3 Simple Recipes for Picky Eaters

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Some kids are picky eaters. They refuse to try anything new and want to stick to their favorite dishes. This can be frustrating for a mom who wants to make sure her child gets healthy, nutritious food. Some times we have to trick our kids to get them to eat right and hope they like it. Fortunately, most picky eater grow out of it. In the mean time, here’s three great recipes that even picky eaters will love.

1. Healthy Baked Polenta Fries & Ketchup

This gluten-free polenta is tasty and made kid-friendly. It’s finger food your kids will enjoy because they look just like French fries. It’s healthy because their baked, not fried.

recipes for picky eaters

Photo credit: The Supper Club by Susie Cover, Weldon Owen, 2011

Ingredients for the fries:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 qt (2 l) water
  • 1 lb instant polenta
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz/60 g) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Ketchup, homemade (below) or your favorite store-bought, for serving

Instructions for the fries:

  1. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and line the pan with parchment paper.
  2.  In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and slowly add the polenta while whisking constantly. Cook, continuing to whisk, until the polenta has thickened, about 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat. Add the milk, Parmesan, butter, 1 tbsp salt, and 1?2 tsp pepper and stir with  a wooden spoon until thoroughly incorporated and the polenta is smooth.
  3. Pour the polenta into the center of the prepared baking sheet. Using a rubber spatula, spread it toward one end of the pan, pushing it into the corners and then to the edges, covering about two-thirds of the pan in an even layer. Spray a second piece of parchment with cooking spray and gently press the coated side onto the polenta to level and smooth the surface. Let cool at room temperature until set, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Remove the top sheet of parchment and cut the polenta into strips about 1?2 inch (12 mm) wide and 4 inches (10 cm) long. Using a spatula, transfer the strips to a clean rimmed baking sheet, spacing them about 1?2 inch (12 mm) apart. Spray the fries lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.
  5. Bake until the fries have developed a crust and the edges are golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then serve with the ketchup.

Ingredients for the homemade ketchup:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz/875 g) plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, with their juices
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup (7 oz/220 g) firmly packed golden brown sugar
  • 1?2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) cider vinegar
  • 1?2 tsp kosher salt

Instructions for the homemade ketchup:

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about
  2. 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices and crush with a fork to release the flavor. Add the tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, and salt and stir to mix well.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a very low simmer. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 1 hour. Stir more often at the end of cooking to prevent scorching.
  4. Let cool slightly, then transfer the ketchup to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled and the flavors have developed, about 2 hours, before using. The ketchup will keep, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 weeks.

2. Kid Friendly Crudite Platter

Turn your kid’s snacks into something special by building a little scene out of their food. They’ll love the animals you create and forget that they’re eating healthy food!

recipes for picky eaters

Photo credit: ziggityzoom.com

Ingredients:

  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Carrots for ears
  • Snap peas for nose
  • Cabbage for tail
  • Cheese for eyes

Instructions:

  1. Hardboil eggs and let cool.  Remove shells.
  2. If your bunnies will not be presented in an egg dish, then cut a very thin slice from the bottom of the egg (lengthwise) so egg will not roll around.
  3. Cut thin carrot slices and shape into rabbit ears with a knife, making sure one end is very pointy. Insert pointy ends into egg for ears.  Cut off tip of snap pea for nose.  Push the pointed end into the front end of the egg.  Make a small round tail from a white piece of cabbage, once again making a pointed end to push into the back of the egg.
  4. For eyes, cut two small little circles, using a small straw as a cutter, from your slice of cheese.  Make sure the egg is not wet when you set the cheese eyes in place or they may slide out of place.
  5. Other veggies may be substituted for the nose and tail.

3. Zucchini Muffins

Your kids won’t even notice the vegetables in these yummy muffins. Plus, they’re so easy to make you can teach your kids.

recipes for picky eaters

Photo credit: tryityourmightlikeit.wordpress.com

Into a large bowl mix:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Stir in:

  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 apple peeled, cored and grated

In another bowl, beat:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola)

Stir into flour mixture until batter is just combined. Spoon into well greased muffin cups, filling to the top. (Note: If you are using muffin liners you may need to spray with cooking spray to prevent the muffins from sticking to the paper.) Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles  / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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