I recently conducted a survey to find out which fruit and vegetables are least popular among our children. The children the collected information represents range in age from 1-11 years.
I asked the question – do you have at least one fussy eater in the house and collected the following result:
Can you guess which colours represent yes and no? That’s right the blue is yes.
So you are not alone! Maybe you can connect with the following findings?
60% of children dislike cabbage
50% of children dislike mushrooms
50% of children dislike tomatoes
One common denominator of tomatoes and mushrooms is texture which may contribute to the disfavour. Cabbage is a strong vegetable and can often need some additional seasoning to make it more appealing.
My approach with fussy eaters is always one of encouragement, trying everything once. It should also be OK to say “I don’t like it”. I like when children experience the feeling of utter and sheer success for trying something once even though they were hesitant to begin. A child should never feel they are in a situation of fear where food is related.
Recently, I made a sauce with my daughter. We marinated our chicken with it and served with alphabet shaped pasta (the adults had basmati rice). My daughter is among the 50% of children who dislike tomatoes. She cannot stand the texture. She tries so hard but her scrunched up face says it all! So we decided to try eating them in a different way. The recipe is below and it includes a variety of vegetables that can be switched around in order to get fruit and vegetables into our little ones.
4 tomatoes peeled
1 celery stick peeled
1 carrot peeled
1/2 courgette peeled
1 dessert spoon Balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp ground garlic
¼ tsp salt
2 dessert spoons tomato ketchup
- Put the peeled tomatoes into a food processor and blend.
- Next add the celery, carrot and courgette and continue to blend.
- Spoon in the balsamic vinegar, garlic and salt.
- Finally add the tomato ketchup (this was my daughters ingredient and is optional) – she wanted to give it a little red colour! (This should make 400 ml)
Using your Hidden Treasure sauce:
Hidden Treasure Chicken with Alphabet Pasta
4 breasts of chicken
Juice from ½ a lime
1 tsp Mixed Herbs
Salt & pepper for seasoning
Sprig of thyme
Hidden Treasure Sauce
Firstly, wash the chicken. To do this, rinse and leave to soak in cold water with a tsp of salt and juice from ½ a lime for 5-10 minutes. My Jamaican partner introduced me to this method. It cleans the chicken and gets rid of any raw chicken taste. It also prepares it to absorb flavours.
- Next, empty the water off and season with mixed herbs, salt & pepper, and a sprig of thyme.
- Cover with Hidden Treasures sauce, place lid on and leave in the fridge for between 1-4 hours if time allows. (I used a plastic container with a lid for step 1-3)
- Oil a casserole dish.
- Add all contents to the dish. Cover and place in the oven at 180 C for 20 minutes, then turn down to 120 C for a further 20 minutes or until cooked through. Please note that every oven is different. I have a particularly hot oven.
- Serve with your choice of novelty pasta. We used alphabet shaped pasta.
written for www.savour.ie a great Irish site all about Irish food & drink!