DELICIOUS DINNERS FOR KIDS!

What? You're not perfect?
Let me reiterate - you don't have to be perfect, you just need to make informed choices and slowly improve the quality of the food you are serving to your child. Don't forget, you are teaching them how to live, how to look after themselves when they grow up and leave home.

Countering the Dinner Panic
Dinners! Yum. How fabulous!
We often spend a little time (usually on weekends) researching our many cookbooks to figure out what to make for dinner based on what is in the cupboard and fridge. We spread the books out on the kitchen table and really enjoying showing each other recipes. Before I became a mum I had lots of cookery books but never used them!

Yes, that's a huge bar of Toblerone we were given. Forgot to move it out of the pic. Argh!
Occasionally we plan a meal and shop specifically for it. Its actually lots of fun. My little girl loves it. I want food and eating to be an enjoyable experience for her, not just shoving something in her mouth and running off. Everything we eat becomes a part of us. Wouldn't we want the best possible?
home made pizza. yum! and so easy even a child can do it!

 What's most important?
Two things - 
  1. Vegetables
  2. Protein. 
Whether you're vegetarian or vegan or a meat lover, you must have these two things. In the modern world we focus far too much on carbohydrates and I think its because they're easy to prepare. This should not be the main reason you cook them. Sure, spaghetti is great, but its not a balanced meal. The major portion of your meal (half the plate) should be vegetable. Protein takes up a quarter of the plate and the rest carbs, oils and essential fats. 

So how do I sneak in the vegies? 
Oh, you will get good at this, trust me! When making bolognaise, for instance, I start with softening onion in the pan, but I also include finely chopped carrot, zucchini, eggplant, corn, capsicum. If you're in a hurry, a good quality frozen veg is fine. Vegies are snap-frozen and actually keep the ingredients locked in. They're great to use. 
Eggplant Parmigiana before cooking

You can also mash potato and carrot together (delicious!) with butter, a little salt and milk

Bake eggplant as a parmegiana. Our girl jumps for joy when we have this dish. And it makes a great snack the next day too for her lunch or afternoon tea. See below for the recipe.

Insist on visible veg on the plate every night, whether it's steamed/nicely boiled chunks of pumpkin or potato, broccoli, cauliflower etc. Kids' taste buds are simple. they don't actually need a lot of sauces and flavourings. If your child isn't getting all that processed rubbish, his/her tastebuds will revert back to their normal state - enjoying quite plain foods. 
the Parmigiana out of the oven

Sauces
You can always add a knob of unsalted full cream butter, or a blob of sour cream, with some chopped chives ( I just cut up a couple of stalks with scissors over the plate), the same with parsley. With certain meals I just use juices form the cooking pan, which goes down very well, or gravy I make from the juices or a packet. Hubby makes a wicked cheese sauce, but that is a rarity, as its high in fat.

Salads
Just because its dinner, doesn't mean it has to be a heavy meal. In summer we just have a salad, sometimes with no meat, if its just us girls at home. This egg salad is delish! 




 just right click on the recipe below to print or save it. Enjoy!



 
  

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