I am super-pleased to have Robyn, founder of Active Mama’s show you how to create healthy organic fast food for your kids. Also, find out how to win a munchie mug (see below) from Active Mama’s.
It’s possible to feed your children healthy organic fast food that has no hormones, no steroids, no pesticides and no refined sugar for just 61¢ per meal. Yes, you read that right, less than one dollar a meal.
Put your preconceived notions to the side. I have only 3 disclaimers:
- Your meal size should depend on how much your child eats. My child is 2 years old. It generally takes him two sittings to finish one of my meals, but if he’s in a growth spurt he wolfs it down in one.
- How many vegetables you need depend on the size of your vegetable.
- You know your kids allergies. Don’t use an ingredient if your kid’s allergic to it. (Okay, I know you know that… just saying).
Just try this plan once, you’ll be delighted.
Here are my tips for healthy organic fast food for your kids.
Go to the store, and either get 2 whole chickens from the Fresh Market at just $1.99 per pound, or get 3 ‘good’ chicken breasts from any store. When I say good, I mean hormone- and steroid-free, free-range chickens. If you get chicken from the Fresh Market, feel good knowing it’s ‘good’ too, and you can make stock from the bones… way to stretch those dollars, Mama!
Also, at the farmers market, get organic fresh sweet potatoes, organic beets, and 2 organic heads of broccoli + a bag of frozen organic peas. Yes, you could use other vegetables here too, like carrots and parsnips, squash and zucchini, or whatever you like.
Make sure you have 1-2 gallon sized freezer storage bags (or containers), parchment paper, herbs and some kind of oil or butter (no comment on which is ‘healthier’, except that kids need some fat in their diet for their brain development).
These vegetable cutters make your food cute. I advocate playing with your food if you’re a child. They also, however, add a one time cost of $10.71 and precious time to your meal preparation. If your kids are older, they would love cutting the shapes out though. The shapes help younger kids learn these six animals.
Have fresh fruit on hand to serve with the meal, or serve fruit in-between the meals as a snack.
Flavor options for healthy organic fast food for your kids
You could choose to do different batches of food, to add flavor variety. If you do, it’ll increase your cooking time, but that’s okay. Here are some of my favorite seasonings… just note, wherever a recipe says soy sauce, I use Braggs Amino Acids, and wherever a recipe says sugar, I use local raw honey:
- Pad Thai
- Lemon Pepper
- Then, I also get creative… think lime juice and cilantro and cumin and chilli; or lemon and herbs de provence, or tomatoes and italian herbs. It’s not essential to use recipes if you know what flavor combinations you all enjoy. If your kids like sweet food, add a teaspoon of raw local honey to the recipe, or as a dip for after you’ve cooked the food.
Cheats for healthy organic fast food for your kids
The downside to using these cheats is most notably related to money, sodium levels, the ability to control flavor and variety, freshness, the ability to use the pieces as you wish, and/or you may still find yourself dependent on chemical-laden packaged foods.
- Buy an already-roasted chicken
- Buy already chopped vegetables
- Hire someone to do all the chopping for you
- Buy some items from the frozen section of your grocery store to pair with your meals
- I like pre-cut parchment paper because the pieces lay flat on the countertop without curling up, and save me a little time, but it’s cheaper to use a plain roll of parchment paper.
Ingredients for healthy organic fast food for your kids
- 3 organic free-range hormone- and steroid-free chicken breasts
- Herbs of your choice (I avoid salt, especially for kids)(see above for flavor suggestions)
- 2 heads of broccoli, cut into thumb sized pieces (I use the stems, thin-sliced)
- 1 organic beet, thin sliced (you could use carrots instead, but I like to serve my family ‘the rainbow’)
- 1 organic sweet potato
- 1 bag frozen organic peas
- 1 gallon sized freezer bag and 1 sandwich bag sized freezer bag, or a container to hold the prepared food
- Parchment paper
- 3 tablespoons Oil or Butter (I love coconut, avocado and sesame oil, but you could use butter too. I’d just make sure it’s from organic milk, from cows that have been treated nicely).
Directions for healthy organic fast food for your kids
Set out all your ingredients on the counter, including your herbs.
Prepare your seasoning.
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
Cut your broccoli into little trees, and the stems into thinner slices. Set aside.
Thin slice your root vegetables – beet and sweet potato. You may have chosen to use carrots and parsnips, or other root vegetables here. They will all cook the same way. If you want, use those vegetable cutters make animal shapes. Don’t throw away the scraps though!
Alternately, you could just cut your sweet potato the same way you’d cut french fries. Toss in 1 tablespoon oil or warmed up butter, lay out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Heat in the oven for 30 minutes, or until done. This is what my sweet potato animal chips look like when they are done. Here, they’ve been coated thinly in nice quality olive oil, no salt. See how the surface is slightly crispy? Yum!
