June 12, 2003 at 1:09 p.m.
Teach them at a young age to be responsible to themselves when making choices as to what to eat and where to eat it.
I’m talking about good foods and eating at the kitchen or dining room table vs. the living room in front of the TV or while playing games on the computer. It’s much easier to wipe off the kitchen table than to wipe up crumbs and unexpected spills from the carpet or between the computer keys. Teach them how to set the table at home so they’ll know what to do when they go to a friend’s or grandma’s and grandpa’s for a meal and are asked to lend a helping hand by doing just that. Remember, where two or more are gathered, there is love, and hopefully good food, in this case!
Let’s have some recipes that your children can fix for themselves when they are responsible for making their meals. Let’s start with breakfast. How about a glass of milk, orange wedges and . . .
CINNAMON FRENCH TOAST
1/4 c. milk
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. vanilla
1 T. margarine or butter
4 slices wheat or white bread (preferably a day or two old)
maple or “lite” pancake syrup or 1/2 t. cinnamon mixed with 2 T. sugar
Put eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla in mixing bowl. Beat well with an eggbeater or wire whisk. Melt margarine in a large frying pan over medium heat. Transfer egg mixture to a shallow dish (a pie pan works well); dip each slice of bread in egg; turning once. Put in frying pan and fry 2-3 minutes or until light brown; turn each slice over with a spatula, cover and fry two minutes or until puffy and light brown. Serve with syrup or sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Serves 1-2 depending on how hungry the eater is.
When I make waffles I always make extra to freeze some (for a quick toaster breakfast to take on camping trips) or you can buy them in the freezer section in the supermarket.
1/2 c. applesauce
1/4 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
4 frozen waffles or 4 slices bread, toasted
margarine or butter (if you wish)
Mix applesauce and nuts in small bowl. If using waffles, toast as you would bread or according to package directions. Spread with margarine and then with applesauce mixture. Eat right away while warm. Don’t forget the milk or hot chocolate. Makes 2 servings.
How about something special for lunch. If the little people are stuck on peanut butter sandwiches, they’ll surely like this . . .
Plain or chunky peanut butter (nuts add protein)
1 banana, cut in 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices
4 slices wheat or white bread
Spread each slice of bread with peanut butter. Lay banana slice on top of two slices bread; put other bread slices on top to make a sandwich or put sliced bananas on all four slices of bread and eat “open-faced.” You might need two bananas if you make them this way.
Eat right away with a glass of milk or chocolate milk and some cheese cubes or raw veggies. Makes two closed sandwiches.
No wieners in the fridge to make a hot dog? Try this . . .
MEAT ‘N CHEESE DOGS
4 slices reduced fat American cheese or mozzarella cheese
4 slices bologna
4 hot dogs buns (lightly spread with margarine or butter)
condiments: mustard, ketchup, pickle relish or dill pickle slices
Lay one slice cheese on top of one slice bologna, roll up tightly to make a log; repeat with rest of cheese and meat and buns.
Put logs into buns, add your favorite condiment. Makes 4 dogs.
Nutritious snacks are an important way to help children meet their daily requirements. They’re good for adults, as well. Keep veggies (baby carrots, 3-inch celery sticks stuffed with low-fat peanut butter and raisins onto log, or cream cheese, raw cauliflower and broccoli florets) and fruits (grape, strawberry, peeled kiwi fruit, orange wedges, etc.)with both of the above washed or ready to eat and in plain sight in the fridge.
Have the children help with the prep work: peeling, stuffing celery, etc. and they’ll soon be doing it themselves.
A note from personal experience––if the junk food is not in the cupboard or fridge, they will find something else to eat, unless they drive and have their own car. Good luck with the challenge!
Thought for the day: Plan ahead––it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark!
If you’re celebrating Father’s Day this Sunday, have the children fix either of the two breakfast recipes as a special treat for Dad. Do give them a little help if they’re too young to prepare the meal alone.
To all who are dads: Have a special day with your family. Do lots of hugging!