Dinner time can on occasions be a great learning time as your child learns the art of cooking and the etiquette of eating. This time can be an opportunity to use family words associated with cooking – recipes, ingredients, utensils, menu, courses for example, as well the table manners required which will be learned gradually. As you introduce foods you can tell your child which country it is from and later locate it on a map so they begin to appreciate how global much of our living has become.
Involving your child in the food preparation or setting the table can help stimulate their interest in eating and trying different food. Toddlers especially can be very definite about their likes and dislikes which can result in you repeating often a few tried and tested successes. If that is your experience, there are still ways to add those veggies that can result in a tantrum. Vegetables which can be grated and included in a meal ensure a nutritious meal and a happier toddler. Replacing potato with sweet potato sometimes is good too. Don’t forget raw is good so put the vegetables your child will eat on the plate raw along with the main food.
Most children seem to like Mediterranean food, especially Spaghetti and lasagne. When making a tomato sauce, grate in a zucchini and a carrot as it is cooking as they will disappear in the sauce. If your child is not a big milk drinker, make a simple white sauce and bake the pasta.
There are some interesting recipe ideas at Kids’ Cooking Recipes: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/kids-cooking
The following recipe – Chicken and Gnocchi Dumplings looks interesting and has healthy ingredients with good colour. Note: 16 oz is 500 g and 1 pound is also 500 g.
Chicken and Gnocchi Dumplings: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chicken_gnocchi_dumplings.html
At Angel’s Paradise Early Education Centre our qualified cook provides a variety of nutritious meals.