If you're a mother to picky eaters, you develop your own set of rules about healthy eating. White potatoes don't count as a vegetable; sweet potatoes do. Pickles are junk food but olives are healthy. Canned vegetables are off limits, unless, of course the vegetable drawer is bare because Mommy didn't have time to shop, in which case they are a-okay. Celery and baby carrots, regardless of what they are dipped in (don't ask) are great. And, even if you smother it in parmesan cheese and alphabet noodles, vegetable soup is still a super food.
Here are three strategies I've developed for getting my kids to eat healthy. What are yours? Please share them in the comments section below!
- Hummus. See recipe below. My kids love vegetables cut up pretty dipped in hummus.
- Soups. My kids will eat pretty much any vegetable if it's pureed in a soup. My current favorites: Parsnip Soup, Roast Vegetable Soup, and Butternut Squash Soup.
- Get 'em while they're hungry. When my kids get home from school, they'll eat just about anything. If I welcome them home with a platter of cut up fruit, they'll devour it in minutes. It's an amazing thing that warms any mommy's heart.
Hummus from scratch
I prefer to make my own tahini rather than buying the store bought paste. I hate how the store bought stuff settles and needs to be remixed. The homemade tahini is just SO much fresher, and really no extra effort once you're pulling out (and washing) the food processor anyway. This recipe calls for 1 cup of sesame seeds even though you only need about half that amount. Less than a cup just doesn't puree well in my food processor. So I make a cup and put away half for another use. It lasts for about a week in the fridge.
1 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup olive or canola oil
3 cans chickpeas, drained, but reserve 1 cup of the liquid
1/2 teaspoon salt
Aleppo pepper or cayenne pepper
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Combine the sesame seeds and olive oil in the food processor. Process for a good 5 minutes, scraping down the sides from time to time, until all the seeds are smooth.
Remove about half the tahini paste from the machine and put it away for another use. (I just add lemon juice, a bit of water, and spices for a wonderful homemade tahini that's great on salads.) Add the chickpeas, salt, pepper, lemon juice and cumin to the food processor. Add the reserved chickpea liquid a bit of a time, till the hummus reaches the desired consistency.
Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Linking this post up to Weekend Bloggy Reading, KOAB Recipe Exchange and Ultimate Recipe Swap