Monday, May 28, 2012

Making E the A to Z - Corn, cucumbers, cottage cheese

Technically I feel like we already hit C doing the Ants on a Log since neither child had previously eaten celery. E had licked it but never actually chowed it down. There was also the Cauliflower Mac and Cheese. But then that would be lazy of me, and the whole point is to keep pushing forward with new foods and hoping they are liked. So for this week, I offer up corn on the cob, cottage cheese, and cucumbers.

Corn on the cob is a familiar food. I have found that E is more open to trying a new one, if there is a familiar back up.  I buy this mainly in summer because I can't stand the way the ones available year round in the freezer taste, and because most produce bought in its naturally occurring season will taste way better than any other time of year. I keep it simple by boiling 8 cups of water, adding the corn, cooking for 8 minutes.  We have those handy little skewers for the kids to pick it up and eat easily. No butter, no salt. I brush mine with olive oil and sprinkle on pepper, but the girls flip if I embellish theirs.

Cucumbers were new. I peeled the skins and cut them into slices. Were they accepted? Nope. Not the regular kind. I was told the taste was too sour. I then tried the English seedless cucumbers and served them also peeled and sliced more thinly. Those were gobbled by both kids!

English cucumbers were a hit

Ah, cottage cheese. Both E and H literally cringe at the word 'cheese'. Even though it is on pizza and in mac and cheese. What's the difference between that cheese and say a slice of cheddar, or string cheese? It's melted and "it makes it not cheese anymore". Must be a textural thing? So how could I present cottage cheese? Let's face it, it doesn't really look appealing. And kids are visual. They assume that if it looks icky or weird, it will taste that way.
So I gave 2 cups 2% cottage cheese a spin in the food processor mixed with enough (2%)  milk to make it smooth, which was about 1 3/4 cup. Then I added a box of sugar free, fat free vanilla jello pudding mix. This made about 4 cups of pudding. A one cup serving has about 159 calories, 4.9 g fat, 11 g carbohydrate, and a whopping 17 g protein.

Did it get eaten? Yes, so much so that I was asked if I could make chocolate pudding and banana pudding too. Did I tell them it had cottage cheese? Not yet. Yes, a little on the deceptive side, but they eat so few healthy sources of protein that I think this pudding will just have secret ingredients for now. :)



Sunday, May 27, 2012

Making E the A to Z - B is for Banana "caterpillars" and bruschetta

This post is later than expected. E had a raging fever and severe sore throat all week, which does not make for eating much of anything!

We finally got around to our B foods. The first - Banana Caterpillars - is the familiar one. I've made it in the past and it is also easy and great for breakfast or a snack. The second one we tried is Bruschetta. I decided on this since it is similar to pizza but different enough with the use of fresh tomatoes versus a canned sauce.

Banana Caterpillars

Slice one banana. Put a squirt of honey on each slice, and stick them together. Break some pretzels to make legs and add to each side of the banana. Use raisins or chocolate chips for eyes, and stick to one end of caterpillar with a little honey. I have also used Nutella or peanut butter instead of honey. Sometimes I don't use anything between the slices as bananas are usually sticky enough - this usually only happens when the kids wake me up and demand breakfast before I've made coffee! :)



Bruschetta
E did eat one slice, but only after I told her Bruschetta is the Italian version of bread pizza *sigh*. I would say she was ambivalent about this one. She did not ask for seconds, but didn't outright deny it. 

Ingredients: a french baguette, 2 tomatoes (I like the 'on the vine' ones), extra virgin olive oil, a clove of garlic, freshly grated Parmesan cheese (you could use the Kraft grated, but it's a level below fresh stuff)

Slice baguette. Put slices on baking sheet and brush with a little olive oil. 

Most recipes have you dice the tomatoes, but I decided to chop them up with the garlic in my food processor. I wanted something between a puree and salsa. 

Spoon a little of tomato onto each bread slice. Two tomatoes made enough for 18 slices.
Sprinkle with some parmesan cheese.

Broil for about 2 minutes. I went for three, but you can see the bread got a little burnt. Luckily I just had to trim those  edges off before serving it to the kids. 





Friday, May 18, 2012

The power of TV...and A to Z food

It has been a while since my last post. Honestly, this year I have undergone a combination of not wanting to blog, not having much to blog about due to a recent 'eating rut' on E's part, and a hectic paced project at work.
Then we went on a short trip and I was able to relax - a lot. E also had a well check where her pediatrician asked her directly about her eating habits. And she answered truthfully for the most part that she liked pizza, cheerios, pbj sandwiches and apples. She wasn't far from the mark. Throw in bananas and that was about what she ate for a couple months. So the doctor (who we LOVE) had an earnest chat about what happens if you eat only one or to foods and asked E to do her best to have 2 fruits or vegetables at every meal. The best thing is the challenge took! She has asked for it every meal, and got pretty upset one day when I had only one fruit because I had not gone grocery shopping.

But I was still in a bit of a rut about whether to blog or what to blog. Then I was catching up on some reading of other blogs, and came across the A to Z Challenge that occurred in April. Inspiration struck! I asked E what she thought about trying a new food every week that starts with each letter of the alphabet. She countered with why not have a fruit or vegetable that way? That got me a little worried because she tends to like her fruit and vegetables minimally prepared - raw, chopped tiny, and not mixed with other things. How boring would it be to post pics of sliced apple or little broccoli flora? Yes, exciting that she eats them, but my foodie side was screaming for a little attention. Okay, a LOT of attention.

I was stewing over what to do when we watched a Special Agent Oso episode where the challenge was to make 'Ants on a Log'. E asked, "Mom, does Ants on a Log start with A? Cause I want it for my A food when you start making me the A to Z." And so I found a way to begin what I've pegged the Making E the A to Z. My only rule or goal is to do one a week. And although the actual basic food may not begin with the letter of the week, we'll try to make up a catchy title for the recipe.

Making E the A to Z: Apples & Ants on a Log (apparently I still have to do a fruit or veggie starting with the veggie too! :) )
I used the more tender part of the celery and peeled the outer layer to minimize those tough fibers. Added a little peanut butter and Craisins for the ants. You can also try cream cheese, or just a  drizzle of honey to get the "ants" to stick.

She ate it and asked for more. YES!
I had to post a 'pre'-photo because she did the food arrangement herself. 

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