We are on week two of our menu plan. I am enjoying substituting lentils and bean for the protein when we eat less meat each week. They are great alternatives if you are trying to cut back on meat and save some money! A couple of tips that have helped us get the kids to eat new or different foods:
1. I almost always work the lentils into a multi-ingredient dish, so they can’t taste them apart from the rest of the ingredients. Lentil burritos, for example, combine the lentils with beans or rice and the seasonings on the tortilla. They are all seasoned the same and when it’s rolled up as a burrito, the kids can’t tell what is what.
2. If I am cooking couscous or lentils as a single ingredient side or main item, I cook it in chicken broth and season the crap out of it! Even the pearl couscous, which doesn’t seem to have a strange flavor, goes down smoother for the kids if it has the added flavoring of broth and onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
3. Work lentils into a soup. We really like lentil soup, but, again, it is seasoned really well and no one complains. I have made Lemony Lentil Soup in the crockpot and the red lentils look quite different from other foods we eat, but the lemon flavor and the seasoning make it so tasty. The kids don’t complain!
4. Another great idea when using something different from your usual meal items is to have the kids help. Addy tends to be picky at dinner time, but if she has helped me make the meal (even if it is with foods she puts up a fight about eating) she is a little more willing to eat it. She likes to brag that she mixed or salted or chopped something, so letting her help gets her to be a little more open-minded at meal time.
Do you have any “tricks” to getting your kids to eat non-favorite foods or to try new/usual foods? Please share!!