Getting children to eat a varied diet is important so that they get all the essential vitamins and minerals they need. I know so many children who will only eat chicken and macaroni and cheese, as well as burgers and hot dogs. This is because their parents start too late to introduce new foods. Once they become used to a diet of processed, salt laden and sugar laden foods it is difficult to get them to eat other more nutritionally sound food that does not have these addictive qualities.
A friend of mine has a 3 1/2 year old son and I am so impressed with how he eats everything because his parents gave him a varied diet, of whatever they were eating from an early age. So many adults give children simple foods and cook differently for themselves. This is unnecessary. This is a half Russian half Dominican child who will eat hot Indian curry and is always willing to try something new because he never received a formula diet but was exposed to different cuisines and foods as soon as he could chew. I love cooking different things for him and seeing his reaction.
One way to make vegetables and other food more appealing is by using colorful vegetables. It just makes things more interesting and they might be willing to try it just because it is different.
Although not always available in your local supermarket, gourmet supermarkets and farmers markets often have wonderous varieties of vegetables like rainbow carrots (seen here) and orange cauliflower and blue potatoes. Not only does it make it more interesting, but food with color is also high in antioxidants, like blueberries and beets. Another good reason to use colorful vegetables for us adults who are always trying to watch our weight is that when food is really interesting and varied, you need less of it to feel satiated.
Last Sunday, with inspiration from Jamie Oliver, I made a dinner using colorful vegetables. While it sounds awfully gourmet, extremely simple to make.
Poisson with Rainbow Carrots and Blue Potatoes (you can substitute Cornish Hens if you cant find poisson and use regular carrots and potatoes if you cant find colorful ones, but do try!!!)
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
2 teaspoon dried savory
a few sprigs of sage
2 teaspoons minced chopped garlic
4 slices bacon
1 bunch rainbow carrots, peeled and sliced
6 blue potatoes, peeled and quartered
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Stick one sprig of sage and the garlic inside the cavity of each poisson. Season the birds liberally with the tarragon and the savory. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan.
Season the vegetables with salt, pepper and olive oil. Place in roasting pan around bird with some more sprigs of sage.
Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Place bacon over birds and bake another 15 minutes.
Bacon will be crisp and everything will be cooked to perfection. If using Cornish Hens, add another 15 minutes to cooking, before adding the bacon.
Serve with a simple salad of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.
This was my dinner last Sunday night and you can make this delicious meal yours with not a lot of work.
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