Karlie's Kids Day on a plate


I’m Karlie, the newest Naturopath to join the Mullen Health team. As a Naturopath and a mother of two young girls aged 2 and 4, I often get asked what I feed my kids.

Making meals both healthy and appealing to your kids is one of the biggest challenges you face as a parent. It can often feel like you’re fighting a losing battle, but it’s so important to persist, because healthy choices now will set them up for life.

To give you a little inspiration for a healthy 2017, I thought I would share with you my kids’ day on a plate. Each meal is designed to be simple, quick and as close to nature as possible. Hopefully these ideas will make life easier and give you some meal ideas to share with your own family.  

Breakfast for my little ones is usually a smoothie bowl. I give them this most mornings as it is extremely nutrient-dense. It's important for their strength, energy and brain function to start the day with good amounts of fats and proteins. Cereal with milk or toast with spread doesn't give them what they need to sustain their growth or allow them to thrive! They need fresh, whole, living food to give them the building blocks to do this!

I love smoothies because they are flexible - I can change the ingredients, flavour and look so the girls think they are having something new all the time. They are also quick and can even be prepared the night before if we are in a rush. Another big plus is that my kids help add the ingredients! This gives them an opportunity to learn about what they are adding and why, which is a big part of creating healthy eaters!

The staples of the smoothie are baby spinach, banana, avocado, chia seeds, hemp seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, coconut oil, probiotics and gelatin powder.

Other things I add in can be berries, cucumber, carrot, pineapple, mango, kale, beetroot powder, camu powder, cacao, mesquite powder, bee pollen, spirulina, coconut water and vitamins, minerals or herbs, depending on what is going on for them!

Morning tea is yogurt with fruit. Always buy good quality yogurt, making sure it is plain, full fat or coconut yogurt. I rotate between Coyo coconut yogurt and an unhomogenized yogurt from our local farmers market. I add fruit on top with a sprinkle of chia and hemp seeds and some bee pollen.

Lunch today is a salad and Paleo sausages. My girls went to daycare today and I find this meal is easy finger food for them to eat. They love to crunk away on the bigger chunks of vegetables! School lunches are definitely the hardest meal to prepare as you really need to think outside the square. A sandwich and spread is a quick option, but often their bodies require something a bit more substantial to get them through the rest of the day. Other great protein-packed options for lunch are fritters, meatballs, quiche or frittatas.

Afternoon tea is mostly vegetable sticks with some sort of dip. Today was a garlic and chive cream cheese from the markets, which both my girls love! They love the novelty of having crunchy vegetables and dipping them into something!

Dinner tonight is salmon (again from the markets) and vegetables. My girls both love the crispy skin on the salmon. And yes, they do love their vegetables! The trick is you have to cook them right. If you overcook your vegetables, not only do they lose their nutritional value, but they also lose their appeal for kids. I found that by teaching them that colour in food is awesome for them, their love of fresh food increased!

So as you can see, it doesn’t have to be complicated to be healthy. Making good healthy eaters is essential for later in life. The best advice I can give you is to make it fun, get your kids involved, lead by example and help guide them with positive food choices. They’re depending on you!

INTERESTED TO KNOW MORE?

If you would like more tips on feeding a fussy eater healthy food, tricks on making the switch from processed foods to natural alternatives and recipe ideas for kid's lunches, I'm delivering a free talk on Health Tips for Kids on Tuesday the 28th of February. You can book your seats here. Get in soon though. This is a small-group talk, so seats are limited!

We also have our Kid's Health Talk coming up on Tuesday, 14 March. Peter Mullen and I will be sharing information on the gut issues and intolerances that could be affecting your child's health and how to boost their immunity, naturally. You can book seats to this free talk here.

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