Easy Trick for Making Family Friendly Meals

Easy Trick for Family Friendly MealsBack before I had kids, I knew I'd never be the sort of parent who played short order cook, making
my children dinners that were different from what my husband and I ate. Ahem. Then our daughter came along. Three months early, in fact. And her months with a feeding tube made her sensitive to eating certain textures. And her tiny little body didn't tell her to eat nearly enough. So - yes, I started making her special meals, full of high calorie foods I knew she'd eat.

Then my son came along - a big, full term baby. There was no need to make him special meals, but I didn't want to show favoritism...So, in the end the children ate one meal and we parents another. Oh, how the mighty fall during parenthood.

Fast forward a few years, and I'd finally had enough of cooking double meals. I decided both kids needed to eat whatever the adults ate...and today both my kids - really without much struggle - do eat the same meal we do.

But, as I'm sure is true in most houses, some dishes go over far better with the kids than do others. At our house - and maybe yours - certain foods and textures just don't get eaten by the children. For example, neither of my children likes chunks of tomatoes in cooked foods like chili. Well, I've finally come up with a solution to that. Maybe it's obvious to some people, but it sure wasn't to me: Puree the offending food.

You see, I noticed my kids ate my mother-in-law's chili without complaint, whereas they tended to eat around the tomatoes in my chili. "Oh, I just puree them in," my mother-in-law told me. DUH! Why didn't I think of that!

Of course, this works not only for tomatoes, but also for onions, sweet peppers, or just about any other ingredient your kids don't like chunks of.

So now when I make chili (or other dishes I normally make with chunks of cooked tomatoes in them), I just open a jar of home canned tomatoes and stick my immersion blender in it. In a few seconds, the tomatoes are liquefied and the liquid goes into whatever I'm cooking. If you don't use tomatoes in a glass jar*, just empty canned tomatoes into a bowl or pot and puree with an immersion blender before adding them to whatever you're cooking. Don't have an immersion blender? You could use a blender or food processor instead. (But seriously, an immersion blender is really cheap and super useful!)

The solution is SO simple. And simple is SO good.

* If you use canned tomatoes, you ought to consider buying them in a glass jar. That's because the acid in tomatoes tends to leach chemicals from cans. This not only makes the tomatoes taste weird (you'll be pleasantly surprised by tomatoes canned in glass), but it puts potentially harmful chemicals, like BPA, in your body.

1 comment

  1. Funny how parenthood can make you eat your words! My kids were all full term, so I have just had to deal with picky - not worry and guilt. Hubby is the worst of my kids. :) He will NOT touch pieces of onion or green peas. For the onion solution, I just switched over to dried, minced onion. I never did win the pea battle. Ha For tomatoes and such, I have to use petite diced and then there's no issue other than saying I made it and you have to eat it. Lol The pureeing is a good idea and a good solution for some picky eaters!