Healthy Kids Dinner: Classic Sausage, Peppers and Onions
A happy kid is a healthy kid who enjoys great tasting and nutritious food (even if he or she doesn’t know it’s healthy)!
There are endless number of excuses as to why a child is only eating three different meals. Sometimes parents tell me that their picky eater will only eat grilled cheese and hot dogs. Sometimes parents tell me that they don’t have time to cook. Sometimes parents tell me that their child tried salmon once and didn’t like it so that’s it–they’ll never serve it again. When I hear the variety of excuses a part of me wants to cry for the family because food can be a great source of pleasure, enjoyment, a cultural experience, and an opportunity to be grateful for the rainbow of flavors that the earth provides us.
There are there major misconception about quality food:
A) Healthy food is expensive.
B) Preparing healthy meals is time consuming.
C) Only adults like healthy food.
Sound familiar? Now you are you ready for me to dispel these un-truths:
A) The reality is that if you shop for seasonal fresh foods you can actually save money because you aren’t constantly in the need to stock up on things like potato chips and cookies that are not filling and have no nutritional value. (Check out how one family is saving $300 a month by buying healthier groceries).
B) When you buy whole seasonal foods and quality lean proteins there is so much natural flavor that it is ideal to prepare these foods as simple as possible. The trick is to consider the method of cooking. Grilling adds smokiness, broiling adds crispness, baking or stewing over the stove top promotes juiciness. Think about how delicious grilled zucchini tastes or the bold flavor of a juicy salt and peppered flank steak hot out of the broiler….simple is better which works out perfectly for busy families!
C) Kids only think that they don’t like certain foods because their taste buds have adapted to the artificial flavors of processed foods. It only takes a little time and willingness to try new foods to adjust one’s tastebuds back to appreciating the natural and bold flavors of real food. Studies have shown that a child needs to taste a food 8-10 times before truly deciding if they like or don’t like a certain food. (Hint: keep serving your healthy kid the food they think they hate but with different seasonings or cooking methods).
Even picky eaters have the chance to enjoy flavorful and balanced meals if you know what to prepare.
I like making this crowd pleasing, healthy kids dinner recipe because it uses familiar flavors, comes together with almost no preparation, is great as leftovers and kids love it without even knowing all the health benefits of having a lean protein, vegetables and complex carbohydrates in one meal.
Classic Sausage with peppers and onions
Serving suggestions: To balance this meal you want to add a complex carbohydrate. You can either add diced up potatoes to the skillet or serve over rice or whole wheat pasta. Leftovers from this healthy kids dinner are great for breakfast rolled up in a whole wheat tortilla!
- 4-6 chicken apple sausage (or any other chicken or turkey sausage you enjoy) cut into 1/2 inch coins
- 1 onion, halved and finely sliced
- 2 bell peppers, halved and finely sliced
- olive oil spray
- basil, fresh or dried
- optional: 2 potatoes, diced
- In the largest skillet you have spray olive oil spray and put over medium high heat.
- Add the onions and peppers. Cook until they begin to soften. You may need to add a little water to the pan if they start to stick. Add salt, pepper and basil to taste. Don’t be shy with the salt!
- If you are adding potatoes, add them now and allow to get soft.
- Add the sausage. Cook all together until everything begins to brown.
- Serve with your grain of choice and watch your kids ask for seconds!
Coach Arielle is an International Coaching Federation accredited coach and completed advanced training with kids and teens in Mind Body Medicine and Mindfulness meditation. Arielle is passionate about working with kids and wellness, stemming from her own weight struggles. Arielle loves yoga, hiking, cooking, baking and experimenting in the kitchen. She discovered that by focusing on healthy behaviors rather than calories, she could lead a happier and healthier life. Arielle graduated from UCSB.
Kurbo provides the first mobile-based health coaching and weight management program for kids, teens, and their families. See whether Kurbo is right for your child, try a Kurbo coaching plan for free today!