Cache Valley Family Magazine, Lee’s Marketplace and Citrus Pear Dinners have joined forces for a Kids Test Kitchen to inspire families and kids to eat more healthily by providing young kids the opportunity to cook, taste and teach their families about nutrient-dense foods.

A dozen local kids were able to participate in the fall Kids Test Kitchen, but we hope many more Cache Valley families will try these healthy versions of kid-friendly recipes at home.

Almond-Crusted Chicken Fingers

Instead of deep-fried nuggets, coat chicken tenders in a seasoned almond and whole-wheat flour crust then oven-fry them to perfection. With half the fat of standard breaded chicken tenders, you can enjoy to your heart’s content.

Ingredients:

  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 lb chicken tenders

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set wire rack on baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.

Place almonds, flour, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a food processor; process one minute, or until almonds are finely chopped and paprika is mixed throughout. With the motor running, drizzle in oil; process until combined. Transfer mixture to a shallow dish.

Whisk egg whites in second dish. Add chicken tenders and turn to coat. Transfer each tender to almond mixture; turn to coat evenly. (Discard any remaining egg white and almond mixture.) Place tenders on prepared rack and coat with cooking spray; turn and spray the other side.

Bake chicken fingers for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown, crispy and no longer pink in the center.

Baked Sweet Potato and Russset Fries 

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 russet potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic salt
  • Pepper
  • Additional seasonings

Instructions:

Peel sweet potatoes and russet potatoes then toss in olive oil, garlic salt, pepper and any additional seasonings. Place on baking sheet lined with tin foil and roast for 25-30 min on 425 degrees, flipping periodically with a spatula.

It takes more time, patience and clean up to include children in meal preparation, but, according to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), the extra work is worth it. “Cooking with your kids can help get them interested in trying healthy foods they might normally turn their noses up at,” said Susan Moores, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the ADA. “Kids will be kids — they’ll snack on chips at a school party or enjoy ice cream after a soccer game. But what is most important is how they eat most of the time.”

For a chance to participate, try these healthy recipes at home and snap some photos while you’re at it. Share your experience on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #cvfmkidstestkitchen (make sure your account is public for us to be able to see it!) or email us directly at info@cachevalleyfamilymagazine.com.