Introducing new foods and flavors to kids can often be a challenge. Most parents have struggled with this problem at one point or another. I know I have! Kids sometimes get into a routine of eating the same foods everyday and when you try to get them to eat something new, they’ll often reject it. Sometimes you have to be a little creative to get your young ones to try new foods! Tasty Bite products are a great way to introduce your kids to new ingredients and flavors, especially if they’re reluctant to eat vegetables. Tasty Bite entrees are made with all-natural vegetarian ingredients and offer great taste, value and real convenience. Who says healthy, delicious food has to be difficult to prepare? With Tasty Bite, you can serve your family nutritious, flavor-packed meals that can be ready in minutes. One of my best tips for getting kids to try new foods and flavors is to put a new twist on an old favorite. In other words, present it in a familiar way. For example, if you’re introducing Tasty Bite to your kids for the first time, try using it in a dish that they’re already used to. Here are some examples:
- Pizza- what kid doesn’t love pizza? Spread Tasty Bite Madras Lentils or Punjab Eggplant on pizza dough, top it with shredded cheese, and bake in the oven until hot.
- Tacos- kids love finger foods. Tacos are a great choice because you can fill them with whatever you want; pretty much any Tasty Bite entrée works in tacos. Then let your kids add their own toppings like sour cream or yogurt, salsa, etc.
- Pasta: most kids like pasta in some shape or form. Instead of the usual tomato sauce, try mixing their pasta with some Tasty Bite Vegetable Tikka Masala or Jaipur Vegetables.
- Hand Pies: these portable snacks are a perfect addition to your child’s lunchbox. Make savory hand pies using squares of puff pastry. Fill them with your favorite Tasty Bite dish like Kashmir Spinach or Mushroom Masala, fold over and seal the edges. Then bake in the oven until puffed up.
- Meatballs- another classic kid favorite. Make vegetarian meatballs using Tasty Bite Punjab Potatoes or Vegetable Korma. Mash them up and add breadcrumbs as a binder to hold them together. Get your kids involved and have them help you roll the meatballs.
- Grilled cheese- most kids will try a dish when there’s plenty of ooey, gooey melted cheese involved. Spread some Tasty Bite Bombay Potatoes or Channa Masala between two slices of bread and sprinkle on plenty of cheese. Spread butter on the outside and toast in a hot skillet until crispy.
Whatever dish you end up making, don’t be discouraged if your kids don’t take to it immediately. Sometimes you have to expose children to new foods multiple times before they’ll try it. Add a variety of colors and textures to your recipes to make it more appealing to them. Come up with creative names for your dishes. My daughter may hesitate when I give her pasta, but when I give her “pink princess pasta,” she devours it! Remember, you are the best examples for your kids so try to sit down for meals together as a family as often as you can. Whatever you’re serving for dinner, if they see you eating it, they’ll be more likely to try it.
My Tasty Bite Sloppy Joes are sure to win your kids over. They’re a twist on a classic American sandwich- the Sloppy Joe. Sloppy Joes are traditionally made with ground beef that’s coated in a sweet and tangy tomato sauce that kids can’t resist. You can buy canned versions of the sauce at the grocery store but making it at home is so much more nutritious. Instead of meat, my vegetarian version uses Tasty Bite Bengal Lentils, which features whole lentils cooked in a light gravy of aromatic herbs and spices. To sneak in some vegetables, I also add some chopped bell peppers and carrots to the filling but you can add whatever vegetables you like including mushrooms, zucchini and eggplant.
The Tasty Bite Bengal Lentils already have onions and spices in it so you have minimal prep work to do with this dish. I simply add tomato paste, vinegar and honey to the mixture, making it reminiscent of the sweet and tangy flavors in Sloppy Joes. The sweetness from the honey nicely balances out the spices in the dish. To top of the sandwiches, I like to add a colorful coleslaw. I use brightly colored cabbage and carrots because kids will like the vibrant purple, green and orange. I toss the slaw in a cooling yogurt dressing that nicely balances the flavors in the filling.
So make these sandwiches for your family and dig in! And don’t worry if you make a mess while eating them- that’s half the fun. There’s a reason they’re called Sloppy Joes!
Tasty Bite Sloppy Joes
Makes 4 servings
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and grated or finely chopped
- 2 packets Tasty Bite Bengal Lentils
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 2 cups coleslaw mix (or a combination of shredded purple and green cabbage and carrots)
- Salt and pepper
- 4 whole wheat hamburger buns
- To make the filling, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the peppers and carrots and cook until they start to soften, 5-6 minutes. Add the Tasty Bite Bengal Lentils, tomato paste, vinegar and honey and stir to combine. Cover and simmer until ingredients are heated through and vegetables are cooked.
- To make the coleslaw, whisk the yogurt, oil and lemon juice together in a bowl. Add the cilantro and coleslaw mix and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide the Sloppy Joe filling equally between 4 hamburger buns and top with some coleslaw. Devour!