In honor of National Twin Day and Back to School this August, I turned to my pantry and to my kids to help me create 4 twin-tested, mom-approved recipes that pack in the flavor and nutrition and save you some time.
As a dietitian, recipe developer, yoga teacher, and most importantly mother of twins, I know what it’s like to want the best in health for your family (and yourself). I enjoy cooking and it’s fun to get my kids involved. But, preparing meals and snacks for the family means it’s gotta be simple, tasty, and fun. (Need I mention nutritious?) I have the benefit of not one, but two eager taste-testers. And believe me, they keep me on my toes because I’m not the only foodie in my family.
These days my twins are more involved, from concept and prep to final presentation. And they often put together their own lunches and snacks (with a little guidance, of course).
Here are 4 recipes we’ve put together using simple, tasty, and of course nutritious canned foods that are twin-tested, mother-approved!
Peaches & Cream Yogurt Parfait with our DIY Granola
Peaches and Cream is one of those combos I loved as a kid, and my kids love it too. A parfait is a perfect way to enjoy such a combo, and canned peaches are a convenient way to put it all together with less mess and no waste. This Peaches & Cream Granola Parfait is made with both the fruit and juice in the can. We drained the peaches for the fruit topping and reserved the 100% fruit juice as a sweetener for the homemade granola.
Get the recipe for our DIY Granola and layer with your favorite yogurt* and canned peaches.
*Tip: To cut back on added sugars, use plain, unsweetened yogurt and mash in canned fruit to sweeten.
Rosemary & Sweet Pea Avocado Toast
I’m not gonna lie, my twins are serious foodies with a sophisticated palate beyond their tender young age. They love avocado toast and this variation was a hit. With a layer of sweet pea and avocado mash topped with avocado chunks and peas, it is delicately seasoned with rosemary-infused oil, lemony sumac, and a dollop of cream cheese. The canned sweet peas add some plant-based fiber to the mix, and a little sweetness, too! We had rosemary from our garden, so I decided it was best to infuse it in oil to add flavor without the texture.
Get the recipe for our Rosemary & Sweet Pea Avocado Toast.
Note: If this is a bit too complex for your child, try our Mandarin & Sweet Pea Cheese Toast.
Mandarin & Sweet Pea Cheese Toast
Bagels and cream cheese are often a winner, and so is cream cheese on toast with jam. We chose whole-grain toast for our base and gave it a smear of cream cheese. Topped with canned sweet peas and mandarins, it’s got some plant-based goodness with both fruit and veggies (peas are a starchy vegetable) without all the sugar of a jam. We gave it a dash of cinnamon for added sweetness and topped it off with toasted sliced almonds. (If you’ve got nut allergies, sprinkle on some Grape Nuts, hemp hearts, or sunflower seeds instead).
See how my girls assembled their Mandarin & Sweet Pea Cheese Toast. (They styled, photographed, and ate it all up!)
Fennel-seasoned Falafel & Hummus
If you love falafel, but your kids find it “too spicy,” that doesn’t mean you can’t serve it up at home. Try our Fennel-seasoned Falafel because this one’s got a much milder flavor to suit their tastes. We used canned chickpeas for the falafel and the hummus and seasoned both with some lemony Sumac. We even tucked some leafy greens into the mix. And we sandwiched them together in a pita with crunchy cucumbers. It was a perfect treat for a summer evening!
By Lauren O’Connor, MS, RDN
Lauren O’Connor, MS, RDN, is a Los Angeles-based private practice dietitian, recipe developer, and owner of Nutri Savvy Health, a program focusing on mindful eating and family nutrition.
For more from Lauren, visit her Nutri Savvy Health website www.nutrisavvyhealth.com.