Here are some Cottage cheese recipes for kids, so that your kids can have good memories of cottage cheese! Cottage cheese used to remind me of the Eighties; the time when my mother was on a weight loss diet published in a German women’s magazine. There always was lots of cottage cheese involved. And they still say, cottage cheese is a dieter’s best friend. But cottage cheese mixed with cocoa powder and a fake zero-calorie sweetener as a healthier substitute for chocolate pudding on Sundays, really mom? It took me a couple of decades to give cottage cheese a second chance. Now, being a mom myself, I love cottage cheese for its versatility and “honesty”.
What is cottage cheese and why does it have this “weird” texture?
It’s a fresh cheese made of loosely packed curds and whey, hence the curdy texture. If your child is sensitive about the texture of her food, try running cottage cheese through the food processor or blender to make is completely smooth.
Cottage cheese is one of the most versatile foods you can have in your fridge. It can be eaten straight like you would eat yogurt. Try it plain or stir in honey, agave nectar or your favorite preserve for a touch of sweetness. You can top it with fruit and add some nuts or granola for extra crunch. Cottage cheese is great on bread too; either sweetened with honey or fruit preserve and such or savory topped with herbs, veggies etc. (see photo). Or add your favorite herbs and spices to make a tasty low-calorie dip for vegetables or crackers. And did you know you even could use cottage cheese as a substitute for ricotta cheese when cooking?
Cottage cheese is a healthy option for your family, because it is…
Low calorie: one half cup serving has about 80 and 120 calories, depending on the milk fat content.
Low in fat: Cottage cheese comes in a variety of milk fat contents (much like cow milk) – from 0 to 4 percent. At 4 percent, a half cup serving has about 4 to 6 grams of fat.
High in protein: one half-cup serving of cottage cheese contains up to 15 grams of protein. Horizon Organic’s cottage cheese (their lowfat as well as the regular variety), for instance, has 13 grams of protein per half cup. Check out their Kid-pleasing Mac and Cheese recipe made with cottage cheese.
Read why healthy kids need sufficient protein: Sluggish Winter Days: Why Food Combination is Important to Sustain Kids’ Energy
High in calcium: Where there’s milk there’s calcium – and cottage cheese is made from cow milk. Growing kids need calcium for bone and teeth health, and adults need calcium to help control blood pressure (though, due to now widespread weight problems in children, high blood pressure is becoming more and more of a concern in preteens and teenagers as well). One half-cup serving has about 70 grams of calcium.
Low in sodium, preservatives and additives: Cottage cheese is a fresh milk product, making it low in additives and preservatives. It’s also low in sodium, making it a heart-healthy food for the whole family
Is cottage cheese really popular with kids?
A quick (and admittedly very unscientific) research among friends brought about three interesting findings: Some kids love it; some hate it. There really is no in-between. The third group is made up of parents who simply hadn’t thought of trying to dish up cottage cheese, some because they don’t like the curdy texture themselves.
Parents are telling us how their kids like cottage cheese best:
- Topped with smoked salmon
- Mixed in their cucumber salad
- Egg noodles topped with cottage cheese
- Canned peach halves stuffed with cottage cheese
- Plain on bread or in a pita
- Mixed with sugar or strawberry preserve
- Seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika on the side with scrambled eggs and tomatoes
What about your kids? Try (re-)introducing cottage cheese to your little foodies in the ways described above or with one of these recipes I found around the web:
- Apple-Raising Cottage Cheese
- Fluffy Cottage Cheese Pancakes
- Green Goddess Dip
- Cottage Cheese Cinnamon Egg Noodles
- Cottage Cheese and Egg Muffins with Ham and Cheddar Cheese