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Help... I need some ideas for healthy preservative and dye free kid friendly recipes!

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Hello.  I am new to this group, but would love to hear some of your favorite recipes that your kids actually like to eat that are HEALTHY, preservative free, dye free, and possibly organic as well.  I think we are pretty healthy overall and have a good variety of foods and tend to eat natural, unprocessed foods... but this can get expensive and I am just not very creative on putting together meals.  My husband accuses me of having boring meals of a protien, a vegetable, and some kind of healthy carbohydrate and fruits.  Each item is usually separate, and a lot of times my kids just won't eat the vegetables or the protein.  Sometimes the dish just appears too "adult" as well and the kids look at it like I am crazy. 

We have a nephew that is allergic to food dye (red) and this causes him to feel ill and hyper when he ingests even a little.  Our 5 year old son, seems to have some similarities to his cousin and I am wanting to see what happens to all of us health wise if we can eliminate these things from our diet completely.   Honestly, I don't know how to completely do this, have my kids eat it, and have the family accept it, let alone enjoy it.   I've heard the phrase that if the food was created in a lab or has ingredients from a lab that you will end up in a lab too eventually.  I thought this was a great phrase to remember regarding how many food companies are creating an addicted population of children and adults to additives, processed foods, refined flours and sugars, preservatives, dyes, and in general creating a major health crisis by something that we all have to do everyday to survive... EAT!  But are nutritionally starving while becoming more and more unhealthy from obesity, diabetes, cancers all while being addicted to the things that are making us sick.

I would love to hear your recipes to be able to start a list of kid friendly, healthy meals and snacks.  I'm looking for all meals too... so breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks! :)   Thanks!

by on Mar. 22, 2013 at 3:05 PM
Replies (41-47):
by Luci on Mar. 23, 2013 at 11:59 AM


This is similar to a stew, but with onions, mushrooms and tomatoes, but served over noodles, and men love it.  This recipe serves 8, I often freeze half for another meal.

Beef Marengo

4 pounds chuck roast
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 cup white wine
16 ounces tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 pound mushroom, sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup white wine or beef broth 
1 (12 to 16-ounce) package noodles

Trim and dice a chuck roast into 1-inch cubes. Brown the meat in oil in a large stock pot; remove and set aside.

To the pot add chopped onion, chopped celery, and crushed garlic; cook until tender. Return the meat to the kettle with white wine, tomato sauce, bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, salt, pepper, and chopped parsley; bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 hour, or until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally. Discard the bay leaf.

Meanwhile, combine sliced mushrooms and lemon juice. Cook in a skillet in butter until tender. Combine flour and water; stir until smooth. Stir the flour mixture, the mushrooms, and white wine into the beef  mixture. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare noodles according to the package directions.

Serve the Beef Marengo over the hot, cooked noodles.

Makes 8 servings.

by Luci on Mar. 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM


Crock Pot Beef Stew

2 lbs. of Beef cut into cubes.

1 lb. of Chopped Carrots (Cut into large pieces)

1 lb. of Potatoes (Peeled and cut into large pieces)

1 Large Onion (Peeled and cut into large pieces)

1 to 2 Tablespoons Beef Base or bouillon (I use a soup base that I get from Publix called “Better than Bouillon”.)

Place all of the beef, onions, carrots, potatoes, and any other vegetables that you may want to add (Like mushrooms, peas, or celery. It all depends on what you like.).

Cover with water and add about half a Tablespoon of the Beef Base.

Cook in the crock pot on low for about 8 to 10 hours while you are at work.

When you get home from work, your house will smell like beef stew. That’s how you know its ready.

You can add more of the Beef Base if you wish, and season to taste.

Thicken the stew with cornstarch mixed with water (remember, a little goes a long way).

by Luci on Mar. 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM


Only 30 minutes to prepare this

Quick Beef Tips
2 lbs. sirloin steak tips, cut into 1" chunks
Salt & pepper to taste
4 slices bacon chopped
8 oz. cremini or white mushrooms, quartered
1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all -purpose flour
2 cups red wine (medium-bodied, like pinot noir)
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
Pat steaks tips dry with papaer towels and season with salt & pepper.Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Cook steak tips in bacon fat until well browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate and tent with foil.

Add mushrooms and onions to empty pot and cook until browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to medium bowl. Stir butter and flour into empty pot and cook until golden, 1-2 minutes. Stir in wine, broth, thyme, and beef along with any accumulated beef juiced and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in bacon, onions, and mushrooms. Serve.  

by Luci on Mar. 23, 2013 at 12:02 PM


Best Beef Hash
4 Tablespoons butter
2 cups cubed cooked roast beef
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
melt butter in a skillet. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover and cook over low heat until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Uncover and cook 5 minutes longer to crisp.

This is a great way to use leftover roast beef. It really stretches it to make another meal.

by Luci on Mar. 23, 2013 at 12:02 PM


Skillet Cheeseburger and Fries
1 lb. ground beef
4-6 medium potatoes
4-6 slices of cheese

Cook ground beef until done; drain and set aside. Meanwhile, cut potatoes in cubes, and fry in a little oil. Add salt & pepper to taste. Add ground beef to potatoes, stir together; add cheese slices on top. Heat just till melted. You can also add your favorite toppings, like ketchup, onions, etc. Add a salad or vegetable and you're done.

by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 12:03 PM

I just make my 3 year old try things. If she then doesnt like it, i will make her something else. But i dont like to let her starve. There are things i dont care for either and would be pretty mad if someone MADE me eat them. I also keep chicken nuggets in the freezer that i can microwave in case i make something i know she hasnt cared for in the past.

Quoting nightengale4:

thanks everyone!  As far as "kid friendly" goes... there are meals that everyone likes, but are so basic, that I wanted to expand beyond the chicken breast, vegie, fruit meal...etc... and some of the meals my hubby, older son (15) and I like, the kids just are not consistant with... which I know is a 3 year old thing and may not be hungry at that time of day, tired, distracted, etc... but we've tried so many times!  We do a curry dish and a korma dish once a week and they have never eaten it!  Even taking the rice away and making it very mild didn't help.  We do have a rule that there are no alternative meals so that they do not start to think I am a short order chef :)... so if they don't eat, they don't eat... which still makes me cringe, but our ecfe teachers and pediatrition agreed that missing a meal by choice here and there is a normal toddler, pre k thing and not to worry... they have their next meal coming very soon! 

by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 12:25 AM

Wow!  Thank you for all of the recipes!  I will definitely be trying these and others from the mentioned websites :)  Thank you, thank you!

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