Many of my friends are getting married and having children, quite unexpectedly but naturally, I have become more interested in cooking meals for their kids as they ask for my help. I hope to have children of my own one day and want to give them the best food and instill the best habits in them when they are young. I have a few tricks up my sleeve being a chef, which I hope will be useful to you!
This next recipe is kid friendly and parent approved. My father has a healthy palate, but other members of my family can be particularly picky when they find I have hidden tofu or some other ingredient in their lasagna. Of course I tell them later, after they have approved of the dish. This revelation is usually followed by laughter, or "I knew something was different about it." I am experimenting in making crowd-pleasing healthy food, and I have some more tricks to learn to satisfy even the most picky eater! Sneaking around and food tricks is not always the answer though. Written by a mom and registered dietician, this article will help you establish the healthy balance when to sneak or not.
Of course, I know its not just about what you or your kids are eating, but how you are eating and how much. When I was young, it was vitally important in my family to sit down at the table each night for dinner and talk about our day, which I take for granted these days being on the move more often than not. Setting the table and involving the kids in this activity is another great way to signify the importance of eating together that will make the meal more gratifying. Instilling the importance of a proper meal is one of the most important things a parent can do for their child. Growing up with this ritual, I find more happiness in sitting with friends or family for a meal, instead of snacking or even sneaky snacking. It instills a little of the importance of delayed gratification, which can sound very "old world" or stuffy to Americans but seems a significant, if not successful habit for a child to develop to improve things ranging from personal relationships, to food, to achieving goals.
This great, simple recipe makes fabulous bright green eggs for a real-life addition to the reading of "Green Eggs and Ham," by Dr. Seuss, for Earth Day, St. Patrick's day, or any other day you feel especially green! The best part of this recipe is that kids can help out, by pushing the button on the immersion blender or stuffing the spinach into the container for the blender, with adult supervision.
Special Note: If you are really dedicated to feeding your children healthy food but food that also tastes, (and looks) kid friendly, your best bet is to invest in an immersion blender kitchen appliance for about $35. It's the easiest way to puree foods and to blend them into sauces and make vegetables look smooth, and to get rid of lumps in gravies and sauces.
Find the immersion blender I recommend here...
Popeye Eggs (Serves 2 kids)
- 1/4 cup Green Juice (1 cup baby spinach + 1/4 cup water, blended)
- 2 eggs
- 1-2 Tablespoons shredded or 1 slice American cheese
- 2 soft corn or whole wheat flour tortillas (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper (optional)
- tomato (optional)
1. Puree the spinach and water and then measure out 1/4 cup of the green juice. Save the rest for your own eggs or a smoothie.
2. Mix the eggs, green juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk up with a fork.
3. In a non-stick pan, spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray, heat the pan, and add the egg mixture.
4. Cook 2-3 minutes until most of the liquid is cooked, then flip like a pro chef, or use a spatula to turn over. Place the cheese on top, and when cooked, fold omelet in half. You can also choose to scramble the eggs and place the cheese on the eggs at the end.
5. Optionally: Heat tortillas (of any color of flavor) in a moist paper towel for 10-30 seconds in the microwave and immediately serve eggs and cheese in tortillas, to make tacos. Serve with a slice of tomato, or avocado instead of cheese, if desired.