I laughed myself stupid when I saw this week’s topic. Cheerio Champ isn’t in love with too many recipes. He’s kind of picky. Long gone are the days when I could put a few sprinkles on top of a new food and watch him devour it with relish (oddest thing? Lasagna). I also haven’t had the chance to experiment with recipes like I would like to, because I have an eleven month old daughter as well. Finding time to cook can be a challenge. Alas! I do, however, have some recipes and some mom-in-the-trenches advice to share. Be sure to check back Saturday for Leslie’s post (I know I will be! She’s a master cook.)
These are adapted from a recipe hyped by Gwyneth Paltrow, which you can view here: http://www.self.com/healthystars/2011/05/gwyneth-paltrows-favorite-recipes-slideshow?slide=3 My version is healthier, in that it uses 1% milk instead of whole milk, and whole wheat flour instead of white.
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
½ cup 1% milk
2 cups whole wheat flour
¾ cup sugar, plus 1 tsp. to top muffins
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries (fresh are best, but either is good)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk butter, eggs, and milk in a bowl. Combine flour, ¾ cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in another bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients (add slightly more milk if batter is too dry. Whole wheat flour tends to drink it in); fold in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. sugar. Bake until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. 25-30 minutes. Serve warm. (I actually like mine refrigerated too, but I’m weird like that.)
Hawaiian Pizza Quesadillas
My husband and I thought up these after seeing a recipe for pizza quesadillas. Best of all, they are quick and easy to make.
Barbecue sauce (your favorite. Ours is Sweet Baby Ray’s)
Smoked ham or Canadian bacon
1 small can pineapple tidbits (you can use fresh, but unless it is already in tidbit size, it
won’t be very quick)
Whole wheat tortillas
You decide amounts. Less cheese = less calories. We make them in a skillet, but you can also bake them on a cookie sheet for 6-10 minutes at 400 degrees. In a skillet, the easiest way is to cover half a tortilla and fold it over on itself to cook. These can be quite sweet, depending on the barbecue sauce you like best.
Tropical Fruit Salad (feeds four)
Juice from ½ of a lime
Peal fruits, cut into pieces, combine, and squeeze juice over top. BEST FRUIT SALAD EVER! It is also surprisingly filling. I think it would also be awesome with some fresh pineapple, though I have yet to try that.
Cheerio Champ isn’t willing to try new foods 75% of the time, but he eats some surprising foods on a regular basis. Cheerio Champ will eat marinated chicken breast of any sort, provided that you give him ketchup to dip it in. He likes fish (again with the ketchup). He loves sweet potato fries. His favorite lunch is a peanut butter, nutella, and banana sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread, served with carrots and grapes. He loves having yogurt, granola, and fruit for breakfast. And he practically begs for cottage cheese (Princess Cheerio also inhales cottage cheese).
Here are some tips on how to get your picky eater to sample new foods.
- Presentation. Try making a design on a plate that is appealing to the eye. Funny faces are a hit here.
- Steam it. The whole family adores steamed veggies. Steamed broccoli is more kid-friendly, as steaming it takes out the offensive sulfur-like flavor that most people don’t care for. Also, try squeezing some fresh lemon juice on it. There are some amazing microwave steam bags on the market. You can do fish too!
- If they’re little, trick them into it. Add veggie purees to dishes to get the veggies in (it makes brownies moister, btw). Add some cheese to the top, or goldfish crackers (or again, sprinkles if they are into that).
- Introduce literature and movies or shows that demonstrate healthy eating is cool. Sid the Science Kid is a great place to start.
- Give the foods funky names. Broccoli can be called “trees”, for instance.
- Try, try again. Kids need to be exposed to foods a countless number of times before they can become accustomed to them. They will never like carrots if you try them once and give up.
- Serve them several ways. Not into veggies raw? Steam them, bake them! Try a stir-fry! Vegetable soup! Give them something to dip veggies in (hummus is a great option).
- Get your kids involved in the shopping. They’ll be more likely to try turnips if they picked the freshest ones themselves.
- Don’t make it a big deal. Trying to force your child to eat anything is only going to lead to a power struggle you don’t want to have and possibly a life-long issue with trying new things. And don’t be a short-order cook! If your kid doesn’t want to eat what is on his plate for dinner, too bad. He’ll be plenty hungry for breakfast, and it won’t hurt him to miss one meal. If you are really worried about it, serve a side that you know he’ll love.