How DO you get children to eat spinach?





What is the best way to get children eating spinach and benefitial greens like silverbeet?

Make it fun-make it exciting-make it tasty!

How do we do this?

By getting children involved with real, fresh ingredients. Getting them out into the garden and enjoying the stimulating experience of growing ingredients themselves and bringing this experience together with a great tasty recipe and the experience cooking of a meal with your children.

This is one just such perfect recipe that brings the home garden, cooking with children and healthy eating for your kids all together.
It is one my family loves to make and I loved to create!

Enjoy!!

My Garden Quiche

This is a gorgeous and lovely smelling dish that is so easy to make and has the added delight of many of the ingredients being really easy and cheap to grow yourself, making it another great recipe to get children involved with as they can help ‘gather the ingredients’ with you making the dish something they will be excited to eat!

Ingredients:
• Approximately 5 good sized fresh Silverbeet leaves
• A small handful of baby English spinach leaves ( around 6-8)
• 2 stalks spring onions, chopped
• Approximately 10 good stalks fresh chives
• A sprig fresh thyme
• A sprig fresh Rosemary
• 2 stalks fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
• 1 large zucchini, finely grated preferably skin on
• 1 medium sized washed potato, finely grated
• 2 cups grated low fat cheese divided into two lots-1 x ½ cups and 1 x ½ cup
• 1 tablespoon low fat sour cream
• 2 sheets reduced fat puff pastry
• 3 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
• 3 free range eggs, whisked
• Paprika
• Sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• Dried mixed herbs
• 1 teaspoon milk


Method:• Preheat oven to approximately 200` ( not fan forced )
• Grease a round baking dish, at least 4 cm deep and
• Remove pastry sheets from freezer and allow to slowly thaw
• Wash and then pat dry with a clean tea towel or paper towel the sliver beet and spinach leaves, then finely chop until they resemble green confetti
• Place this into a large mixing bowl
• Add into silverbeet the 1& ½ cups grated cheese, zucchini, potato, egg, parsley, spring onion and sour cream and mix together
• Finely chop the fresh chives into the mix with scissors, adding also the leaves of the rosemary and thyme sprigs removed from the stalks.
• Season mixture with sea salt, pepper and paprika and mix well.
• Arrange the pastry sheets into the greased baking dish in two diamond shapes cutting off the overlapping pastry and then attaching this to the least covered edges to ensure a good coverage of the entire base and sides.
• Pour mixture onto pastry base and spread out evenly, top with the remaining cheese
• Arrange in a circular pattern the finely sliced tomato on top
• Sprinkle with a small amount of paprika, teaspoon of dried mixed herbs and some pepper.
• Lightly paint any bits of pastry sticking out with the milk
• Bake in a medium oven until pastry is well cooked and the quiche mix has set.
• Serve hot with fresh ripe tomatoes and a dressed garden salad. or a selection of crunchy and colourful fingers of veggies for the kids like yellow capsicum, carrot and snow peas.

Kids in the kitchen notes:
This is an excellent recipe to get kids enjoying eating spinach and silverbeet!
Kids of all ages from the very young will enjoy growing their own silverbeet and it is one the easiest and quickest veggies to grow-they require next to no space, grow really easily in pots and gardens and are even very forgiving of general forgetfulness and irregular watering or an insect attack!
If the kids grow it and harvest it and help cook-they will definitely want to eat it!From the silverbeet to the chives and rosemary this is an excellent recipe that you can go out into the garden together to collect the ingredients and even better if you are fortunate enough to have your own free range chickens for eggs too. Limited in space? Many of these things will grow easily on a sunny balcony or could be a great little project for a local kindergarten, school, church or community garden.

Kids Jobs in the recipe!
Other than the harvesting ( or sourcing from a local farmers market ) this recipe has some great steps the kids can get involved in.
Tasks:
Egg cracker!
In our house my 4 year old is the resident egg cracker and has been for a couple of years ( even if we do have to remove little bits of shell from time to time)
Chives chopper. Using kid safe scissors let them chop the fresh chives straight into the mix
Silverbeet dryer. Get them patting the washed leaves dry ready for use.
Tomato decorator. Let them be the artist and arrange the tomato slices at the end.
Official Grater. Depending on the age of the kids grating can be a great task for the older children to help with.
The mixer. What child doesn’t love the job of mixing the ingredients-regardless of the recipe?
Pastry painter. Using a clean pastry brush let the kids paint the edges of the pastry so it can brown nicely.

Toddler Tips:

For small fingers and mouths try making some mini versions for your young toddler using circles of pastry lined into min muffin trays filled with the mixture and you can always reduce the amount of spring onion.

Parent Tips:
The key to an enjoyable ( and still edible ) cooking experience with kids in the kitchen I have found is to make sure you have what you need ready before starting and are distraction free so it can be fully supervised during the whole procedure.
And most important of all...to relax! Enjoy the experience of bonding with young children over healthy fresh ingredients and making food together, things can and often do go wrong when working with kids-so be flexible and patient and you will all be sure to create not only delicious healthy dishes the whole family will enjoy but great memories too!

ENJOY!!
(c)RebeccaMugridge2010

You can find heaps more great recipes like this one along with great gardening ideas and projects you can do with kids in THE PRAM DIET book.
See the links on this blog page for stockists.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for connecting with me on my 365 Days of Novel Writing adventure. I love the focal point here....eating healthy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you! Great to connect! Enjoyed your blog.

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  3. Yummy - remember the old cartoon Popie the Sailor Man who ate all the spinach? That worked for me!

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  4. I've definitely found that when my kids help me make a meal, they're more likely to eat it.

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  5. Hi Tristi, It really does make such a difference doesn't it! The same goes for growing them too! Kids just love it =)

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I love that you found yourself on my blog!
Thank you reading.
Have a gorgeous day!

Rebecca X

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