(Culinary.net) Feeding an entire family can be difficult enough on its own with busy evenings full of hustle and bustle. One additional factor that can cause even more headaches is dealing with a picky eater, especially a child whose preferred menu ranges from hot dogs to candy.
If you’re looking to widen the palate of your picky eater (or eaters), consider these tips to start down a path toward a more expansive slate of family meals.
Loading up your little ones’ plates with steamed veggies and sauteed fish may be a surefire way to send them to the pantry for a less nutritious snack. Instead, try combining personal favorites with small portions of foods you’d like to introduce, such as chicken nuggets alongside green beans or topping pizza with black olives.
Don’t Force It
While it can be frustrating to constantly hear “no” to fruits and veggies, forcing them upon children may turn them away for good. In addition, a struggle over eating certain foods may create a constant sense of frustration around mealtime, which may only decrease a child’s desire to expand his or her horizons.
Create a Fun Experience
Remember not every meal has to include something new. On occasion, mix up mealtime by serving your children’s favorites, even if it’s as simple as a hamburger or as creative as breakfast for dinner.
Bring Your Sidekicks to the Store
Introducing your children to the place your family’s food comes from may help them feel more comfortable with new flavors. Plus, by letting them in on the shopping process, you can have some help choosing foods they’re more likely to be willing to try.
Let Children Help Cook
Much like choosing their own ingredients increases the likelihood they’ll try something new, perhaps becoming part of the cooking process can help children see how a meal comes together. It doesn’t have to be a gourmet experience – simply seasoning roasted asparagus with salt and olive oil, for example, can introduce your up-and-coming chefs to the kitchen while helping make the cooking (and eating) process a fun adventure.
For more food tips and kid-friendly recipes, visit Culinary.net.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
(Family Features) For many people, the New Year brings the resolve to just say no to indulgent food and drink, to inactivity and to a host of other unhealthy habits.
However, you can also approach your reset with balance and positive thinking. This can be your year to say "yes" and rework the all-or-nothing mentality, which can be a more mindful way to reach your goals.
From eating with purpose to finding healthier options for tasty meals, making small changes can help you reap rewards throughout the year. Start 2018 with a clean slate of practical and attainable eating goals that are realistic for the life you want to lead by shopping at a grocery store like ALDI, a one-stop shop with a wide selection of high-quality, affordable food choices. Whether you follow a paleo, plant-based or organic eating plan, all of the following nutritious options can be incorporated into your lifestyle and budget for less than $20:
- SimplyNature Organic Coconut Oil: This trendy ingredient can elevate better-for-you recipes like this Cranberry Orange Chia Granola. You can also use it as a replacement for butter or vegetable oil because it's a versatile choice for both sweet and savory dishes.
- SimplyNature Chia Seeds: Use chia seeds to top your smoothie, overnight oats or make chia pudding in the morning for an easy way to power up the most important meal of the day. Chia seeds serve up protein, fiber and antioxidants.
- Earth Grown Black Bean or Veggie Burgers: If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or just want to join the Meatless Monday movement, black bean burgers are one option to try.
- Earth Grown Vegan Shredded Cheese: This dairy-free cheese is a tasty addition to vegan recipes.
- SimplyNature Organic Popcorn: Movie nights call for popcorn, and this organic version can quickly become a family favorite. Each serving provides 3 grams of both fiber and protein.
Part of making healthy choices includes finding quick and easy recipes. Discover how easy it is to make fresh meals at home with this better-for-you recipe and find more options at aldi.us.
Cranberry Orange Chia Granola
Recipe courtesy of Chef Linsey, ALDI Test Kitchen
- 2 1/2 cups Millville Old Fashioned Oats
- 6 ounces Southern Grove Shelled Pistachios, chopped
- 1/4 cup SimplyNature Chia Seeds
- 5 ounces Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 3/4 cup SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey
- 3 tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Pure Vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Stonemill Essentials Sea Salt Grinder
- Heat oven to 325 F.
