Feeding kids healthy food is becoming more and more of a challenge. While “eat right” initiatives are promoted at every turn, the reality of what is readily available is often not healthy at all!
With school lunches allowing ketchup and fresh fries to be considered vegetables and the most affordable foods out there often being empty carbohydrates sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, winning the fight for health for your kids can be hard.
However, New Yorkers have a secret weapon – the bagel. Everyone is familiar with the ever tasty “roll with a hole”, and plenty of great meals for kids can be created using these healthy rounds.
The pizza bagel. When kids start pleading for pizza night, consider sitting them down and letting them make their own! Start with sliced, room temperature bagels. Add pizza sauce (putting it on a ketchup squirt bottle helps!) then add toppings like pepperoni, diced veggies, cheeses and olives or jalapeños. Stick in the toaster oven or regular oven and cook until the cheese is bubbly and the bagel is toasty.
The PB&B. A sliced and lightly toasted bagel is the perfect platform for an open faced peanut butter and banana sandwich. Dot some raisins on there for extra nutrition and sweetness.
The veggie-face. Start with splitting the bagel and spreading each half with cream cheese. Use thin cucumber slices for eyes, and a wedge of tomato for a smile. Shredded carrot makes perfect hair (it’s a carrot-top! Get it?) and you can even shake on a little seasoning for a more natural complexion.
The ladybug. Toast a split bagel, then spread with a light covering of plain guacamole. Cut a tomato slice in half, and place it over the center. Top the tomato with halved black olives for spots, using another olive for the ladybug’s head.
This little piggy. Start by spreading one bagel half with strawberry flavored cream cheese. Cut pieces from the other half to form a snout, front feet and a tail. Create eyes and nostrils from slivers of strawberries. You can also make other animals such as a doggy (using Nutella and banana) or a penguin (with cream cheese and chopped black olives).
Bagel chips and dip. This is a great way to use up day old bagels. Slice the bagel from center to edge over and over to make thin discs. Spray a cookie sheet with non stick spray, arrange the “chips”, brush with olive oil, sea salt and the seasoning of your choice, and bake at 350 for up to 12 minutes. Dip into melted cheese, spinach dip, or any other kind of dip.
These #healthy bagel based meals are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner of snack time. Choosing whole grain bagels adds to the nutritive value, as does adding a vegetable or fruit side to round off the meal. You can even make a nice dessert by substituting butter, cinnamon and sugar in the chip recipe above for a tasty, sweet snack everyone in the family will love!