Is meal-time a constant battle in your house?
I can't remember the last time my toddler didn't protest whatever I put on her plate. "It's too hot", "I don't want that", "I want chocolate", "I don't like apple juice, it gives me a belly ache" followed by "I want apple juice." I get it, it's exhausting! Even if you put their go-to food on their favorite plate at just the right temperature, it's cut up right and comes with the right drink, I know how fickle toddlers can be. My oldest used to eat just about anything, and my youngest still does. I've been told it's just a phase, but I know some kids don't grow out of it, they're just picky. So I consulted Registered Dietitian Amy Blewitt. Not only is she well-versed in healthy eating, she's the mother of three young boys. "One would think that my family of five sits down to dine on quinoa, salmon and green beans almandine. No such luck. I have three boys who vary in pickiness. One of three is a fabulous eater." "Since the LEGO movie, we now have Taco Tuesday, to make it healthier, I make my own taco seasoning to cut back on the sodium and additives pre-packaged taco seasonings have." Amy says she uses "90-93% lean turkey or chicken depending on what's on sale" and "always adds shredded carrots to the meat as it cooks to sneak in some vegetables for my older son who thinks veggies are the enemy." "I also add tomato sauce or salsa for flavor along with 2/3 of a cup of water, bring it to a boil then simmer." "My older son won't eat the cheese on the side so I add some 2% milk cheddar cheese to the meat mix."
Want to give it a try for dinner tonight? Here's what you'll need for spices:
4 tbsp chili powder
3 tbsp paprika
3 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Amy says "you can make it as hot or mild as you like, I normally don't add cayenne pepper to mine because they prefer it on the milder side."
Don't forget the meat, cheese and salsa too!
Amy says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a great website with more great healthy recipes and cooking tips!