3 Healthy Weeknight Family Recipes

Recipes and Food

Many things make Toronto a great place for families. We think one of them is Real Food for Real Kids. The company provides healthy snacks and lunches for child-care centres and schools around the city. Its mission is to provide healthy, affordable, and sustainable food for kids, educating them about food and nutrition in the process.

The food is a far cry from chicken nuggets, squeezable yogurt, and other processed food we’re used to seeing on kids’ menus. In fact, the seasonal menu options look so good—-Sri Lankan chicken with tomato and coconut milk, Southern fish ‘wich, tofu bolognese with cheese tortellini—-we’re jealous that they’re not available to parents, too! (They may be soon.)

Here are three easy-to-make recipes perfect for fall:

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Morroccan Chicken

Makes 4 servings

3 Healthy Fall Recipes for Kids | Help! We've Got KidsIngredients:

1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon thyme
3 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoon ground coriander
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon agave syrup
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
pinch cayenne
pinch mint
pinch salt
pinch pepper
1 teaspoon dry parsley
4 teaspoon curry powder
4 large chicken thighs
4 chicken drumsticks


1. Mix all of the ingredients except the chicken in a small bowl. Voilà, you have a marinade.

2. Chop the thighs into pieces and massage the marinade into the chicken (pro tip: minimize mess by putting both the marinade and the chicken into a zippered plastic bag, and then massage in the marinade without getting your hands dirty).

3. Refrigerate the chicken and marinade for four hours or overnight, turning occasionally. When you’re finished marinating (the longer the better), preheat oven to 375°F.

4. Remove marinated chicken from the bag, arrange it in a single layer in the cookware of your choice, and cook until the internal temperature reads 165°F on a meat thermometer (usually about 25 minutes).

Other Tips:

  • Generally, fresh herbs can be substituted for dried by using one tablespoon of fresh for every one teaspoon of dried.
  • Try to buy your meats directly from the farmer who raised them. We highly recommend shopping at a farmers’ market with your kids and avoiding factory farmed meats whenever possible.

Chili Chili Bang Bang

Makes 4 to 6 servings

3 Healthy Fall Recipes for Kids | Help! We've Got KidsIngredients:

1 cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup diced celery
3 tablespoon chopped bell peppers
2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup diced tomatoes
½ cup crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon sunflower oil
2¼ cups canned chickpeas (with liquid)
¾ cup canned black beans (drained)
1 cup canned kidney beans (drained)
2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon oregano
pinch thyme
pinch ground bay leaf
pinch sea salt
pinch black peppercorn


1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat up your oil.

2. Add your veggies and sweat them, covered, until they’re soft and translucent. (Chef speak: “sweating” veggies is like sautéing, but without browning them. It helps to bring out their flavours.)

3. Add the remaining ingredients (beans and spices), and bring to a simmer.

4. Lower the heat and continue simmering (covered) for 30 minutes. Chili in four steps. Bam.

Other Tips:

  • Choose beans from BPA-free cans.
  • Set up a chili bar for your kids with bowls of salsa, guacamole, grated cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, whole-grain tortillas, and anything else you can dream up. The more colours the merrier.

Zucchini Loaf

Makes 1 loaf (about 8 to 10 servings)

3 Healthy Fall Recipes for Kids | Help! We've Got KidsIngredients:

2¼ cups shredded green zucchini
1½ cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup sunflower oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup unbleached white flour
2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon baking soda
1¼ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cloves


1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.

2. Grate the zucchini into a large bowl (everything is fair game: zucch shreds, juices, and end scraps).3. Add sugar, eggs, oil and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. This will be your wet mix.

4. In another bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients (your dry mix).

5. Pour the wet mix over the dry mix and combine well with the wooden spoon.

6. Pour batter into a greased and floured bread pan. Bake for about 45-60min (until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out dry).

7. Allow it to cool completely inside the pan. This loaf is ultra delicate and will break if you try to remove it while it’s still warm.

Other Tips:

  • Build up your willpower when baking this loaf. It tastes even better if you serve it the next day.
  • Your kids may assume this decadent loaf is chocolate cake. While we’d never encourage lying, we think it’s okay not to correct them all the time.

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