Kids in the Kitchen - Raw Food Recipes Kids and Moms Can Agree On
Posted on June 01 2010 | (6) Comments
Category:Raw Kid-Friendly Foods
Trying to get kids to eat anything can be a real uphill battle. And when the word ‘healthy’ is attached, the work gets twice as hard. But I’ve found a way to turn kids on to eating healthy fresh fruits and fresh vegetables. The trick is to let them prepare their own raw food recipes.
In my original cookbook Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 and my follow-up dessert cookbook Raw for Dessert, there are tons of recipes that even the youngest child can be enjoying making and eating. Without no danger from boiling water, stovetop burners, or a hot oven to content with, welcoming kids into the kitchen is stress-free and fun.
I Made It Myself
The same sense of pride and ownership that adult chefs get when they cook is how children feel when they create a delicious raw food meal that everyone in the family enjoys. And, let’s be honest, food just tastes better when you can say, “I made it myself.”
Children’s tastebuds are different than adults, but their palates are developing. So introducing them to the pleasures of the more subtle, but delicious flavor of raw foods, particularly fresh fruit, can help to steer them away from processed treats that are unhealthy, unnatural, and merely ‘fruit flavored.’
The Best Desserts Start with Fresh Fruit
Kids are instinctively drawn to the bright colors, odd shapes, and sweet juicy flavors of fruit. So the obvious choice for ‘My First Raw Food Dish’ for children is a dish that features fruit as a main ingredient. Raw food desserts are a wonderful way to expose kids to the genuine good taste of fresh fruit, but don’t overlook the appeal of serving fruit ‘naked.’
Serve up a bowl of frozen blueberries for an icy treat after dinner. Rather than a handful of animal crackers as an after-school snack, give kids a handful of grapes or a handful of cherries...and have fun spitting out the pits. These are all raw foods, but to kids, they’re just ‘good foods’.
Any child can be a raw food Picasso, using fresh fruit. Simply cut up a variety of fresh fruits such as watermelon, figs, plums, etc. and let your little artist arrange them creatively on a platter. My Summer Fruit Platter recipe makes a presentation that is as beautiful as it is delicious, with an array of reds, pinks, and purples. The same is true for the Tropical Fruit Tart.
The fruit tart preparation is a little more complicated since the dessert includes both a raw food crust and a raw food version of pastry cream. But believe me...it’s worth the effort.
Blenders are quite safe, so even a young child can get into the act with this raw food dessert recipes.
Pudding is an extremely kid-friendly dessert, and one of my favorite raw food dessert recipes is for Mango Pudding. You place fresh and dried mangoes in a blender and process it until it’s smooth, rich, and creamy. Top with berries, another raw food favorite, or kiwifruit.
Of course, getting a kid to vegetables is the real challenge. But there, too, raw food recipes can save the day.
A Vegetable’s Best Friend...and Mom’s, Too
Want to get kids – and grown-ups – to eat more vegetables? Simple crunchy veggies like celery, carrots, cucumbers, and red pepper take on a whole new dimension when they’re all dressed up with a tasty raw food spread or served with a luxuriously creamy raw food dip. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night it might be, you can always whip up a raw food treat in no time – even for a midnight snack.
For example, if you have minced onion and crushed garlic on hand, your kids can whip up a raw food guacamole recipe in about 5 minutes with fresh avocado and lime juice. Or try shaving long, thin strips of zucchini with a vegetable peeler, spread on a layer of Walnut Pate (raw walnuts with lemon juice, oil, and seasonings) and make tasty roll-ups that will disappear as fast as you prepare them.
Walnut pate can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator, so kids can reach for it whenever they have an appetite. The recipe can also be made with pecans.
Make This Now
Another way to turn vegetables into treats is with my Not Tuna Pate, It can also double as a sandwich spread. Here are the ingredients:
- 1/2 cup soaked raw sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup soaked raw almonds
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced celery
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, you’re just two steps away from an amazing raw food appetizer. Place the sunflower seeds, almonds, water, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor fitted with the S-blade and process into a paste. Be sure to stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
When you’re happy with the consistency, add the celery, onion, and parsley and pulse briefly, just to mix. You don’t want to over process these ingredients, or they’ll lose all their texture. (The flavor is still great, however!)