Week Four: Entertaining
Meals for the young (at heart)!
Maybe this is my idealistic, kid-free self shining through, but here’s what I think: If you introduce a variety of foods to kids early on, if you don’t make a big deal about any of them, if you encourage kids to try everything and reintroduce foods later if kids balk at them immediately, if you invite them to help out in the kitchen and make some meal decisions themselves, you can probably tamp down on that whole “kids are so picky!” thing. Sure, some kids are absolutely pickier than others, and we all have our own taste/texture preferences, but I think parents unwittingly do a bit of the damage themselves when they don’t model healthy, curious eating patterns or when they build up “eating your veggies” as a chore that must be completed, not a normal part of life that’s tasty and fun.*
Which is why I believe all foods are for all bodies, big or small, young or old! Eat what you want, when you want! Make most of it healthy, but don’t worry about the junk food and sweets too much.
So, to the prompt. Frankly, I’m just as likely to enjoy so-called kid-friendly recipes as an actual kid! I mean, who wouldn’t want to eat googly-eye chocolate pretzel “screams” or homemade gelatin-free Lucky Charms?! Does that make me young at heart? Ehhh… I just like cute things. ;)
But anyway — I do understand the point here. As adventurous an eater as your kid is, kids in general will typically prefer simpler flavors and familiar meals. Here are a few of those, both from me and from others around the web.
- Kids love crunching and munching handfuls of snacks, so how about some granola? Try this peanut butter-chocolate chip version, or strawberry-coconut for a more allergy-friendly version. Or add it to yogurt for a filling breakfast.
- These cinnamon crackers would also be fun to munch! (Be sure to check out the kid-friendly tag at Fork and Beans — she makes some seriously fun food.)
- For lunch or a snack, how about these homemade broccoli tater tots? They’re packed with veggies but feel like junk food!
- Super simple, toddler-endorsed, pasta. The sauce is made of hummus!
- Colcannon — mashed potatoes with a healthy twist.
- Mac and cheese! Start your kid off on the good stuff (like this one) and they’ll never crave Kraft.
- This colorful fruit pizza would be fun to make and fun to eat.
*Having said this, I will probably end up with the pickiest, most obstinate eater if I ever do decide to have a child. Oops.