Healthy Eating With ChildrenSara Brueck NicholsSeptember 2012Rules for Eating With Children: Serve 1 thing you know they will like Set a minimum expectation (ex: 1 bite of everything on the table, sit at table until all are done) Don’t use food as a bribe Give small portions, allow seconds, don’t force plate clearing Food is fuel – not good or bad Don’t order off the kid’s menu when eating out Make eating an experience – grow, plan, shop, prepare & eat together Have regular mealtimes & eat at a table Make food as healthy as possible Treats v. Snacks – treats are occasional food; snacks are refueling food Treats, Desserts & Comfort Food – should be homemade Set up your family “Food Rules”Breakfast:Cook regular oats with cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg and a few handfuls of berries.Create smoothies with a variety of fruits & veggies – let children create “recipes”Scrambled eggs or omelettes are great ways to include vegetables in morning meals (stir in shreddedcarrots, zucchini, pureed cauliflower, etc)Whole wheat grilled cheese, whole wheat peanut butter & banana or whole wheat toast with cottagecheese are good “portable” breakfast ideasPumpkin Oatmeal(The Essential New York Times Cookbook)1/4 tsp ground allspice1/4 tsp nutmeg1/2 tsp ground cinnamon1/8 tsp ground ginger1/4 c. packed brown sugar1 c. pumpkin puree (or peach puree or cooked sweet potato puree)2 c. milk or milk substitute2 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. steel cut oats3/4 tsp saltToast spices in large saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant - about 2 minutes. Stirin brown sugar, add pumpkin and stir. Add the milk and water, raise the heat and bring to a simmer. Stirin the oats and simmer over medium heat until tender but not mushy - 25-30 minutes. Stir in salt.Keeps for several days in the fridge and reheats excellently.Serves 4.Baked Oatmeal3 c. oatmeal (not quick-cooking)2/3 c. brown sugar2 TB ground flax2 tsp. cinnamon1 tsp. baking powder1 tsp. salt1 c. skim milk or milk substitute2 eggs2 tsp. vanilla3/4 - 1 c. chopped fruit (cranberries, dried cranberries, raisins, whole blueberries, dried apples, choppedapples, raspberries, etc.)Mix dry. Mix wet. Add wet to dry. Bake in greased 9x13" pan at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Serve with a littlemilk. (If you dont like the "crunchy" edge textures, bake in a 9x9 square pan. Refrigerate andreheat leftovers.Whole Grain Pancakes(Gourmet Cookbook)1 ¼ c. whole wheat flour1/3 c. ground flax1 TB sugar (optional)2 tsp baking powder1 tsp salt2 large eggs, separated¼ c. unsweetened applesauce1 ½ c. milk or milk substituteWhisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together liquids. Add to flour mixture, whiskinguntil smooth. Let batter stand for 5 minutes to allow flour to absorb liquid (batter will thicken – add milkif necessary).Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer until they just hold stiff peaks. Gently fold intobatter. Cook on a nonstick skillet in batches of 4. Serves 4.
Lunch/Dinner:Snobby Joes1 cup uncooked lentils4 cups water1 tablespoon olive oil1 medium yellow onion, diced small1 green pepper, diced small (optional)2 cloves garlic, minced1 Tablespoons chili powder1 1/2 teaspoons oregano1 teaspoon salt8 oz can tomato sauce1/4 cup tomato paste3 tablespoons maple syrup1-2 tablespoons yellow mustard (wet mustard)4 to 6 whole wheat bunsDirectionsPut the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling,lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.About 10 minutes before the lentils are done boiling, preheat a medium soup pot over medium heat.Sauté the onion and pepper in the oil for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and sauté aminute more.Add the cooked lentils, the chili powder, oregano and salt and mix. Add the tomato sauce and tomatopaste. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and mustard and heat through.Turn the heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can meld, or go ahead and eatimmediately if you can’t wait. Serve on the buns.Veggie Mac-n-Cheese1 small head cauliflower, cut into large piecesOnion powderGarlic saltNutmeg (dash)Cheddar cheese (medium or sharp best matches the cauliflower)Whole wheat penne or macaroniSteam cauliflower until it is very soft. Puree with a little chicken broth while still warm until very smooth.Season to taste with onion powder, garlic salt, nutmeg and a dash of pepper. Add to saucepan. Stir inshredded cheese to taste. Thin with a little milk if necessary. Toss with pasta. *Optional - add roastedtomatoes or substitute half of the cauliflower puree with carrot or butternut squash puree.
Pumpkin Pasta1 c. pumpkin½ c. chicken or vegetable brothSage, nutmeg, salt & pepper to tast¼ c. shredded parmesan cheese8 oz. whole wheat penne or macaroniCook pasta as directed. Combine pumpkin, broth & seasonings in a saucepan – heat until almost boiling.Reduce heat to low. Add parmesean. Stir until melted all the way through. Toss with pasta.Roasted Cauliflower “Popcorn”1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized floretsOlive oilSaltPepperShredded Parmesean or Romano cheese (or a blend of any hard, shredded cheese)Line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Preheat oven to 450. Toss cauliflower pieces with 1 T. oil, or until verylightly coated (or spritz it on). Salt and pepper to taste. Roast in oven for 20 minutes or until caulifloweris just beyond crisp tender and starting to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese ontop. Serve warm.Penne with Tomato Cream1 TBSP olive oil1 small onion, chopped1 garlic clove, finely chopped1/8 to 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper1 can (28 oz) tomatoes in puree, coarsely chopped1/2 tsp salt1/2 cup cream or whole milk1 cup frozen peas1 cup fresh steamed zucchini, mushrooms or green beans1 pkg (16 oz) whole wheat penne or rotini1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced1. In nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook until garlic is golden, about 30 seconds longer. Stir intomatoes with their puree, and salt; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until saucehas thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in cream and peas (vegetables); heat to boiling.2. Meanwhile, in large saucepot, cook pasta as label directs. In warm serving bowl, toss pasta withsauce and sprinkle with basil. Makes 4 main-dish servings.
“Fried” RiceStir fry dishes and fried rice are great ways to add in lots of vegetables while reducing individual flavor &texture issues.Broccoli, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, snap peas, peas, peppers, etc. are great additions to brown rice.Cooked RiceVegetablesSauce/SeasoningsFor a Mexican flair – heat brown rice, add in red peppers, corn, black beans & salsa. Sprinkle withcheese.For an Asian flair – heat brown rice, add in broccoli, carrots & snap peas & soy sauce. Sprinkle withsesame seeds.For a breakfast – heat brown rice, add in 2 large eggs, shredded cheddar cheese, zucchini & mushrooms.Pineapple Fried Rice1 pineapple, cored, peeled and cubedVegetable oil1 small onion, finely diced3-4 c. cold cooked brown rice2 scallions, chopped1-2 medium zucchini, chopped1 c. peas, frozen2 TB fish sauce1 TB soy sauceHeat small amount of oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and fry for 3-5 minutes. Add vegetables and riceand toss well together. Continue to stir-fry until the rice is thoroughly heated. Add the choppedpineapple and scallions. Season with fish sauce and soy sauce.TreatBrownies3 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate½ c. carrot or pumpkin puree½ c. spinach puree½ c. firmly packed brown sugar¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder2 TB butter2 tsp vanilla extract2 large egg whites¾ c. whole wheat flour1 tsp baking powder½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x8 pan. Melt chocolate in double boiler or over low flame. Combinemelted chocolate, vegetables, sugar, cocoa powder, butter and vanilla. Whisk until smooth & creamy.Whisk in egg whites. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt with a wooden spoon.Pour the batter into the pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely before cutting. Do not serve warm.