oats, sugar, nuts and salt.
  3. Mix water, oil and vanilla together in a measuring cup. Pour over oat mixture and mix well to combine.
  4. Spread granola on the prepared baking sheet and press flat.
  5. Bake, rotating the pan every 20 minutes, until oats are golden and fragrant, 40 to 60 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Mix in dried fruit and store in an air-tight container for up to 1 month.

Note: For nuts and seeds, try a combination of sliced almonds, chopped pecans or walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds or coconut flakes. For dried fruit, try a combination of raisins, banana chips, dried cranberries, currants, apple pieces, chopped mango or date pieces.


2. Easy weeknight minestrone

Watch the video! 

Ryan, a guest from the YMCA Actively Changing Together! program, joined PCC Chef Jackie Freeman to make Weeknight Minestrone. This flexible soup comes together in less than 30 minutes and uses common pantry staples, freshened up with dense root vegetables and healthy braising greens.

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups mixed diced root vegetables (onions, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, etc.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 (14-ounce can) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup small pasta of choice (macaroni, spaghetti broken into 1-inch pieces, etc.)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can bean of choice (red, cannellini, etc.), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chopped winter greens of choice (spinach, kale, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs or prepared pesto (basil, oregano, parsley, etc.)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish

How you make it: 

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add root vegetables and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add stock and tomatoes; bring to a boil.
  5. Stir in pasta and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in beans and greens during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  7. Season to taste with herbs or pesto, salt and pepper. Serve hot garnished with Parmesan cheese.


3. Mix-'n'-match overnight oatmeal

Watch the video!

Chef Jackie invited teen photographer Ava to make Mix-'n'-Match Overnight Oatmeal. This recipe is creamy, delicious and easy to customize: it's the perfect make-ahead breakfast for simplifying your morning routine and making sure kids and teens don't miss breakfast, even if they are running late! 

What you need: 

Oatmeal base

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

Berry cobbler

  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup raspberries
  • Handful of granola

Chunky monkey

  • ½ banana, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs or chocolate chips

PB and pumpkin

  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Peachy keen

  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ rip peach, pitted and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts

Tropical oats

  • Splash of vanilla
  • Pinch of ground ginger (optional)
  • ½ cup diced mango
  • ¼ cup diced kiwi
  • 1 tablespoon chopped macadamia nuts

Apple pie

  • 1/2 apple, chopped
  • Handful of granola
  • Pinch of brown sugar

How you make it: 

Mix oats, yogurt, milk and chia seeds together in an 8-ounce mason jar or bowl. Place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, top with optional flavor combinations. (You may add the mix-ins the night before, but keep in mind whatever you incorporate might be soggy in the morning!)


4. Greek chicken kebabs with tzatziki sauce

Watch the video!

Chef Jackie invited  11-year-old Ryley and her Mom, Jen, from STAR 101.5, to help make Greek Chicken Kebabs with Easy Tzatziki Sauce. They're super fast and flavorful, with a great combination of lean protein and fresh veggies to keep active bodies well-fueled.

What you need for the kebabs: 

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 bell peppers (any color), seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks (optional)
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried mint
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Wooden skewers

How you make them: 

  1. In a large bowl or resealable bag, combine chicken, zucchini, peppers, eggplant, onions, garlic, lemon juice, oil, oregano, mint, salt and pepper.
  2. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
  3. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Soak skewers in water for 15 minutes.
  4. Thread chicken, alternating with vegetables, onto skewers. Discard remaining marinade.
  5. Grill skewers, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

What you need for the tzatziki sauce:

  • 8 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ English cucumber – halved lengthwise, seeded and diced or grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint or dill

How you make it:

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and serve.   

avocado pudding

5. Decadent chocolate-avocado pudding

Watch the video!

A chocolate lover's dream! Jackie invited Jodi Brothers from KJR 95.7 The Jet and her son's best friend, Coco, to make decadent Chocolate Avocado Pudding. A heart-healthy dessert that can be made in mere minutes? Dreams can come true! With a blend of two fruits, Fair Trade cocoa powder, a touch of honey and almond milk, this creamy pudding has a purely decadent flavor and texture created from remarkably healthy ingredients. It's also a delicious gluten-free and dairy-free option. 

What you need: 

  • 2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup almond or non-dairy milk

How you make it:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until creamy and smooth.
  2. Add more non-dairy milk to thin, if needed.
  3. Divide pudding evenly between six serving dishes.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap (pressing the wrap down on the pudding to prevent a skin from forming) and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

taco salad

6. Taco salad

Watch the video!

Chef Jackie invited Noah from the George Pocock Rowing Center to make Taco Salad. Noah participates in the The Middle School Rowing and Fitness Club. PCC works with the foundation by providing funding and healthy snacks for the youth program. A favorite with kids, this taco salad can be eaten with a fork or by using the chips as a spoon!

What you need: 

  • 1 ripe avocado — pitted, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 trimmed heads romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1 cup cooked fresh or canned corn kernels
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped or 1/2 cup sliced pickled peppers
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • Corn chips, for serving (optional)

How you make it: 

  1. Combine avocado, sour cream, lime juice, oil, sugar and garlic in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth, adding a little water, if needed, to blend.
  2. Fold in cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. On a large serving platter, combine lettuce, beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers and olives. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss to coat.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese and serve with chips around the edge of the platter.


7. Weeknight mix-'n'-match noodle bowls

Watch the video!

We invited two Girl Scouts, Becca and Nur from troop number 45054, to help make easy Mix-‘n’-Match Noodle Bowls. These warming and filling bowls are a great way to feed the family a hearty meal on busy nights. If you are a Girl Scout who loves to cook, find your own cooking patch here or at your local Girl Scout store. 

What you need: 

4 cups chicken broth, store-bought or homemade
2 to 4 ounces udon or ramen, per person
8 ounces marinated tofu, cubed (try PCC’s Steph’s Tofu, available in the deli)
2 hard-boiled eggs, halved
1 cup shredded carrots and broccoli (look for Taylor Farms Broccoli Slaw in the produce section) 
1/4 cup sliced green onions
Soy sauce, for serving (optional)

How you make it: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. 
  2. Bring broth to a simmer.
  3. Cook noodles according to package directions. Divide noodles and broth between four bowls.
  4. Top with tofu, half an egg, carrots and broccoli and green onions.
  5. Season to taste with soy sauce.
  6. Try a combination of any leftover protein or vegetables, or your favorites.

cooking with kids

Love these recipes? Help yourself to seconds.

Check out our Healthy Kids Cook page for further food-related inspirtation.

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