Monday, October 27, 2014

How to Cook Healthy For Kids : Good Versus Evil Fried Rice

Lately, Colin has really been looking up to his hero.  I'm talking about a man that is tall, dark, and handsome.  I'm talking about a man that is mysterious, cunning, and daring.  Yes indeed, I'm talking about…Batman!  Who did you think I was referring to?    

While parents have some sway over their kids, most of us know to defer to the likes of Batman, Superman, and other superheroes.  Colin is in a stage where he loves to pretend like he is a superhero.  He loves to dress up in a cape and run around the house with imaginary super powers.  And he especially likes to dress up as Batman, his idol.  

As a parent, you can use your kid's love of superheroes to your advantage.  If your kids won't listen to you, perhaps they will listen to Batman or Superman.  Try channeling the persuasive powers of your kids' heroes to encourage them to eat healthier.  In the following video, I get Colin and Cailya into the act of eating healthy by pitting good versus evil.  In this video, I make batman fried rice.  One tip to make your fried rice healthier is to load it up with finely chopped bok choy.  The white parts of the bok choy blend nicely into the rest of the rice grains.  Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 17, 2014

How to Cook Healthy Food for Kids : Hide Green Vegetables Like Kale in Pesto Pasta


I have fond memories of family vacations at Ocean City, Maryland.  Every summer, my uncle would invite my family to come stay at Golden Sands condominiums.  While there, we established many Ko family traditions.  All the kids would roam around on the beach, collect seashells, build sand castles, and join forces to dig a giant hole in the sand.  In the evenings, we would play cards, shoot pool, and walk the boardwalk.

Another Ko family tradition was dining at Paul Revere Smorgasbord.  Sometimes that meant showing up extra early to Paul Revere's to take advantage of the early bird special.  Sometimes that meant under-representing yourself.  You see, at Paul Revere's, children ages 9-12 eat at a discount, children ages 5-8 eat at a heavier discount, and children ages four and under eat free.  At Paul Revere's, I was probably eight years old for three consecutive years.

So, when it came time to buy tickets to Busch Gardens for my own children, of course I had to carry on the honorable Ko family tradition of under-representation.
"Colin, for Busch Gardens, you are two years old." I said.
"I'm not two years old.  I'm three!" he retorted.
"I know your three.  But as far as Busch Gardens is concerned, you are two."
"I'm not two.  I'm three!  I'm three!"
This went on for a while until he finally understood that he was two years old in Busch Gardens land.

I continued to prep him on the drive down to Williamsburg.  As we approached the ticketing gate, my palms began to sweat and I nearly aborted the mission.  I nervously handed the attendant two adult tickets as I casually pushed the sit and stand stroller which housed Colin and Cailya.  The attendant wordlessly ushered us through, and just like that, we were in!

I don't know what lesson, if any, I taught my son that day.  What I do know is that my two year old son had one helluva time at Busch Gardens!

Just as you can sneak your kids into a theme park, you can sneak in healthy ingredients into the dishes you serve your kids without them knowing.  Take for instance, this delicious kale pesto pasta dish.  The kale goes undetected, with its dark green hues blending in perfectly with the aromatic green tones from the basil.  My kids loved this simple and tasty dish:

Saturday, October 11, 2014

How to Cook Healthy Food for Kids : When Life Gives You Potatoes, Make Colcannon!

Sometimes life gives you lemons.  But that's not necessarily a bad thing.  As an amateur chef, I have found lemons to be a vital flavor enhancer.  That's why when life gives me lemons, I make delicious food!

I'm always trying to think of innovative ways to substitute healthy ingredients for unhealthy ones.  In my last post, I substituted white beans for white potatoes.  The result was a pureed bean dish that looked and tasted like mashed potatoes, but was much lower in glycemic index.

But sometimes it simply isn't convenient to substitute ingredients.  Perhaps all you have in your cupboard are potatoes.  Perhaps you are having one of those days where the kids are screaming specifically for mashed potatoes.  We've all been there.  So, when life gives you potatoes, I say, "Make colcannon!"

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish consisting of mashed potatoes and greens.  Because dark leafy greens are nutrition powerhouses, they can really amplify the nutritional value of your meals.  In the following video, I show you how to make colcannon using kale and leeks:

Here is the link to the recipe I used to make the colcannon dish featured in the video above:

Friday, October 3, 2014

How to Cook Healthy Food For Kids : White Bean Starch for White Potato Starch, A Battle of Wits

Do you ever feel like you are in an epic battle of wits with your kid?  And do you feel like somehow you are constantly on the losing end of that battle?  It never ceases to amaze me that I am able to be outwitted by a three-year-old.  Like a trained pharmaceutical representative, Colin has somehow mastered the art of getting me to verbally commit to something and then holding me up to that commitment at a later date.  "Remember how you said you would take me to the playground on Thursday?  Well, today is Thursday."  Sometimes I'll gloss over a few words while reading Colin a bedtime story.  But, when I turn the page, my son will turn the page back and point out that I skipped some words.  At the end of the day, I put away his toys.  But, the next morning Colin will go to the exact spot where he had left his toys and ask me where his toys went.  The kid has a memory like a steel trap.  I blame his mom.  

Of course, some of the most epic battle of wits come at the dinner table.  Some battles are not worth fighting.  Some battles really put me at my wit's end.  Still other battles are worth fighting, but as a parent, you need to know how to fight the good fight.  You've got to stay one step ahead of kids, anticipate their complaints, and give them food that satisfies your own sensibilities of healthiness while also satisfying their taste buds.  For instance, instead of mashed white potatoes, try a healthier white starch like pureed white beans.  Beans are a resistant starch that are much lower in glycemic index than are white potatoes.  Check out my epic battle of wits with Colin in this week's video, an homage to a scene from the movie, The Princess Bride.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...