Friday, October 15, 2010

Surprise success - green rice recipe

I found a recipe the other day for a brown rice and spinach bake that the author swore her two children loved. I thought that there would be no way that I could get Leo to eat this sort of thing so I set out to prove her wrong. I kept pretty close to the recipe but changed a few things to make it a bit more kid/Leo friendly

Initially I thought I was right that this recipe was a reject as Leo immediately asked to get out of his chair when I served it up but once he tried it properly he ate most of the bowl so that will show me. It's a hard sell but definitely worth a try:

Eleanor's Green Rice Recipe
1 cup brown rice
2 cups vegetable stock
1 onion finely diced
1 tspn olive oil
250 gms frozen spinach
4 eggs
1 handful grated cheddar
1 handful grated parmesan
1/4 cup pine nuts

Put the brown rice and stock into a saucepan, bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Meanwhile toast the pine nuts lightly in a saucepan and put aside. Then heat the olive oil in the same pan and lightly fry the onions in the olive oil until translucent.

Put the eggs and spinach in a blender and blitz until thoroughly mixed. Once rice and onions have cooled mix all ingredients and pour into a well greased pan.

Cook in an oven heated to 180 degrees for 40 minutes until set and lightly browned. Serve and persist with your whingy toddler!

Lying to kids only works once :(

One of the first nutrition books that I got out from the library (I think it was this one by the CSIRO) suggested that rather than tell kids that food was "good for you" or just "healthy"you should try and link the food to a specific outcome. If I remember rightly it used the terrible stereotypes that boys will want to hear that food will make them run fast and girls will want to hear that food will make their hair shiny.
I experimented the very next day by telling Leo that if we put sesame seeds in his porridge they will make him strong and it was a huge success. Most days Leo will ask for porridge with magic seeds to make him strong.
However, when I tried it with carrots (carrots will make you run very fast) it didn't work at all. In fact, every time I've tried it with any other food, it's totally failed.
So while I would totally recommend this tactic of hyping up the nutritional benefits of healthy food, I would definitely say save it for the one food that they otherwise won't eat!!