Thursday, September 25, 2014

Healthy Kid Food: Veggie Risotto

One of my personal goals as a wife and a mother is to make sure my family eats healthy meals. We of course enjoy plain cheese pizza or a burger and fries from time to time, but I try really hard to make sure that most of what we are eating is nutritious and filling.

I know it’s incredibly common for toddlers to be picky. My kiddo has had lots of experience with veggies, and I think that helps, but he’s of course a pretty picky eater too. I’ve found a few meals that really work for our little family though, and I thought I’d start sharing them here.

One of our family favorites at the moment is veggie risotto.

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I like that this dish can be made in so many different ways. I tend to make it the same each time, but it’s nice to be able to switch it up if we’re getting bored.

To start with, I cook up the risotto. Homemade is best and lets me determine how much I want to make, but if I’m feeling lazy I’ll use Lundberg Farms brand which typically yields enough for each of us + leftovers for Ryan’s lunch.

While that’s cooking, I prep the veggies. I usually add celery, onions, bell pepper and greens. I’ve also put in mushrooms, squash, eggplant, broccoli and shallots. I throw whatever veggies we’re using into the pan and let it all heat up together.

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Once everything is cooked, I add in raisins. I’ve also used dried cranberries, apricots or dates. I’ve made this without the dried fruit before, but none of us really even liked it all that much that way. For some reason the dried fruit really brings a lot to this dish.

From there I scoop up Baby’s portion, then I add nuts to the rest for Ryan and me. I alternate between cashews and almonds (toasted in the oven first, then chopped) but we seem to like the almonds a little better. Ryan doesn’t even like this dish without the nuts and I agree that they really bring it over the top.

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So there you have it. Quick, simple, nutritious. I can cram several veggies at once into my kiddo and he loves the risotto enough that he’ll eat veggies he won’t otherwise touch. The sweetness of the dried fruit and the varying textures make it one of his favorites. Hopefully you’ll have just as much luck if you decide to try this one yourself!

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