How to Make a Balanced Yet Kid-Friendly Meal
Fashion and lifestyle influencer @parisandalatte is a wife and mother of two, a traveler, and cast member of Yahoo Style + Beauty digital show Style Off. Follow her on Instagram and read more about the life she lives at parisandalatte.com.
Having children has made me more aware than ever before of what we put into our bodies. I’d like to do all that I can to live a long life for my kids, and I want my son and daughter to grow up in healthy bodies. And though I’m not a vegetarian, I do make more veg dishes than ever before with this in mind.
A veg diet is definitely not just for adults! Kids can and should also reap the many benefits from this style of eating. For instance, vegetarian children show a slower growth rate when young, however, catch up in adolescent years. This slower initial growth rate has been linked to lower risk of disease later in life. A balanced vegetarian diet will also provide them all the nutrients they need, and vegetables contain more varieties of vitamins that are much harder to get in a diet where meat is the main attraction.
Here I’ve included a balanced yet very kid-friendly meal, perfect for the Bentgo Kids box. The delicious lunch is packed with salmon which is rich in protein and vitamin B12 among other things, tomato which is chock full of a wealth of vitamins including vitamins A, C, and K, onions which are a good source of vitamin C, bananas which are a great source of potassium, and some garlic rice and a snack of pretzels to help meet carbohydrate needs. I also threw in a little Hershey’s kisses just for fun and a sweet ending.
Using our Bentgo, I was able to make sure all of the servings were set up and ready to go for a nice quick and easy lunch, not to mention it’s perfect for picky eaters (my children included!) who don’t like their food touching.
Salmon Stir-fry with Capers, Tomatoes, and Onions
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
- 2 large fresh tomatoes, diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp of capers, drained
- 1/4 cup water
- Salt and pepper
- 2 fresh salmon fillets, 1/2 lb each
- In a large, wide saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Raise the heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, and capers.
- Simmer for 10 minutes, adding a little water if needed to prevent the sauce from getting too dry. Salt and pepper to taste. *
- Cut salmon into bite-size pieces, bones removed. Place bites in pan on top of the sauce, skin side down, if the fillets are still in their skin. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 1-3 minutes, depending on how thick the cuts of fish are. Poke the fish with a fork and ensure that fish is cooked thoroughly, less of a shiny red and more of a cooked orange color.
*For a heartier dish, peel and chop one russet potato into bite sized pieces. After making the tomato sauce, cook the potatoes for 2-3 minutes until a fork can slide through the potato bits.
Proceed with cooking salmon.
Garlicky Brown Rice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons garlic, chopped
- 4 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic. Cook and stir until the garlic is golden brown. This is the color you want for maximum flavor, do not allow it to burn, or the flavor will be bitter.
- Stir in the cooked rice, and season with garlic salt and pepper. Cook and stir until heated through and well blended - about 3 minutes.
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