Categories
Health & Nutrition Toddlers

Yummy and Healthy Pumpkin Recipe Ideas

Pumpkin is a fruit which tastes great as in ingredient in cooked food. More than purely a Halloween decoration, it is chock-full of nutrients, rich in vitamins and minerals yet low in calories.

 

Beta-carotene, the compound that gives pumpkin its orange colour, is a powerful antioxidant. Ingested beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A. Vitamin A also supports children’s immunity by keeping the cells that line the respiratory, digestive and urinary tract healthy.

Incredibly versatile, pumpkins can be incorporated into soups, salads, rice and pasta or even made into butter!

 

You can make pumpkin puree for babies and there is a high chance that your baby will accept it as pumpkin is naturally sweet. Its high fibre content promotes smooth bowel movements too, but do not be alarmed when your child’s stools turn out orangey. After all, children’s poop comes in a myriad of colours!

We’ve compiled some tried and tested pumpkin recipes using healthy cooking methods to minimise the loss of nutrients, and are healthily delicious dishes for children.

 

Cream of Pumpkin Soup offers a comforting and nutritious dish for young children.

 

Soups and starters

  • Cream of Pumpkin Soup
    This comforting cream of pumpkin soup is relatively simple to make, comprising only five ingredients. Sauteeing the pumpkin bits before adding chicken stock adds to the sweetness of the soup. Wholemeal bread croutons provide dimension and crunch to the dish. 
  • Baked Pumpkin Wedges
    Pumpkin caramelises when roasted and it becomes a guilt-free side snack for the weight conscious. Children can munch on these wedges freely too, as each serving is only 90 calories, compared to a staggering 312 calories for french fries!

 

 

Baked pumpkin wedges are a nutritious alternative to the ever-popular potato wedges but with a natural sweetness.

 

Main dishes

 

  • Rice Cooker Pumpkin Rice
    Did you know that the rice cooker can do more than just cook plain rice? One pot dishes are the perfect solution for time-pressed parents. It is a quick and easy cooking method – simply place all ingredients into the cooker to create one-pot meals that are yummy and balanced in nutrition.There’s less washing up to do afterwards as well! The Chinese-style recipe calls for mushrooms, Chinese sausages and pumpkin to be fried before adding rice and water into the rice cooker.

 

  • Seafood Stew in Pumpkin
    The presentation of this dish is appealing as the pumpkin is cut open like a flower and used as a serving bowl. This recipe uses steaming, stir-frying and baking, all of which are healthy cooking methods. Adding grated mozzarella cheese as a topping is a sure crowd-pleaser. Extra calcium to build strong bones and teeth for your little ones!

 

Dessert

 

  • Chilled Lemon Pumpkin
    A cold dessert that provides refreshment and relieves fatigue, the chilled lemon pumpkin dish is power packed with Vitamins A, C, E, dietary fibre and potassium. Boiling is used as a cooking method to soften the pumpkin. 
  • Pumpkin Ice Cream
    Even children with picky taste buds will find it hard to reject pumpkin in this form. Pumpkin can be turned into ice cream without an ice cream maker! Make this sweet treat on a hot day to pamper your young ones!

 

As you can see, pumpkin can be used in various ways and cooking methods as a source of essential nutrients that your growing toddler requires. Low in fat and calories and high on nutrients, this is one ingredient you should be using more of in your cooking.

Are you adding pumpkins into your child’s diet? Tell us which is your child’s favourite pumpkin dish!

Categories
Health & Nutrition Toddlers

Quick Ideas on Making Healthy Lunchbox Meals for Kids

Healthy lunchbox recipes need not mean just dried fruit and biscuits.

There are quick and easy ways to create deliciously nutritious lunchboxes for children – and some of these fun bento box lunch ideas are too cute!

Let these beautifully put together lunchboxes by mums in Singapore offer some inspiration on creating appetising yet healthy meals for your kids, picky eaters or not! You might even want to get the children involved for some engaging activity together.

 

Cartoon-themed Inspired

Delight your kids with their favourite cartoon character in their lunchbox! This visual surprise will put smiles on their faces even before they tuck into their specially prepared homecooked meals.

Gudetama fans will be egg-cited to see these lazy eggs in that happy lunchbox! Kai Sin, mother to three young boys, turns an ordinary omelette into a delight for kids at meal times. Eggs are an excellent source of proteins and various nutrients. They are also versatile when it comes to different cooking methods. Omelettes can be used to decorate the food; or boil an egg and turn it into a bee with strips of seaweed on its body!

