Kids eating real food is really important to me and I hope it is to everyone. The childhood obesity figures should scare even the confirmed “no-kid” crowd. The possibility that our children will not live as long as us is astounding. Tackling the world problem is beyond most of our scope, but we as individuals can do our part.
I will not brag about our kids; they are teenagers after all. But I will say that they have developed pretty good eating habits. I attribute this to, first of all, my ranting. But more importantly, our example. We try to have family dinner nearly every night where we sit down together and eat home cooked meals. There are grumblings about brussels sprouts or asparagus, but they generally eat everything that we make and even enjoy the salad.
Little kids tend to get into ruts. They need gently prodded out of those ruts by introducing new foods slowly but with consistency. They will eventually come around. My 18 year old only ate mac and cheese for a few years. Now I can’t name anything he won’t eat.
Set a good example and don’t worry. Kids extrinsically do the right thing if given the option. Just don’t encourage sugary drinks by filling your fridge full of them and you will be doing the right thing.
So you made a big ol’ ham yesterday and it’s filling your fridge. The kids all took ham sandwiches to school and you still have a ton. Here is one of our traditional ways of using up that big hunk of meat.
- 1 Pound Dried Green Split Peas
- 1 -2 Cups Ham, cubed
- 1 Large Onion, diced
- 1 Large Carrot, chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 2 Celery Stalks, chopped
- 6-8 Cups Chicken Broth and/or Water
- Bay Leaf
- Olive Oil
- Cayenne Pepper
- Large Stock Pot
- Chef’s Knife
- Masher or Blender
- Rinse and drain the peas, picking through to remove any stones.
- Sauté onion and garlic in a little olive oil in the bottom of the stock pot.
- Add carrot and celery and sauté for a few more minutes.
- Add peas and broth.
- Bring to a boil then turn to simmer.
- Add a bay leaf, a dash of salt, a pinch of pepper and an optional pinch of cayenne pepper.
- When peas are soft (about 1 hour) remove bay leaf and mash or blend. My wife likes the soup rustic so she just barely mashes the peas.
- Add ham and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes, just to warm the ham.
- Adjust seasonings. You probably won’t need any salt.