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17 February 2011

Fun Kiddle Meals

Burger patties shaped into a car. 

Banana slices on dark chocolate sauce.
My 5- year old son can be trying at times at the table.  He has a lot of likes (usually the ones that we don't allow) and dislikes (usually the healthy ones). I guess this is a very common problem among kids his age.

He's very suspicious of white food because it means cheese.  The only cheese he would allow cooked with his food is parmigiano (parmesan).  In fact, one pasta dish that never fails to satisfy him is the very simple white pasta with parmigiano & extra virgin olive oil.  I'm grateful for that because this dish is brimming with healthy ingredients.

One thing I like about Italian schools is that they are very health conscious.  For instance, with the kindergartens, they tell the parents what snacks the kids should take to school at the beginning of the scholastic year.  Juices, chocolates and all those yummy treats are not allowed of course.  At my first encounter of the menu at the beginning of my son's kindergarten years, I was astounded that they put bread with extra virgin olive oil & litlle salt as one of the snacks to take .  With water as the only drink they allow, how bland can that be for a toddler?  But I was wrong.  It became one of my son's favorite snacks at home. He also likes plain bread drizzled with lemon & sprinkled with white sugar.  It was also his father's favorite breakfast in Sicily when he was young.  

Lately he had been becoming difficult with his meals.  Maybe because I ask him what he wants instead of just announcing what I am cooking.  I wonder if perhaps that's where I went wrong.  Nonetheless, I concocted a way to make his eating time more fun than usual.  I sometimes go out of my way preparing his dishes with a funny flair.   Alas, he eats!  

Bananas on dark chocolate sauce with amarena cherries.
Skewered fruits with caramel sauce.
Chocolate & banana crepe.
Chocolate mousse in a chocolate covered wafer bowl. 
Bottled peaches with pear sauce.
Boiled potatoes drizzled with extra virgin olive oil & grilled chicken fillet.
The sun version of the bottled peaches with pear sauce.
I onced joked that I would put his Lego in his dinner plate.  I did and he was completely taken off-guard when he saw one on his plate.  Fried eggs with boiled white rice & ketchup.
Bottled peaches with pomegranate.
Bottled peaches, kiwi & pomegranate.
Salami, parmigiano, tomato & lettuce.
Vanilla ice cream with mixed berry sauce.
Bruschetta with pate' d'olive & artichoke, halved cherry tomatoes & black olives.
Choo-choo train made of salsiccia (sausage), grilled potatoes & black olives.

Mini burgers.
Grilled chicken & blood orange salad. 
Ice cream with amarena sauce, caramelized bananas & green tea chocolate.
Perch fillet cooked in white wine, olives & sundried tomatoes, grilled polenta & broccoli with teriyaki sauce.