Palate development for kids

 

Yesterday morning I enjoyed a cool rainy walk and watched the night turn to day. I thought about a lot of things…

  • How can I get more movement variety into my children’s day?
  • When is the best time to clean the bathrooms today?
  • How can I use the garden today?
  • Along with many many other random thoughts about everything from outer space to how my feet are interacting with the wet grass. (Anyone who knows me understands this last bit :))
  • What can I prepare for breakfast today?

My meal plan strategy is based on nutrition for the whole day, available ingredients and time to prepare and eat.

Yesterday, the kids’ lunch plan was: chick pea salad with spinach, onion, red and orange bell pepper, cucumber and sheeps milk feta. I had the chick peas defrosting from a large batch I had prepared and frozen. That only left me with the veggie chopping to do. Based on that, I decided to serve a sausage and veggie scramble with chard and herbs from the garden. That way I could chop my veggies for the salad and scramble  at the same time.

It turned out great!! It’s a simple combo that will serve the kids for three breakfasts:

1 pound pastured hot pork sausage, 1 small red onion, 1 tomato, 1 zucchini, 1 pound swiss chard, 1/4 cup mixed chopped sage, oregano, basil and chives.

I really try to introduce many different flavors to the children. When I create a combo dish, I am focused on getting something specific in them like greens or sulfur containing veggies like onions, cauliflower or broccoli. So, one secret is to involve them in planning the dish and combine the target ingredients with something they really like. That was the plan with the lunch salad.

The boys LOVE chick peas and feta. They really like bell peppers and sage. They like spinach chopped and mixed into something. But, cucumbers and onion are not on the favorites list. 🙂 The herbs and cracked black pepper are there to add flavor and to expand their palate. So, the above combination works great for my strategy!

Chop all ingredients and sauté all veggies except cucumber in a pan with coconut, olive or avocado oil over medium heat until soft.

Then add the chick peas, herbs and black pepper and stir to combine. Finally add the chopped spinach or other greens and cook until wilted.

IMG_5156

In a separate bowl add the chopped and peeled cucumber and feta. Then gently mix in the warmed veggie mix along with red wine vinegar and stir to combine.

The kids loved it! This will serve them for two lunch and one breakfast meal.

I hope these dishes add some inspiration for your family meals. It does not have to be complex or difficult. Just follow some simple parameters and have a game plan. The “recipes” will just come to you.

Please share some of your family favorites.

 

 

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