Shopping List & Ingredients:
Two (2) One Orange, One Yellow Bell Pepper
One (1) Navel Orange
Three (3) Zucchini Squash
Two (2) Mango
Sweeteners: Agave Nectar, Honey
Salty Seasoning: Bread Crumbs & Parmesan Cheese
Equipment: Grill Pan for BBQ, Outdoor Grill, