Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More zucchini and tip #2

There is no more luscious aroma than that that wafts from a basket of Concord grapes I have sitting on my kitchen counter. It’s Tuesday, so we went to the farmers’ market. We saw our farmer friends Melissa and Mrs. Skibbe. We bought those grapes; teeny, tiny red Caviar tomatoes (the size of small peas!), a firm full creamy white head of cauliflower; apple cider donuts (of course); and zucchini. Yes, I know it’s not logical to pay for zucchini at this stage of the summer. But I panicked when I thought of the stack of zucchini recipes I still had in my “to-make” pile. How can I possibly wait until next summer to create a modified version of Taste of Home's curry(!) zucchini soup – besides it’s chillier now – perfect soup weather. And there’s a third zucchini pancake recipe I just have to try. Plus, S. again uttered, “Zucchini, that’s my favorite.” She told this to Farmer Melissa….and that’s a hint to a second tip on getting get your kids to eat healthy.

Tip #2: Get your kids involved in the process of bringing food from the farm (or the farmers’ market, or the supermarket) to the table. I grew up on a ranch in Montana, so it was pretty straight-forward for my parents to teach my sisters and I where our food came from; we grew it and then we ate it. I helped my mom milk the cow, can pears from our orchard and freeze green beans from our garden.

My daughters are growing up in suburban Chicago. So it’s not as simple to make the connection from farm to table. But we’ve tried. And it’s been fun! We know the farmers from our farmers’ market by name. As a result of our weekly visits, Sophia has not only learned where strawberries and asparagus come from, but also that they were just available at the beginning of the summer – and now they’re gone. But then it was peach, green bean, zucchini and tomato season. Now, it’s apple, squash, pumpkin and still zucchini season.

And yes, S. eats all those veggies – although her green beans must be accompanied by a side of ketchup for dipping. According to this dietitian, ketchup was made for dipping a lot more veggies than just fried potatoes. Fried zucchini and ketchup is good too.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Green and red sandwiches and tip #1

We ate strange sounding sandwiches tonight. They were grated zucchini and imitation crab salad on toast. (And no the zucchini wasn’t stealthily hidden; in fact the green zucchini and specks of fresh mint were quite attractive against the red and white imitation crab chunks.) My three-year-old ate hers right up. And there, sandwiched between two pieces of wheat toast lies a good tip.

Tip #1. Involve kids in the kitchen. Tonight Sophi helped me pick the fresh mint from our rather overgrown flower bed, cut crab chunks with her kids' knife and mix in the mayo.

Start the kids in the kitchen early. Sophi was helping me mix with a spoon and bowl at age two. And now, she asks to help every night; which can really prolong the dinner-making process. But it’s worth it when she tells her pediatrician that broccoli is her favorite food to eat – and cut up with her kids’ knife.

Our kitchen adventures in the last week or so have included a luscious Lemon Cheese, pear-applesauce, pear muffins and applesauce cookies. (Can you tell it’s pear and apple season?) We also made sushi. Sophi was especially excited about that thanks to the fun rhymes in a favorite book, My First Sushi Book by Amy Wilson Sanger.

Yet like many moms, I still feel harried…most of time, and so carving out the time to spend with Sophi creating something delicious sometimes requires precision scheduling and sometimes it requires us to just drop everything and go cook. How about tonight?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hi there

So, you happened to stumble across my blog. I know. There are already a zillion food blogs (lots of really good ones) and about a half zillion mom blogs. (Good for you moms – won’t you look back and smile at the days you’ve captured in print?) Well, my contribution to the blogosphere is rather selfish. I love to write about food and being a mom is the best thing ever. I’m also a registered dietitian. So if you’d care to read on, I’m planning a unique recipe for miripoix. Instead of the classic miripoix (and fancy French term) for sauteed carrots, onion and celery, mine will be a mix of food writing, chronicles of kitchen adventures with my kids and a sprinkling of tips for helping kids eat healthy.

I certainly hope the tips may help your kids utter something similar to the comment of my three-year-old Sophi last night, “Oh, zucchini, my favorite!”

I also have a nine-month old infant daughter. So if my sentences are sometimes a bit run-on or there’s a typo here and there, please forgive me. I’m just having fun.

For now, welcome to my blog, and please, visit any time. And when you do, don’t be too surprised by the occasional tip on where to find good home-made donuts. Yes, dietitians eat donuts…at least this one does.