|Liven up your kids’ taste buds|
Liven up your kids’ taste buds
When work and school schedules become routine, sometimes the meals you prepare and serve to your families can become routine as well. Liven up your kid’s meals and taste preferences by adding some flare to the foods that you make. Learning to make healthy dishes from around the world is not only fun, but it’s a great way to teach your children about different cultures. When you introduce a variety of different flavours and textures, you may be pleasantly surprised at the foods your children will begin to eat and enjoy.
Involve your kids in the process. Children love being a part of meal planning and preparation. Declare one night a month, “International Food Night” and have your children choose a different country that you can learn together about and enjoy the foods of that culture. The next time you’re planning a meal or feel like adding some excitement to your meals, try some of these food ideas and recipes.
A taste of Asia…
One pot wonders Curries and stews make for a great filling meal as they usually contain a variety of foods from the Four Food Groups. Better yet, there are always lots of leftovers and few dishes to clean. My two boys love this lamb and chickpea curry recipe.
Wok it up! Quick sautéing of meat and vegetables can make for a fast meal in minutes. To reduce the amount of oil (always choose non-hydrogenated varieties), use water or low sodium broth. To thicken up your sauces add a little cornstarch to the liquid.
Be creative Children like to eat their own creations. A favourite meal in our house is making kabobs using sewers of lean meat such as chicken breast or lamb and a variety of vegetables that are grilled and served with brown rice. When I have time I often make a few extras and freeze them raw for quick cooking later on.
Colour your plate Paella, a Spanish dish, has this wonderful vibrant yellow colour from a unique spice called turmeric making it interesting for kids of all ages to enjoy. Traditionally, chicken and fish are added to the rice, but this is the type of dish that you can be as creative as you’d like and it still will taste great. Enjoy our easy paella.
Wrap it up Use a whole grain tortilla and any fillings you’d like to create delicious sandwiches for either lunch or dinner. Use leftover chicken or beef from a previous meal (or cook some fresh) and add some sautéed vegetables with salsa or top some mashed black beans with some chopped leafy lettuce and shredded low-fat cheese for a fibre-filled meal. Try our chicken burritos recipe.
Go for the crunch My boys love making their own tacos. They fill their plates with a variety of toppings such as lean ground meat, diced peppers, tomatoes and sliced avocados, and either enjoy filling hard taco shells or scooping up mouthfuls with baked tortilla chips.
Check out our recipe files at Recipes from around the world for more heart-healthy recipes inspired by countries around the world.
Look for the Heart&Stroke Health Check™ symbol on food products when shopping and on menus when dining out. It is the only food information program in Canada based on Canada’s Food Guide and approved by the Foundation’s dietitians. It’s one important way the Foundation is helping Canadians eat well.
Posted October 2008.