- In large bowl, combine oats, pistachios, chia seeds, cranberries and orange zest. Toss until orange zest is evenly distributed.
- In separate medium bowl, combine honey, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Heat in microwave 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking in 30-second intervals until coconut oil is melted.
- Add honey mixture to oat mixture. Toss until thoroughly coated. Transfer to parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet. Spread into even layer and bake in center of oven 20 minutes. Stir and continue cooking until evenly browned, about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Serve with yogurt or enjoy on its own.
Note: Granola can be stored in airtight container up to 3 weeks.
(Family Features) Putting healthy meals on the table continues to be a year-round goal for many families, one that can become more difficult with the satisfying and savory flavors of comfort-food season. From breakfast to dinner and every meal in-between, it can feel daunting to prepare simple and nutritious recipes without sacrificing taste.
While seeking healthier options for day-to-day meal planning and preparation, it’s important to start your decision-making at the grocery store. Look for items like all-natural Pure Farmland Bacon, made from pork raised without antibiotics. In addition, it contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives, MSG or added hormones, so you can feel good about incorporating a family favorite like bacon into any meal of the day.
Start the day with Baked Eggs in Avocado with Bacon, combining superfoods with a protein boost for an ideal, health-conscious breakfast. When it’s time to gather for a family dinner, try something new such as Bacon and Spaghetti Squash Fritter with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce for a filling and flavorful meal that can please nearly any palate.
Find more recipes that keep nutrition top of mind without forgoing flavor at farmlandfoods.com.
Baked Eggs in Avocado with Bacon
Prep time: 30 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 avocado, halved and pitted
- 2 eggs
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 2 slices Pure Farmland All-Natural Uncured Bacon, cooked, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- smoked paprika, for garnish
- hot sauce, for garnish (optional)
- Heat oven to 425° F. Spray baking sheet or glass baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Scoop additional 1-2 tablespoons out of avocado halves to create wells for eggs.
- Place avocados flesh-side up on prepared baking sheet or glass pan. Gently crack one egg in each avocado well, keeping yolks intact. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until eggs reach desired temperature.
- Add salt and pepper, to taste. Top with crumbled bacon, Parmesan cheese and chopped chives. Garnish with paprika and hot sauce, if desired.
Bacon and Spaghetti Squash Fritter with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Prep time: 45 minutes
Bacon-Spaghetti Squash Fritter:
- 4 cups cooked spaghetti squash
- 6 slices Pure Farmland All-Natural Uncured Bacon, cooked, chopped, fat reserved
- 4 green onions, white parts only, sliced thin
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 roasted red peppers, fresh or jarred
- 4 plum tomatoes, roasted, skins removed
- 3/4 cup almonds, toasted
- 4 cloves garlic, roasted
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- To make Bacon–Spaghetti Squash Fritter: Place spaghetti squash in large bowl. Add bacon, green onions, eggs and cheese. Stir to combine. Add flour and mix until combined. Form into patties.
- Heat large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat. Add fritters in batches and cook until well browned on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
- To make Romesco Sauce: In food processor, pulse roasted red peppers, plum tomatoes, almonds, garlic, sherry vinegar, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper to combine. Slowly add in olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Pour Romesco Sauce over Bacon-Spaghetti Squash Fritter before serving.
(Family Features) When school is back in session, the real test for parents is not in the classroom, but in the kitchen. Between breakfast, lunch and dinner - not to mention snacks - meal planning seems endless and daunting.
With convenient options like canned ingredients on-hand, parents can have the makings of a wholesome homemade meal right at their fingertips.
Canned foods not only help cut down on prep time in the kitchen, but also deliver nutritional benefits. In fact, kids and adults who use six or more canned foods per week are more likely to have diets higher in 17 essential nutrients, according to a study published in "Nutrients." Plus, cans provide year-round access to seasonal fruits and vegetables, and keep food fresh and flavorful without the need for preservatives and additives.
