You are currently viewing Good Food For Little People

Healthy lunch box inspiration for children from the book Simply Good Food

Turkey and Avocado Wrap

This is good food at its tastiest best (serves 1).

  • 1 wholewheat tortilla
  • ¼ cup (60ml) shredded lettuce
  • ¼ cup (60ml) shredded rocket
  • 4 cucumber ribbons
  • 4 slices shaved cooked turkey, halved
  • ¼ avocado, thinly sliced
  • 4 tsp (20ml) fat-free plain yoghurt mixed with 2 tsp (10ml) wholegrain mustard or sweet chilli sauce
  • Place the lettuce and rocket on the first third of the tortilla closest to you. Be sure to keep clear a 4cm border around the circumference of the tortilla.
  • Top the lettuce with cucumber ribbons, turkey and avo.
  • Stir the yoghurt and mustard or sweet chilli together and if eating immediately drizzle on top, otherwise, to prevent the wrap going soggy, store and serve as a dipping sauce.
  • Fold the side flaps in to enclose the outer edges of the filling and roll up tightly.
  • Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap.
delicious things to add
  • Create your own flavour combinations by using 1 Tbsp (15ml) reduced sugar chutney or hot English mustard.
  • Wraps are great for combining small portions of leftovers – the last spoonful of cottage cheese or hummus, a few lingering roast vegetables, salad leaves or cold chicken pieces.

Asian Chicken Balls

Makes about 12 balls (serves 6).

 Never mind the children, these make great cocktail snacks too!
  • 400g chicken mince
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp (5ml) freshly grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup (250ml) grated baby marrows (about 4 large marrows)
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) finely chopped fresh coriander
  • milled pepper
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil or sesame oil
  • Mix all ingredients together, except the oil. Shape into small balls.
  • Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and then fry the chicken balls for 8–10 minutes over medium heat until firm and cooked through.
  • Drain on paper towel.
  • Serve with tomato or sweet chilli sauce for dipping. Alternatively, serve for dinner as part of a balanced meal with brown basmati rice and steamed vegetables.
delicious things to add
  • Roll the raw chicken balls in sesame seeds before frying.
  • Omit the Oriental flavours (ginger, chilli, fish sauce, coriander, mint) and add some finely chopped fresh parsley. Pop the chicken balls into a homemade tomato sauce and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C. Serve with wholewheat pasta or rice for an Italian take.
  • Flatten the chicken balls into burger patty shapes and serve on a wholewheat seed roll with shredded cucumber, mashed avocado, pickled ginger and a little smear of reduced fat mayo.
things you should know
  • Don’t crowd the pan or the chicken will boil rather than fry. Rather cook the balls in batches.
  • Reduce the fat content by baking the chicken balls in a preheated oven at 200°C for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
  • To reduce the salt content leave the fish sauce out of this recipe.

Bean Dip (makes 1 cup)

A great source of soluble fibre and packed with health-boosting B vitamins.
  • 1 x 400g can butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp (10ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tsp (5ml) grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup (60ml) fat-free plain yoghurt
  • milled pepper
  • Whizz all the ingredients together in a food processor or use a hand blender. Alternatively mash the beans and then stir through the remaining ingredients.
  • Season and stir through a little water to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 3 to 4 days.
how to use it
  • Serve with raw vegetables as a snack.
  • Spread onto wholewheat bread or high-fibre crackers instead of margarine or butter.
delicious things to add
  • Use a variety of pulses such as chickpeas, cannellini, borlotti, red kidney beans or even lentils instead of butter beans.

Root Vegetable Chips (serves about 4)

Use any root vegetables that take your fancy.

  • 2 large parsnips
  • 2 large beetroot
  • 2 large carrots
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • Preheat the oven to 120°C.
  • Scrub the vegetables and top and tail them.
  • Shave into long ribbon-like strips using a potato peeler – there will be lots of them! Or use a mandoline if you have one. Then, coat the strips with a little olive oil spray.
  • Scatter the vegetables in one haphazard layer onto a couple of baking trays. Don’t pile on top of one another or they won’t get crispy.
  • Bake for 40 minutes till golden and crispy.
  • Season and serve or cool and store in an airtight container for up to two days.
delicious things to add
  • Season with your favourite spice or rub mix.

Egg Fried Rice

Deliciously simple and the perfect solution for leftover rice (serves 4 generously).

  •  1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 baby marrows, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp (5ml) freshly grated ginger
  • 3 jumbo eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cup (500ml) cooked brown basmati rice, chilled
  • ½ cup (125ml) frozen peas
  • 125ml (½ cup) frozen or fresh corn
  • ½ cup (125ml) fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 3–4 spring onions, chopped
  • Heat a wok or a large non-stick pan and add oil when the pan is hot. Then add the onion, carrots, baby marrows, garlic and ginger.
  • Stir-fry for 5 minutes.
  • Mix the eggs and soy sauce together.
  • Shift the vegetables to one side of the pan and pour in the egg mixture.
  • Stir-fry for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring continuously to break up egg as it sets.
  • Add the rice, peas and corn and toss all ingredients together. Then, stir-fry for a further 5–8 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in coriander and spring onion.
  • Serve as is or as a side dish with grilled chicken or fish.
delicious things to add
  • Add skinless chicken strips or chopped white sustainable fish for an Asian-style kedgeree.
  • Use brown rice instead of brown basmati rice.
  • Add red, yellow or green peppers for crunch.
  • Stir-fry in sesame oil for an especially nutty flavour.
things to know
  • Use brown rice instead of white. Brown varieties are higher in fibre, so they help you sustain energy and keep hunger at bay far longer than their refined counterparts.
  • You can also use frozen vegetables – they are just as good for you as fresh ones and much quicker to prepare.
  • It is advisable to use a low-sodium soy sauce in this recipe or omit it completely to reduce the salt content of the dish.
about the book

Simply Good Food by Justine Drake is filled with “food that tastes as fabulous as it looks and is good for you too…”. The recipes will certainly inspire the healthy eater in you. All dishes are low in salt, sugar and monosaturated fat, but certainly don’t skimp on taste-appeal. Think Roast Salmon with Atchar, Chickpea and Ricotta Salad, and Not-So-Naughty Creamy Rice Pudding. Commissioned by Discovery Vitality and published by Lannice Snyman Publishers, Simply Good Food is available from good booksellers nationwide.

Justine Drake