Written by Leah Johnston, RDN, LDN
For a lot of parents today, it’s a different dish for babies, kids, and adults making for hectic and tiring meal occasions. Introducing nutrient-dense and flavorful foods to babies and kids early on will help them establish healthy eating habits for the long term, but we don’t want it to be a hassle in the short term. Healthy meals for all ages are easy to put together with the help of Path of Life Blends. Yes, kids will love them too!
The Importance of Nutrient-Dense Foods for All Ages
Early childhood is a crucial time for brain and body development. Babies and children need a variety of nutrients to aid in their growth and support their little developing immune systems. The sooner fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats are introduced in their diet, the more likely they will be to carry those healthy patterns into adulthood. Nutrient-dense foods contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that are important for both kids and adults to maintain good health for the long haul.
The goal as parents is to provide healthy meals with quality ingredients that everyone in the family will love without having to make completely separate dishes for everyone. One of the best pieces of advice that I received as a new parent from a more seasoned parent was to not let yourself become a short-order cook! The whole family can enjoy meals using the same ingredients or products with some minor variations if needed. Path of Life’s Blends are not only flavorful, but are also versatile and nutritious making them the perfect base for baby, kid, or adult meals. Here’s how to use our different blends to make dinnertime a breeze:
Start with this formula in mind: Path of Life Blend + Nutrient-dense pairing
Cilantro Lime Rice Blend + Sweet Potato – Sweet potato is loaded with antioxidants like vitamins A and C.
(not so fried) Riced Cauliflower Blend + Scrambled Egg – Eggs are a good source of protein for little ones.
Mediterranean Quinoa Blend + Chickpeas – Chickpeas have fiber, iron, magnesium, and B vitamins.
The Original Quinoa & Kale + Carrots – The beta-carotene in carrots is good for babies’ eyes.
Cook Path of Life Blends according to package instructions. Veggies should be steamed or roasted until soft. Puree ingredients together.
Cilantro Lime Rice Blend + Plant-based Chicken Nuggets – Plant-based chicken nuggets are a great source of protein for kids (& adults, too!).
(not so fried) Riced Cauliflower Blend + Edamame – Edamame is packed with nutrients like protein, fiber, and iron.
Mediterranean Quinoa Blend + Broccoli – Broccoli has about as much vitamin C as an orange along with other antioxidants.
The Original Quinoa & Kale + Turkey Meatballs – Turkey meatballs are a fun source of protein and iron.
Cook Path of Life Blends according to package instructions. Prepare nuggets and meatballs from frozen according to package instructions. Steam edamame or broccoli. (NOTE: For kids younger than 4 years of age, you may need to mash the beans from the edamame as they can be a choking hazard)
Cilantro Lime Rice Blend + Combination of frozen veggies and beans – This combo is a good balance of carbs, protein & veggies. Add a little avocado oil for healthy fat.
(not so fried) Riced Cauliflower Blend + Tofu + Cashews – Tofu contains protein, calcium, and iron – a good plant-based protein choice!
Mediterranean Quinoa Blend + Frozen Falafel + Tzatziki – Falafel and pre-made tzatziki add some protein and flavor.
The Original Quinoa & Kale + Salmon + Feta cheese – Salmon provides protein and healthy fats like omega-3s. A little feta adds another layer to the flavor profile.
Cook Path of Life Blends according to package instructions. Prepare your favorite frozen veggies and falafel according to package directions. Drain a can of beans & rinse. Saute tofu chunks in a skillet until lightly browned. Bake or grill salmon with your favorite seasonings.
Find more ideas on our recipes page, and keep your eye on this blog for more tips, tricks, recipes, and knowledge to help you live a more simple, flavorful and nutritious life.
Leah Johnston is a Chicago-based Registered Dietitian with experience in a variety of settings, including nutrition counseling, clinical research, public speaking, and culinary nutrition. Leah’s goal is to empower people to take control of their health and personalize their diet by being REAL: Eat real food. Make it real easy on yourself. Knowledge based on real science. Changes that are realistic.