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:

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