Instead of “Healthy Recipes for Quarantine”, I was going to call this the “Top ten recipes for when you’re stuck at home with kids, for when you can’t find bread, for when you canceled your trip to Disney, for when the snacking never ends, for when cooking eases the boredom, and for when restaurants are closed”, but Ryan said it was too long of a title for search optimization so he made me shorten it.
If you’re stuck at home, with or without kids, you might be looking for activities that don’t include screens. You might also be looking for educational activities to make up for less formal school in this crazy time. You might also be wondering what on earth to make 3 meals a day plus snacks with restaurants closed and everyone home (and seemingly always hungry).
While there are literally hundreds of free resources out there, I’d like to offer this small collection of recipes to help you not only teach a little home ec to your kids (cooking is a life skill, right?), but find fun activities to do together, while also getting to enjoy delicious and clean food.
Healthy Recipes for Quarantine
This is the part where I planned to write about how being forced to spend time as a family is a blessing, but I think we might all be past that about now. So, while it is a blessing and I’m sure you love your kids, I will skip the upbeat, cheesy write up and just get straight to the healthy recipes for quarantine time.
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1 – Soft Pretzels
Homemade soft pretzels are so much fun, to make and to eat! You can have the kids help make the dough, and then you definitely should have them help you shape it. Think outside the box and do letter shapes (hello homeschool!), animals, etc. Then, the really fun part is eating them! We have a cheese sauce too!
How do these qualify for a blog about healthy recipes for quarantine? They’re 100% whole grain!
2 – Soft Pretzels (no yeast or flour version)
Can’t find yeast or flour to make pretzels? That’s ok! We have a yeast- and flour-free version too! This is also great for those kids who don’t eat a lot of protein or for those parents who are trying to keep it low carb.
3 – Dole Whip
Can’t make it to Disney this year? Well, have a Disney treat anyway. Make it a whole Disney staycation with tips from eatwanderexplore.com! And yes, I know we just lost a bunch of Good Place points for saying “staycation”.
4 – Popcorn (or Cheddar Popcorn)
Are you feeling like you can’t keep enough snacks in stock when everyone is ALWAYS home? Buy a couple of pounds of popcorn kernels and a tub of coconut oil, and this will last for quite a few weeks, no matter how snacky your family is. For variety, order a bag of this cheddar cheese powder from Amazon, and just sprinkle on the popped corn. Great for all the movie nights we’re having now!
NOTE: You can also use the cheddar cheese bag from a box of Annie’s mac-n-cheese.
5 – No Knead, No Yeast Honey Oat Bread
I, for one, did not see a yeast shortage as a side effect of a pandemic. Who knew there would be so many people so willing to make their own bread when their grocers’ shelves were empty? Not me! So, I had to add this bread to the list of healthy recipes for quarantine.
Now, I’ve been making my own bread for years, and one of the simplest recipes I have uses no yeast at all. This bread makes great toast and sandwiches! Kids can help measure ingredients and stir, but they might need a little help with the baking and the slicing.
6 – Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits
Parfaits are great breakfasts, but don’t underestimate their value as snacks. With some inexpensive equipment, like these parfait cups from amazon, or some creative thinking (I’ve heard you can re-use the cups from fruit cups and mason jars), you can even make these ahead and keep them stocked in the fridge. Kids love to help make these and they especially like to choose which fruits will go into THEIR parfaits!
7 – Cinnamon Chips and Fruit Salsa
Kids can help mix the cinnamon/sugar mixture, they can help mix the chopped fruit, and this is a great snack for when that snack attack hits. Whole grain tortillas, fresh fruit… all completed in a very short time.
8 – Peanut Butter Bites
Peanut Butter Bites can be a make-ahead snack, or part of a nutritious meal. Your kids can help measure and assemble ingredients, can help stir, and can help roll the balls. To use as a snack, make as directed and store in refrigerator. Distribute as needed. OR, measure out 1-2 balls in pre-packaged containers. Distribute one package at at time. To use as a meal, count the peanut butter bites as the protein, and add 1-2 vegetables and/or fruits to make a meal. (for example, 2 Peanut Butter Bites, 1/2 cup grapes, and 1/2 cup carrots.)
9 – Toaster Waffles
If your kids like Eggos(r), they will love homemade toaster waffles. They can help assemble ingredients, and stir! They will need help from an adult operating the waffle iron, but once the waffles are done and cooled, they can help stack them, label them, and freeze them. And, if your kids are toaster-certified, they can heat their own waffles without your supervision.
10 – Pizza Dough
Homemade pizza dough kills two birds with one stone. It’s an activity, AND it’s a meal. Kids can help assemble and measure the ingredients, they can help mix the ingredients, they can help roll the dough out, and they can top their own pizzas as they choose. This gives them autonomy over their food, and teaches them life skills. Plus, let’s be a little honest, it keeps them busy for like 5 minutes. (Hint: make a double batch and give the kids a little extra dough
to play with at the table while they wait for their pizzas to bake!)