Meatless Monday–Kids edition

Let’s face it, getting a kid to eat–meatless or otherwise–can be a chore. At my dinner table I hear a lot of, “I don’t like that,” mixed with, “can’t I just have bread?” And I know I’m not alone.

My son is the picky eater of picky eaters. We’ve gone through a mile long list of tricks in order to get him to try new foods–even visiting a occupational therapist for outside help. And it did, for the most part, help.

But it didn’t change one thing–he’s still a kid. And kids, well, they’re picky.

So, how do you get all those healthy and delicious good foods into your growing child? We instated a new rule in our house:

HOUSE RULE: You don’t have to like it, BUT you have to try it.

When we were in OT he was allowed to ‘lick’ or have ‘mouse bites’ of new foods. A safe and easy introduction to attempting a new flavor, but now, we’ve moved beyond the need to ease our way in. We’ve tasted enough foods to move up to full bites. That is what “trying it” means. He has to take a full bite, chew it, and swallow. The food must touch the tongue, and he’s not allowed to complain. Because, as the rule goes, You don’t have to LIKE it, but ya gotta try it.

Now you have the rule in place, so what do you feed them? Simple, your favorite Meatless Monday recipes. (Probably not that simple, is it?)

How about Chickpea Salad Roll Ups? (suitable for kids of all ages and fantastic in lunch boxes ever where.)

First, the salad (from Oh, She Glows)

[Tip: add a tablespoon of Nutritional Yeast* for added nutrition & a couple teaspoons of Braggs Liquid Aminos for added flavor]

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-ounce/425 grams) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons store-bought or homemade vegan mayonnaise (if you’re anti-mayo, switch to apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh dill (optional)
  • 1 1/2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas with a potato masher until flaked in texture.
  2. Stir in the celery, green onions, pickles, bell peppers, mayonnaise, and garlic until combined.
  3. Now, stir in the mustard and dill, and season with the lemon juice, salt, and pepper, adjusting the quantities to taste.

[For the full recipe–follow the link above, or this one.]

Sept Two! Spread it out on a tortilla or sandwich wrap. (I tend to buy the olive oil, organic wraps from Trader Joe’s. They’re kept by the tortillas.)

Spread a thin layer of the chickpeas salad on the wrap. Roll tightly. Cut off ends (because there is never enough filling) and then slice into bite sized pieces.

These roll ups makes a good snack and they travel well.

*Nutritional Yeast!! As a vegan, everyone will ask you about your protein, but it’s never protein that’s an issue. B vitamins are an issues. Taking a supplement, having an injection, or finding other sources of B vitamins is crucial.
One serving (2 TBSPs) of Nutritional Yeast has 130% of your daily B-12 vitamin in take. B-12 is the most elusive B vitamin in all of the vegan diet. Adding two table spoons to different meals will ensure you are getting adequate nutrition. Also, it has a cheese flavor! Add it to popcorn or sprinkle it on mac & cheese.
A cost effective way to buy Nutritional Yeast is in bulk. Check your local health food store to see if they sell in bulk. An online option is Nuts.com. Also remember, a little goes a long way.
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