Kid-Friendly Diced Salsa Salad
January 19, 2007 1:52am CST
Many parents in the US have great concerns about serving their children food they consider "kid-friendly" rather than expecting them to eat the things the parents eat. It was not this way when I was a child. We were expected to eat what was put in front of us, gratefully and without whining. When I lived in other countries, I found the same expectation. Somehow, though, American parents in the past couple of decades have decided that they need to cater to childish whims, and as a result, children's eating habits and nutrition have suffered. It is true that children have always objected to eating vegetables. When I was a child, I loathed the bland mushiness of atrocities such as canned peas and butter beans, but cheerfully ate vegetables straight from the garden. I believe it was the nastiness of canning more than the vegetables themselves that I disliked. Other people I know have said they felt the same way. Commercials on TV may contribute; I know a Brazilian family now living in my city whose child has been allowed to live almost entirely on the Happy Meals she demands despite her mother's wish that she eat better. She is doing as badly as a US child. Her mother indicates that the problem existed while they lived in Brazil, too. If you are not American, what is the situation like in your country? Are children usually expected to eat what their parents eat? Is there concern for "kid-friendly" foods? How are children about eating their vegetables? Probably most if not all parents want their children to eat vegetables so as to benefit from the vitamins, fiber and micro-nutrients. In the US, children seem to find Tex-Mex food acceptable, so a wise parent might want to get their children to eat vegetables more cheerfully by combining the attractiveness of Tex-Mex dishes with the tastiness of fresh vegetables and their nutritional benefits. With that in mind, I offer this diced salsa-salad to entice children to eat vegetables. Put the least spoonful of cooked ground beef in a taco shell and pile on this salsa to give your child a good shot of vitamins! 1 sweet red bell pepper (capsicum), diced 1 sweet yellow pepper (capsicum), diced 1 poblano or Anaheim (chilli) pepper, diced, optional depending upon taste for heat 2 kirbies (pickling cucumbers, preferred because they are less watery and are not usually waxed), unpeeled, diced 1 small jicama, diced 6-8 tomatillos, diced 1 avocado, diced Handful fresh cilantro (coriander leaves, Chinese parsley), minced Juice of 1 lime Salt to taste Toss all ingredients together and use as salsa in taco shells, or serve over poached fish or chicken. To make this a vegetarian main dish, stir in some cooked black (turtle) or pinto beans and serve over rice or with corn tortillas or tacos.
• United States
17 Feb 07
I have also always lived in the US and prepare healthy foods for my children. My children love fresh fruits and vegetables, both raw and cooked. We do not eat a LOT of red meat, but we do eat fish, turkey and chicken. This is the way I was raised and how I raised/am raising my children. My husband was also raised this way by his parents. I will definitely try this recipe using the pinto beans instead of ground beef.
• United States
21 Jan 07
I have lived in the US all my life and I totally agree with your theory of catering to the kids whims. We did not do that when we were raising our daughters. They learned to eat their veggies and fruit. Now that they are grown up, they love their veggies. I am very proud of my daughters. My oldest daughter has 2 toddlers of her own and she is raising them the way we raised her. Thanks for the recipe.