Main dish / Side dish

Food my 4-year-old will eat

My deprived 4-yr.-old is thrilled to have scored a hot dog at a bar mitzvah.

A friend asked this week, after I posted my Something from Nothing stew, what’s my secret to getting my kids to try new foods. I can’t say that I have any brilliant ideas other than to start them while they’re young (check out Granola Baby’s first eats) and make them try dinner before offering an alternative. Our rule is that everyone has to try the dish, even if they’ve had it and didn’t like it in the past. The kids who don’t like the food go get their own bowl of cereal.

My older girls gobble down dinner and never are afraid to try new foods, but my 4-year-old is a tough customer. Still, I’ve managed to get a few foods other than cereal and snacks into his mouth. Here’s the first in a series of healthy dinner foods that my 4-year-old will eat.

And if all else fails, you can always try Yo Gabba’s song on repeat, “Try It, You’ll Like It.”

CAULIFLOWER POPCORN
1 head of washed and chopped cauliflower
4T olive oil
1T paprika
1T tumeric
1t salt
2 heads chopped garlic

Mix the oil, spices, salt and garlic in a large bowl. Add the cauliflower and stir to coat. Roast on a pan at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, until lightly brown.

BEAN BURRITOS
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 can or 1 cup dried black beans
Tortillas (We like them homemade)
1 tomato
Spinach (optional, but must be fresh–my 4-yr.-old definitely won’t eat this!)
Chedder cheese
Optional toppings: Sour cream, salsa, cilantro, green onions, avocado

All that’s required to prepare for this meal is the rice (and beans if you use dried). I cook the rice, then add the beans (and spinach if you’re using it) to the same pot, and then spoon it on top of a tortilla for each person. Add the cheese and pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds.  Add the toppings to each person’s liking.

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