You probably know by now that my pet peeve is that too many children will “only eat 5 things”. What I can’t figure out is this; why does a 10 month old baby gobble up a variety of baby foods (carrots, peas, sweet potatoes), but then 2 years later the same toddler won’t eat the exact same vegetable in their original form?!
Something is happening “from the bottle to the table” that is preventing our toddlers from liking and eating a variety of healthy table food. One culprit is the introduction of processed snacks/foods to our precious young toddlers. It’s like hooking babies to crack – we are conditioning them earlier and earlier to prefer fake food to real. The packaged baby “meals” are like Lunchables for babies….I wouldn’t feed it to my dog (if I had one). The second problem is lack of exposure to simple whole foods.
Here is my solution: let’s get rid of “kid food” and move immediately from baby food to regular, simply prepared, table food. Try chicken sautéed in olive oil and lemon or carrots cooked with dash of cinnamon or orange juice. Keep the flavors simple so the whole family can enjoy the same healthy dinner. Gradually test and add more ingredients and flavors into the meal until your kids develop a taste for the healthy foods you and your spouse like. It may sound selfish, but it works. Why should I spend time getting the kids to like curry if Mike and I don’t like it. Now basil on the other hand…..that’s non-negotiable.
- Cook ½ onion in 1-2 TBS of olive oil (add salt/pepper) until soft but not browned
- Stir in ½ TSP of Herbs de Provence, 2 TBS of ketchup, ½ cup of chicken broth. Remove from heat.
- Mix 1 egg, ½ cup bread crumbs and onion mixture into 1 – 1/2 lb. of ground turkey.
- Put mixture into loafpan. Let the kids squirt a ketchup design on the top.
- Put in loaf and cook on 350 for about 30-45 minutes (or until 160 degrees)
- Wash and cut veggies and lay on large baking sheet.
- Toss with EVOO, salt/pepper and a dash of parmesan cheese.
- Bake on 350 for about 30 minutes or until tender.
- Cut and boil 4-5 sweet potatoes. Drain.
- Add 4 TBS of butter, ¼ cup of milk (or cream), 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 TSP of cinnamon (adjust ingredients to taste).
- Mash or beat with immersion blender. Serve immediately or put in baking dish and top with marshmallows and bake for 15 minutes.
- Cut up about 3-4 celery stalks, 3 tomatoes, 1 pepper, 1 cucumber, 1 carrot and 1 avocado (whatever you have!)
- Optional: Add some fresh scallion and juice from ½ lime.
- Toss with salt, pepper, EV olive oil and a splash of rice wine vinegar and/or red wine vinegar. Serve immediate or chill.
For the Kids:
- Give the kids “samples” of things in the salad
- Ask the kids to “test” the sweet potatoes to see if cooked or if there’s enough cinnamon/brown sugar.
- Teach kids how to use a peeler (peeling is always “away” from body)
- Ask them to put “magic sprinkle” of cheese on the roasted veggies
- Why is Cauliflower white? Why is it good for you? https://butterbeanskitchen.com/Why_is_Cauliflower_White.html