Ever had that feeling? You spend hours in the kitchen working on the perfect Christmas recipe, and then the toddler casually throws it against the wall. Not exactly a festive moment, right? Time to call in the reinforcements, and who better to call than children's nutrition coach Alice van der Laan from Eettips voor Kids (Food tips for kids)?
In this blog, she not only shares three delicious Christmas recipes that even the little ones can appreciate but also ones that are healthy. Is that even possible? Yes, it is!
So, forget the kitchen stress on the big day. Simply prepare these delightful recipes in advance so you can enjoy a stress-free Christmas with peace of mind.
Appetizer: ti-ta-tomato soup with sweet potato
This tomato soup with sweet potato is a flavorful treat. Feel free to prepare it the day before because, believe it or not, it tastes even better the next day. And the best part? You save yourself valuable kitchen time.
The sweet potato, onions, and garlic in this soup are not only delicious but also a source of inulin. And why is that important? Because inulin acts like a superhero that regulates your blood sugar and provides cozy homes for the right gut bacteria. And let's not forget that it also gives a VIP treatment to your brain by stimulating the production of Bifidobacteria. And trust me, those little Bifido heroes are crucial for your brain's inner peace, which is not superfluous during Christmas.
Ingredients (for 4 people):
800 grams of organic diced tomatoes
1 sweet potato
2 cloves of garlic
500 ml chicken broth (possibly homemade)
125 ml cream
Pinch of salt and pepper
- Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Peel the sweet potato and cut it into pieces. Sauté the vegetables in a soup pot with olive oil.
- Add the tomatoes and broth, bring to a boil. Let it simmer for 20 minutes until the sweet potato is tender – it thickens the soup and softens the tomato flavor.
- Blend the soup until smooth, season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the cream or serve it on the side.
Variation tip: Go for homemade chicken bone broth! Save the bones from your roasted chicken, add some vegetables and herbs, and let it simmer. Not only will you get a delicious, flavorful broth, but you'll also reap health benefits. Chicken bone broth is rich in collagen, promotes healthy digestion, supports joint health, and provides essential nutrients to boost your immune system. A simple and nutritious addition to your soup.
Who is Alice?
Hi! I'm Alice, and I work as a children's nutrition coach. I find it fascinating how the first years of a child are crucial for their eating habits and long-term health. Being able to assist parents with practical support for first bites, intolerances, and picky eating feels invaluable.
Through enjoyable, accessible programs, workshops, and coaching with a touch of humor, I work with parents to establish a healthy eating pattern for their little ones. Check out my website or Instagram for more information!
Are you going to try the recipes? Let me know; I'd love to hear!
Main course: delicious vegetable pizza with spelt
I'm really looking forward to making this dish at Christmas. And hopefully, you can enjoy it as much as we always do. The fun part is not only that homemade pizzas are healthier, but it's also just cozy. Make sure to prepare the pizza crusts the day before. On the day itself, set the table with various tasty toppings like mozzarella, tomato, arugula, prosciutto, vegetables, goat cheese, walnuts – yum! Then, let each corner of the table decorate its own slice of pizza. Kids always love this. Or you can take turns decorating a pizza, and with each round, everyone gets a slice. Just relax and enjoy a leisurely meal!
Ingredients for one pizza crust:
250 grams of spelt flour
150 ml warm water
1 packet of yeast (7 grams)
2 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt
Here's how to make it:
Making your own pizza crust is not complicated at all. Simply combine a few ingredients in a bowl and knead the dough. All you need is a little patience to let the dough rise.
1. Mix the spelt flour, water, oil, and yeast in a bowl and knead into a dough ball. Work the dough for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth. Place the dough ball in the bowl, cover it with a cloth, and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight or in a cool place, not freezing.
3. During the Christmas dinner, preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it into a thin pizza crust (or multiple small pizzas).
4. Place the pizza on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake it for 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the pizza because every oven is different.
- Tomato sauce
- Mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, grated cheddar, feta, or goat cheese
- Pepperoni, salami, ham, grilled or fried chicken breast, or ground meat
- Mushrooms (sliced) or bell peppers (various colors)
- White or red onion (sliced or caramelized)
- Black or green olives
- Artichoke hearts (canned or fresh)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Fresh basil or oregano
- Arugula Truffle oil (to drizzle after baking)
This is just a basic list, and you can always experiment with other ingredients based on personal preferences. Make sure to have gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan options depending on your guests' preferences.
Healthy chocolate mousse, it really exists, and once you've tasted a bite, you won't want to go back. Not that there's anything wrong with 'regular' chocolate mousse – it's absolutely delicious. But let's be honest, it's usually not very nutritious, and that's a shame. There's nothing better than enjoying a cozy Christmas and not going home with a bloated stomach! And how amazing is it to know that even your little one, in addition to a super happy belly, is also getting the right dose of healthy proteins, fats, and minerals. Win-win for everyone!
Ingredients for 2-4 people:
One large ripe banana (or 1.5 medium bananas)
A ripe avocado
1.5 tablespoons of cocoa powder
A little lemon juice
A splash of (coconut or almond) milk
- One tablespoon of agave syrup or honey for sweetness
- Grated coconut
- Fresh fruit, such as strawberries or blueberries
- Puree the banana and avocado in a blender or with an immersion blender. Add the cocoa powder and coconut or almond milk to the avocado mixture and mix well.
- You can now add agave syrup or honey for some extra sweetness if desired.
- Once everything is well mixed, distribute the chocolate mousse into bowls and sprinkle some coconut, pieces of fruit, or berries on top.
Note: Cocoa can have a stimulating effect on young children, similar to caffeine. So if the little one doesn't want to go to bed, you know who's to blame.
Last but not least...
Don't expect Christmas miracles. Christmas is like a whirlpool of activities. You navigate between 24 family members like a true superhero, wrestle for weeks with poems and gifts, and try to get the house spic and span on the day itself. In other words, your stress level is higher than the peak of the Christmas tree, and kids pick up on that just fine. You can rationalize the stress, but to a toddler, that's like trying to stop a toy train with no rails. Sometimes it goes smoothly, but also understand that sometimes it gets derailed. Flexibility is the key, and a little understanding works wonders. Has your child been experiencing critical eating behaviors for some time? If so, take a look here...