How do parents do it?? I don't have kids so "treading on thin ice" is what I may be doing but am up for the challenge.
One of the first things I hear parents with "picky eaters" say is how their children won't eat vegetables. Then I see the vegetables they give them and have an understanding for the kids and the parents frustrations. So here is what I am going to do. Lets go back to the basics and try a different method to getting our kids to eat vegetables.
First, steaming seems to be the rage. It is quick easy and steamers are readily available and are great attachments with rice cookers. My issue is there is no flavour being put into the vegetable, unevenly cooked, mostly over cooked and who wants to eat mushy flavourless broccoli...?
So the next time you have veggies to steam and picky kids to feed, try this and let me know how it goes.
Get a pot, fill it with water, salt the water (and make it salty don't be shy here as this is the time to add salt, not at the table).
THIS IS GOING TO WORK FOR VEGETABLES SUCH AS BEANS, ASPARAGUS, BROCCOLI, CAULIFLOUR, SMALL CHOPPED CARROTS (I know carrots are a root veggie but if they are chopped small this is a great way to have them a little soft on the outside and still crunchy on the inside therefore retaining most of their nutritional value.) AND OTHER GREEN OR DELICATE VEGETABLES. THEY ARE ADDED TO BOILING WATER. ALL ROOT VEGETABLES ARE STARTED IN COLD WATER AND BROUGHT TO A BOIL AND COOKED FOR A MINIMUM OF 10 MINUTES BUT YOU WILL HAVE TO DECIDED ON THE READINESS OF YOUR VEGETABLES BY THE SIZE, QUANTITY IN THE POT VERSUS WATER.
Put the pot on the stove and bring the salty water to a boil. Cut up your vegetables into nice small bite size pieces for a child. Once the water has been brought to a boil drop in your veggies. The water will stop boiling as you have added new ingredients and they are at a different temperature. Wait for the water to come back up to a boil, let it boil for about 30 seconds and then remove from the stove, drain the water (or lift the veggies from the pot with a strainer to use the water again for the next vegetable)as fast as you can and serve immediately or run under cold water and reheat later for dinner. By cooking your vegetables like this,they are still crunchy on the inside therefore holding some of the nutrients, they are a little salty and that brings out the true flavour of the vegetable. My favorite is broccoli and finish it with some toasted and ground sunflower seeds they make broccoli taste great and just made the dish better for you.
Kids seem to like everything in small pieces, separated on the plate with nothing touching nothing. So give them that, broccoli slightly cooked with a pile of sunflower seeds the kids can sprinkle on themselves.
One the of biggest things that I can't say enough about from my personal observations over the past few years of watching my friends have kids is the importance of FAMILY DINNERS. I will get into more of this later but everyone in my life who honours the practice of family dinners doesn't have the food issues with their kids that I see other families struggle with. But that is another day of thoughts and discussions.
Please let me know how cooking for your child goes for you. I am here to help with new ideas and answer any questions you have and try to dispel some myths that I have come across with the excuses I hear parents give me about why their kids won't eat and the excuses kids give about why they don't want to eat what is on their plate.
It is all about change and being open to some new ideas of change for the healthier lives of the children that are near and dear to our hearts!