Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A New Grain for Us

Our friend Michelle Stern at What's Cooking with Kids challenged her readers to try a new grain this week. That is not hard for us because we do not eat much in the way of whole grains. We may have them ground up  into flour or baked into bread but in the true form they are foreign to our plates. I have tried serving brown rice with mixed results. After asking Michelle's advice I found something that will work, short-grain brown rice. It cooks up as fast as white rice and is still soft enough to eat. Today I had the girls help me make it into a meal with some vegetable sauce.
Audrey and Maurene's Tasks:

  1. Add rice and water to rice cooker
  2. Spoon sauce into pyrex
  3. Operate microwave
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Assist girls
  2. Serve meal
We had a wonderfully healthy meal of short-grain brown rice with tomato vegetable sauce and a salad made with an almost burgundy leaf lettuce, cantaloupe, and bacon. The girls had fresh berries on the side while I simply had more salad. I put a little broccoli flower in the rice and they both picked it out and nibbled on it. Edible flowers might be an area we explore soon.
Audrey and Maurene both ate all of their fruit and bacon from the salad. Neither cared for the red lettuce. Audrey claimed to not like the rice but once she tried it she ate most without another word. Maurene did not want to try the rice but when I offered her a small bite she ate it willingly and without complaint. This is a small victory for our house. It was an easier mission to carry out because the girl's daddy is away currently. Sometimes he is the pickiest eater. How to deal with that problem?

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  1. Ask him sweetly out the girls earshot, "Will you please help me encourage the girls to try new foods by either trying new foods or at least being very careful not to make negative commets?" And if he forgets, ask him in the smae way again after the meal is over.

    Otherwise, just do your best to really play up trying new foods away from the table. At the store or market, "It's so fun to try new foods! I can't wait to get home and see what this taste like! God made such a wonderful variety for us!"

    Or the old standby at our house, don't serve it to them. Make yourself and nice plate of yummy food and try to sit down to relax and eat it by yourself. They are likely to come swarming like flies. At our house it sounds like this, "May I have some?" "Aa um?" "Hmmm mmmm mmm?"

    Do your girls do a lot of sampling while you're preparing? The girls are always popping stuff in their mouths. That's how we discovered raw sweet potatoes are pretty good.

  2. I seem to be hitting lots of quinoa recipes lately--must be the trendy new grain or something. Your pictures have just reminded me that I have a rice cooker...may have to see how the quinoa does in that?

  3. Please share if quinoa works in the rice cooker. Just got a bag this week from the bulk section and was thinking of trying to bake with it like you would leftover rice.

  4. Thanks for the tips, Katie! I have had some success with a 'hands off, that is mommy's' approach before.
    He is aware of the need to teach healthy eating but feels if he does not like it they should not be asked to try it. When I met him he was living off take out and boxed mac 'n cheese. Still would if I was not around.


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