From on-the-go breakfasts like Vegetable Frittata Minis to hearty dinners like this Beef and Vegetable Soup and everything in-between, a well-stocked pantry - or your "cantry" - full of canned proteins, fruits, vegetables and soups can help busy parents get through the week with creative meals they can feel good about serving their families.
For more information about the nutritional benefits of cooking with canned foods and to find flavorful recipes for the back-to-school season, visit CansGetYouCooking.com.
Tuna Sliders with Green Chilies
Recipe courtesy of Cans Get You Cooking
- 1 can (5-ounce) tuna, packed in water, drained and flaked
- 1 can (4.25-ounce) chopped green chilies
- 1/4 cup diced celery
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- 6 slider rolls, split
- lettuce leaves
- In large bowl, combine tuna, green chilies, celery, red onion, mayonnaise and chopped cilantro; toss to mix well.
- Top bottom half of each roll with lettuce leaves; top with some tuna mixture and top half of roll.
Beef and Vegetable Soup
Recipe courtesy of Cans Get You Cooking
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) low-sodium beef broth
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) sliced carrots, drained
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) cut green beans
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 cup cooked egg noodles
- In 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, in hot oil, cook ground beef until well browned on all sides, stirring frequently. With slotted spoon, remove beef to bowl.
- In drippings remaining in saucepan over medium heat, cook onion and garlic until tender-crisp.
- Add beef broth, carrots, green beans, stewed tomatoes, basil and ground beef; over high heat, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10-15 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. Stir in cooked egg noodles.
Vegetable Frittata Minis
Recipe courtesy of Cans Get You Cooking
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 can (8 ounces) mixed vegetables, drained
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 375° F. Spray mini muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.
- In large bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt, pepper and basil to blend well. Stir in mixed vegetables and Parmesan cheese.
- Fill prepared pans with egg mixture. Bake until egg mixture puffs and is just set in center, about 8-10 minutes.
- With rubber spatula, loosen frittatas from muffin cups and slide onto platter.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin and Chocolate Chip Bread
Recipe courtesy of Cans Get You Cooking
Servings: 20 (2 loaves)
- 4 cups oat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
- 2 cups chopped walnuts
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Heat oven to 350° F. Grease two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans. In large bowl, combine oat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- In large bowl using mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, oat flour mixture and pumpkin; beat until just blended. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips. Spoon mixture into prepared pans.
- Bake 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely.
- In small bowl, stir confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle mixture over pumpkin bread.
Source: Cans Get You Cooking
(Family Features) Even if you’ve mastered the art of a smart workday lunch and can pick the most nutritious items on a restaurant menu like a pro, eating healthy at home is an unexpected downfall many people face.
When you find the chance to take a break from the busy pace of life and spend some time at home, it can be easy to slip into an all-indulgence mindset. Just remember that doesn’t have to mean going all-out on junk food.
Enjoy the comforts of home and keep your eating on track with these helpful tips.
When you’re spending time with family
It’s easy to catch a carefree spirit while you’re running the bases in an impromptu game of backyard baseball or being tempted by yet another imaginary dessert from the kiddie kitchen. When playtime winds down for dinner, there’s no reason for the fun to stop. Have kids get hands-on to help assemble a healthy meal everyone can enjoy. Skip the cutting, peeling and mess by using Dole Jarred Fruit to prepare salads, desserts and even main dishes that satisfy the whole family’s sweet tooth.
When you’re tackling chores
From seasonal landscaping to the myriad projects you’ve been putting off, the list of chores around the house may seem never-ending. Remember to stay hydrated, especially if you’re working outdoors, and be sure you make time to eat, even if it’s just a quick bite to keep you fueled. Air-popped crackers and hummus is a smart alternative to chips and dip, or get your pick-me-up from a handful of nuts and a serving of sweet, juicy fruit.