Get creative with eggs! Lunch is served, with love from mummy! Credits: Instagram @hamikogoh

With food cutters, it is also easy to create an instant character with cheese and seaweed. Just like how Lye Kuan does it – a Miffy that is cut and placed carefully on top of white rice.

 

A balanced meal of Miffy-inspired rice, teriyaki chicken and steamed broccoli promises to put a smile on your child’s face during lunch! Credits: Lye Kuan Song

 

This mum of two knows the way to her boys’ hearts (and stomachs!), and recreates their favourite Star Wars and Snoopy in their lunchboxes too. Baked salmon, chicken patties and a garden of vegetables ensure her active boys get their daily dose of nutrients the healthier way

 

Lunchboxes need not be limited to just prettily-shaped rice. In fact, a little creativity with noodles can offer oodles of visual surprises too!

Is your child a fan of Totoro? You can easily switch soba with spaghetti or even bee hoon, to create your child’s favourite cartoon character. For eyes and other parts of the character, cheese and seaweed are popular choices by mums as they cut to shape easily and creates various expressions too!

Get creative with noodles for your child’s bento box! Isn’t Totoro too cute? Credits: Instagram @hamikogoh

 

Kai Sin takes pride in creating healthy lunchbox meals for her elder son, and her husband gets his own lunchbox on most weekdays too. Pretty sure he’s the envy of his colleagues! Most of her food are homemade from scratch – imagine slow braised pork or grilled saba (shown in photo) – they leave us salivating for more!

Peekaboo Veggies

Vegetables and toddlers seem to have a strange relationship.

Young children who love their veggies may suddenly decide to refuse their greens, or anything that suspiciously look different from meats. That calls for sneaky ways to hide those vegetables in their food – with our special magic wands and thinking caps, vegetables take on a fancy spin in these lunchbox meals!

Jayina believes in wholesome homemade meals for her toddler, and this homemade pumpkin mac and cheese looks like a delectable treat for her daughter. Pack it in a lunchbox, and it’s a quick meal on-the-go!

Main course plus fruits – healthy lunchboxes are convenient and easy to prepare too! Credits: Instagram @Anyameals

 

Family-friendly dishes are the best time savers. Put together a family-sized portion and pack a set for your kids to enjoy along with the adults. Mummy Chris makes eggplant look so good, we probably wouldn’t be able to tell they were hidden in there. Eggplant Tuna Bake in that lunchbox – why not?

Credits: Budgetpantry.com

Yummy Sandwiches and More

Sandwiches are easy to prepare, and its versatility allows fillings to be customised according to your child’s preference.

Besides the usual spreads like butter, peanut butter and jam, how about mashed avocado and eggs for that dose of colour and nutrient-rich goodness? With some creative juices, Wokkingmum makes an Egg Mayonnaise sandwich look beary yummy!

 

Sandwiches are easy to prepare, and makes a filling lunch for kids too. No sweat! Credits: Wokkingmum.blogspot.sg

Besides sandwiches, pizzas make a fancy lunchbox meal for kids. To save time from making that pizza dough from scratch, simply trim off the skin of a piece of bread, roll it flat and you get an instant pizza dough! Toppings are as varied as what makes your child happy. Be inspired by mama Ming, whose too-cute-to-eat lunchbox and bento ideas are wow-ing mums all over the world!

 

Cat pizza 🐱🍕, inspired by the charms from @oahu_charms

A post shared by Ming #bentomonsters (@bentomonsters) on

 

No one said pancakes are only reserved for breakfasts – spring a little piggy surprise in your child’s lunchbox and remember to add fruits, meat and vegetables to make it a complete meal!

 

🐷🐽🥞🥞

A post shared by Ming #bentomonsters (@bentomonsters) on

Tips on making healthy lunchbox meals:

  1. Start simple: Putting together a healthy lunchbox meal for your kids need not be rocket science. Use simple ingredients and convenient cooking methods if you’re just starting out.
  2. Cute décor items: Character toothpicks help make food look pretty effortlessly.
  3. Food cutters: Pick your child’s favourite cartoon character, or simple designs like a bear or flowers to cute ingredients such as cheese, seaweed, beancurd, bread easily.
  4. Rice moulds: These help to shape rice into specific shapes, and make them look better than plain old rice.
  5. Use bright coloured vegetables: Cherry tomatoes, broccoli and carrots are popular choices to complete a cheerful themed lunchbox.

 

We hope you have fun creating nutritiously healthy lunchbox for your children! Do share with us your creations too!