Food for Thought

Okay - many have asked what I feed my children. I'm guessing this is because a little bit ago I endorsed (as if I have any clout) the book "The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood" by Dr. Sears. So, here are the top ten quick and somewhat healthy things I put in front of my kids that they actually eat. My kids are 3 and 17 mos - so I can't get them to eat wheat germ or anything, but I am not cooking more than one meal... so they have to eat what we do or they don't eat (which has happened a few times). By one meal I may mean fish sticks for the kids and baked fish for me and Chet, but I am baking them fish, too - not making them grilled cheese when we eat fish... anyway...

1. quesadillas: whole wheat tortillas, minimal cheese, & black beans. Put the tort in a pan, add cheese and beans, fold tort in half and melt cheese. Cut with a pizza cutter into triangles and dip in salsa. They eat these like I haven't fed them in a week. (I add sauteed onions and bell peppers to the adults')
2. blueberry pancakes: Aunt Jemima makes a wheat pancake mix that even Chet will eat. Sprinkle a few blueberries while they're in the pan and voila - brain food! No syrup needed - the berries are sweet.
3. fish & veggies: mostly fish sticks, but occasionally I can get them to eat bites of the fish Chet and I are eating. Hey, I figure they're getting omega-3's somehow! My kids will eat green beans plain, but if yours won't, try sprinkling a little brown sugar on them. I hear it works.
4. chicken pot pie: Paula Deen has a "Hurry Up Chicken Pot Pie" that I make. If anyone wants the recipe, I'll email it to you. Granted, she puts a whole stick of butter on hers, but I cut it to a minimal 1/4 stick of the healthiest sort of butter I can find. I'm sure hers is better, but I'm going for getting the chicken, carrots, and peas down my kids and they don't know the difference.
5. baked chicken: melt butter in one bowl. in another bowl put equal parts of bread crumbs & Parmesan cheese, some parsley, a little garlic powder, and whatever italian spices you'd like to throw in. dredge chicken tenders in butter then in crumb mix. bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes. my kids love it! (you can even cut up the chicken before you dredge it and it's more like chicken nuggets...)
6. pb&j roll: whole wheat tortillas (left from #1 - see above), spread natural pb & low-sugar jelly lightly on it. Roll up and cut into four pieces. It's a different twist on pb &j they think is cool!
7. omelets: scramble how ever many eggs you want with a little salt, pepper, and milk. While in pan, add tiny chopped veggies (small enough so they can't taste them or pick them out!). Fold in half and cook on each side until egg is done. Sprinkle warm omelet on plate with a little cheese (to camouflage the veggies even further of course).
8. fried rice: (this if from Chet's mom): cook 1 cup brown rice. sautee a chopped onion and carrot in a large pan (with some breakfast sausage for the not-so-healthy recipe). when the onion is done, turn fire way down and crack a few eggs in there and let them cook on the hot onion, carrot, (and sausage). add rice to pan and pour some low-sodium soy sauce in. serve warm.
9. nachos (much like #1 - see above): put whole grain chips mixed with blue corn chips on a tray. sprinkle with black beans and cheese. dip in salsa to eat. Stone loves the blue chips!
10. spaghetti: boil whole wheat angel hair pasta (we prefer angel hair because it's the most like white pasta in texture). in another pan, brown lean ground beef and a chopped onion (again, chopped really small so as not to be noticed by the little ones!). drain beef, put back on burner, and add one can Del Monte spaghetti sauce (it's like 98 cents or something at WM). sprinkle in lots of seasonings of the italian type - garlic powder, oregano, basil, parsley, etc. pour over drained noodles and serve. I highly recommend removing the shirt of any child under two before feeding them this meal!

So there you have it. We are NOT the healthiest eaters - as we do occasionally order pizza from the Pizza Hut across the street, but these are some of the things I feed my kids so we don't eat pizza, chicken nuggets, and mac and cheese all the time. I figure as long as I can control what they eat, I might as well try and shape their tastes towards somewhat healthy things! I keep threatening tofu, but we as adults haven't brought ourselves to that new level yet... when we do, I'll let you know!


rach said...

thanks for sharing all those yummy meals...i have started grating many of the veggies i incorporate into our dishes (actually i don't like the big ones usually if they are cooked) shredded carrots is a great addition to spaghetti and it makes it a little sweet-think monjuni's-only not nearly as good or fattening-heheheh
oh and i love that book-we are on a smoothie kick-we even add the spinach if you can believe it!

jenniferkracht said...

Thanks Ashley! We are definitely in a rut! If your kids eat whole wheat noodles, you might try buying the whole wheat mac and cheese and then I cut back the butter and milk some and add carrot or squash puree. Benjamin can't tell the difference!

ashley said...

jennifer - good tip on the mac and cheese! i'll be trying it soon:) Stone loves mac and cheese, but he only gets it at friends' houses. He'll be thrilled to have it at home.

Kim said...

have you seen the cookbook "Deceptively Delicious"? I think it was highlighted on oprah a few weeks ago but it's a cookbook that incorporates pureed veggies into just about anything. here's a link to amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0061251348/bookstorenow16-20

i found it a while back when i was looking up how to make my own baby food for when russ arrives!

ashley said...

i did see it, kim. i am going to get it next time i'm in b&noble. sounds like a great way to get extra nutrition in your kids:)

Carrie said...

FYI--my friend's boy was on Oprah about that cookbook. She made some recipes from that cookbook and said her son could tell the difference and wouldn't eat it. So be careful! Of course, he's a second grader, so he catches on quickly! But they had the neighborhood kids in to try it out, and she said it didn't go over very well.

mer & just said...

thanks for the tips. It is easy to get in a rut with meal time. I have never given Sawyer fish sticks, but I gave him some for lunch today and he loved them. He isn't a big meat eater, so anyway to get some protein in him is great.

Elizabeth said...

Great tips!!!!
Sometimes I don't give Clara things to try because I think I don't like that so she probably want either. Like beans. But maybe I should try giving them to her.

A friend of mine said Chris needs that Deceptively Delicious book to hide veggies from me.