When you want to be a couch potato
When a new TV season begins this fall, keep your guilty pleasure in check with quick, healthy dishes to enjoy as you binge watch your favorite shows. Keep your kitchen stocked with ingredients such as high quality, ready-to-eat Dole Jarred Fruit so you can create quick and easy snacks with a serving of fruit in between episodes or during a commercial break.
Tickle your taste buds with these tricks that transform a kitchen staple like jarred fruit into a tasty treat:
- Brighten up bland yogurt or frozen waffles with a serving of jarred fruit, such as sliced peaches or mandarin oranges.
- Dip jarred pineapple chunks in melted chocolate and pop them in the freezer until hardened.
- Top a serving of jarred tropical fruit with coconut flakes for an island escape.
For more recipes you can enjoy at home, visit dolesunshine.com.
Total time: 10 minutes
- 1 jar (23.5 ounces) Dole Pineapple Chunks
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 2 vanilla wafers, crushed
- Measure 1/2 cup drained fruit.
- Spoon pineapple chunks into dessert glass. Spoon yogurt over pineapple. Sprinkle crushed wafers on top.
Tropical Rum Raisin Dessert
Total time: 30 minutes
- 1 jar (23.5 ounces) Dole Tropical Fruit, drained, juice reserved
- 1/2 cup Dole Seedless Raisins
- 1/4 cup spiced or coconut rum
- 2 cups vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, divided
- 4 teaspoons toasted shredded coconut, divided
- Place fruit in medium bowl and set aside. In small bowl, combine raisins, rum and 1/4 cup reserved juice. Allow raisins to soak at least 20 minutes until plump. Drain off liquid.
- Combine fruit and rum raisins; spoon into serving bowls. Top each bowl with 1/2 cup scoop of ice cream and top each with 1 teaspoon toasted coconut.
Tip: 1/2 teaspoon rum extract and 1/2 cup reserved juice may be used instead of rum.
Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Total time: 15 minutes
- 1/2 cup refrigerated cooked chicken breast strips
- 2 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves
- 1/2 cup Dole Mandarin Oranges, drained
- 2 teaspoons slivered almonds
- 1 tablespoon light Asian salad dressing
- Divide chicken equally inside two lettuce leaves, making two wraps.
- Add 1/4 cup of Dole Mandarin Oranges and 1 teaspoon slivered almonds into each wrap.
- Serve lettuce wraps with light Asian salad dressing for dipping.
Orange Chipotle Avocado Toast
Total time: 10 minutes
- 1 slice whole wheat bread
- 1/2 avocado, diced or smashed
- 1/3 cup Dole Mandarin Oranges, drained
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
- 1/4 lime
- Lightly toast whole-wheat bread and top with diced avocado. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- In medium bowl, toss oranges with chipotle peppers.
- Spoon oranges over avocado toast and finish with a squeeze of lime.
Tip: For spicier toast, include pepper seeds. For more mild heat, remove seeds. A sprinkle of chili pepper can also be used to add spice.
(Family Features) Whether you’re a competitive sprinter chasing a new record or an everyday gym hound looking to get the most from your workout, seafood is among the best foods to support an athletic lifestyle. It not only delivers great-tasting nutrition, but also provides one-of-a-kind health benefits.
The combination of lean protein, anti-inflammatory omega-3s and muscle-building nutrients found in Alaska seafood are why it’s a staple for athletes like Ryan and Sara Hall.
“We like to incorporate Alaska seafood in our daily diet because it’s a really high-quality protein that helps to repair our muscles on a daily basis,” said Ryan Hall, a two-time Olympian and holder of the U.S. half-marathon record.
After a run, Sara Hall – a 3,000-meter steeplechase and marathon runner, U.S. national champion and World Team member – relies on seafood as a go-to for low-fat meals with protein and simple-to-digest carbs.
Sample these dishes straight from the Hall kitchen, and find more recipes and nutritional values for your favorite seafood at wildalaskaseafood.com.
Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon with Sweet Potatoes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Cedar planks with enough surface area for salmon
- 4 Alaska salmon fillets (4-6 ounces each), fresh, thawed or frozen
- olive oil spray
- 1 tablespoon fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) dill, thyme or rosemary
- salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 4 large sweet potatoes, sliced lengthwise into wedges
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
- Soak cedar planks for 1-2 hours (or overnight) submerged in water. Remove and pat dry.
- Heat grill to medium heat (400° F). If frozen, rinse ice from salmon under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Spray cedar planks and salmon with olive oil spray. Place salmon on planks; sprinkle with herb, salt and pepper. Place sweet potatoes in bowl; spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cumin and salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to coat.
- Place cedar planks and potato wedges on grill. Cover and cook about 3-4 minutes; turn wedges over and continue cooking until potatoes are soft and cooked. Keep warm. Cook salmon 12-15 minutes, until fish is opaque throughout.
Nutritional information per serving: 350 calories; 11 g total fat; 2 g saturated fat; 27% calories from fat; 91 mg cholesterol; 33 g protein; 33 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 277 mg sodium; 36 mg calcium; 1,700 mg omega-3 fatty acids.
Pan-Seared Cod over Minted Pea Puree
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 pounds frozen or fresh peas, blanched
- 1 package (0.6-0.7 ounces) fresh mint, leaves only
- salt, to taste
- 4 Alaska cod fillets (4-6 ounces each), fresh, frozen or thawed
- olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- Add water, peas and mint to blender or food processor; season with salt. Puree until almost smooth. Cover and keep warm.
- If frozen, rinse ice glaze from cod under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Heat heavy, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of fillets with olive oil.
- In heated skillet, cook cod, uncovered, about 3-4 minutes, until browned. Shake pan occasionally to keep fish from sticking. Turn cod over and sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning. Cover pan tightly and reduce heat to medium. Cook an additional 6-9 minutes for frozen cod or 3-4 minutes for fresh/thawed fish. Cook until fish is opaque throughout.
- To serve, spoon pea puree onto 4 plates. Top each with cod fillet and serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving: 319 calories; 5 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 13% calories from fat; 65 mg cholesterol; 37 g protein; 34 g carbohydrate; 12 g fiber; 393 mg sodium; 101 mg calcium; 28 IU vitamin D; 200 mg omega-3 fatty acids.
Miso Halibut with Soba Noodle Stir-Fry
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 package (12 ounces) prepared soba noodles (or noodle of choice)
- 4 Alaska halibut fillets (4-6 ounces each), fresh, thawed or frozen
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 2 cups roughly chopped bok choy
- 1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
- 1/4 cup miso
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
- Prepare noodles according to package directions; set aside.
- If frozen, rinse ice glaze from halibut under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Heat large, nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of halibut with half of the sesame oil.
- In heated skillet, cook fish, uncovered, about 3-4 minutes, until browned.
- Shake pan occasionally to keep fish from sticking. Turn halibut over; reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook 5-7 minutes for frozen halibut or 2-3 minutes for fresh/thawed fish, cooking until fish is opaque throughout. Transfer fillets to plate; cover to keep warm.
- Wipe out skillet/wok with paper towel. Add remaining sesame oil. Heat to medium-high then add and stir-fry bok choy, snap peas, mushrooms and green onions. Stir in noodles; turn off heat. Cover and keep warm.
- In saucepan, blend miso, water and teriyaki sauce. Bring mixture to boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook 1 minute. Stir sauce into warm noodle-vegetable mixture. To serve, divide and portion mixture into 4 bowls or plates. Top each with halibut fillet.
Nutrition information per serving: 571 calories; 15 g total fat; 2 g saturated fat; 22% calories from fat; 56 mg cholesterol; 38 g protein; 71 g carbohydrate; 7 g fiber; 1,643 mg sodium; 77 mg calcium; 219 IU vitamin D; 350 mg omega-3 fatty acids.