How will you know when your root vegetables are done? Cook time depends on how thin your slices are. If your slices are only millimeters thick, your cook time might only be 20 minutes. Bite into a piece to test. Yes, it’s ok to eat root vegetables raw. 🙂
Now, while you’re waiting on your root vegetables to finish baking, heat up your skillet on medium, with 2 tablespoons your chosen oil or butter (I prefer cast iron, and avoid teflon… for health reasons)
Cut your chicken breasts into pieces to your liking. If you’re using a whole chicken, it’s possible to carve the whole chicken in 3.5 minutes. Yes, that’s right! Practice makes perfect! Then, you can set the bones in filtered water and get some stock going. Freeze the wings and legs, or bake them, or ‘crock pot’ them, alongside your kid’s meals for tonight’s dinner. That’s a whole other blog post!
I cut my pieces the size of about the last digit of my thumb, about an inch long and 3/4 inch wide. 1 chicken breast typically yields 30 nuggets for me. I find it easier to use kitchen scissors for this task. Make sure not to cut yourself! Go wash your hands with soap and water now.
Coat your cut chicken breast in whatever flavors you had chosen, and check your skillet. You’ll know the skillet’s warm enough if when you sprinkle a drop of water in, it sizzles for you – now that’s a sound I love. Cook time, again, depends on the size of your pieces, but for me, this takes 8-10 minutes. Turn the chicken over about half way through. I usually start cutting into a thicker piece just to check it’s done. Once it’s done, remove the chicken to a bowl, leaving the juice behind.
Add your cut broccoli and cook for about 8 minutes if you like it medium. Remember, you’re freezing and reheating, so you don’t want these florets to end up soggy and sad.
Now, you have cooked chicken and broccoli. By this time, your root vegetables will be finished cooking. Set everything in front of you in separate bowls: cooked chicken, broccoli, root vegetables and frozen peas (still frozen).
Packaging your healthy organic fast food for your kids
Lay out parchment paper on the counter. Add 3-4 nuggets to each piece of parchment paper. Add 2 vegetables, trying to rotate the combinations for variety. Wrap each packet up like a burrito, and place in your freezer bag or container.
You’re done! I am able to get 30 meals from this activity. Each meal was just $0.61 each, and like I said, my son takes 2 sittings to eat one meal.
Reheating your healthy organic fast food for your kids
I’m suspicious of microwaves and their impact on health, and think food tastes better when it’s baked, sauteed, or anything but nuked. I recommend reheating this packets like this:
- Take out a frozen healthy organic fast food meal for your kid.
- Unwrap it so the food is exposed.
- Bake on 400 F for 10 minutes or so. Transfer to a plate.
For members that join Active Mama’s from Atlanta’s Frugal Mom, there is a drawing to win a Munchie Mug
, my favorite snack cup of all times! Good luck!
- Join Active Mama’s to enter, from Atlanta’s Frugal Mom between now and Dec 31, 2013.
- Your membership dues must be completed for you to enter.
- Friend Robyn Cooper on Facebook, and ask (1) to be added to our ‘Secret’ Facebook group, (2) to be in this contest, (3) and let me know you’re from Atlanta’s Frugal Mom.
- Winner will be announced on Facebook! You must PM Robyn your shipping address within 48 hours of announcing the winner.
Founder of Active Mama’s, a community group dedicated to enriching your and your babies’ lives!
Active Mama’s is a community group in Atlanta, GA and Austin, TX. Founded by Robyn Cooper, this group is for moms who want to enrich their own and their baby’s lives.
I organize weekday meet-ups for fun-mama’s who want to socialize, hike with their babies, enrich their babies with story-time, song, bubbles and free play, swim with their babies, enjoy the park with their babies.
We meet in the following locations depending on our activities: Dunwoody, Kennesaw, Norcross, Sandy Springs, Downtown Atlanta, Woodstock, Marietta, and we are growing in GA, and Nationwide!
Regular activities include: hiking, play dates at the park, stroller jogs / fast walks, family potluck nights, conference calls about topics of interest from discipline, to weekly cooking and meal plans. We mix it up with visits to the Children’s museum, aquarium, and seasonally fun activities holiday parties, or family events
My son is 2 years old. He is friendly, outgoing, and loves anything new . Other Active Mama’s in the group may be SAHM, WAHM, or part- or full-time working fun-mamas. They may have 1 or more kids. They are all dedicated to their babies’ enrichment and development!
For more information about the Meetup Group, see:
- Friend Robyn Cooper on Facebook, and ask to be added to our ‘Secret Group’
**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**