So my beloved daughter is giving me fits lately with her eating habits. She used to LOVE fruit–especially strawberries–but would eat raspberries, blueberries, bananas, peaches, oranges, even kiwi! A couple of weeks ago, she turned up her nose at raspberries, then one by one she began to abandon all of her old favorites. When she recently refused strawberries, I started to worry, especially because she also snubbed peas and carrots, the only vegetables she ate. The pediatrician seems to think it’s a phase, but if anyone has any advice (is anyone reading this?), I’d love to hear it. I’ve read suggestions such as hiding or mushing up the offending food, but neither of these tactics fool my girl. The only thing that’s helping is offering her a choice between two options (both of which are healthy). It seems she wants a say in the matter.
Anyhoo, I did come up with what I think is a genius mealtime timesaver. As Eric was pattying up some chicken parmesan burgers the other night, I asked him to make a few small meatballs that I then broiled in the toaster oven. I froze them for a quick serving of protein for Olivia but then took the idea a step further. I divided some cooked whole wheat pasta in a muffin tin, topped each cup with some sauce and one meatball and froze the whole thing. After a couple of hours, I took the muffin tin out of the freezer, popped out the individual servings, and put them back in the freezer in a plastic bag. Now, Olivia can have homemade “chicken parmesan” (which has GOT to be better than anything from a can) in a flash. Not that she’ll eat it…
The recipe for the meatballs follows. (You can also make burger-sized patties and throw them on the grill. They’re really good on grilled garlic rolls with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella.)
1 lb. ground chicken
2 cloves minced garlic
1/3 c. parmesan cheese
heaping T. of Italian seasoning
Mix ingredients well and either form into patties or meatballs. If not grilling, bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes. Check for doneness.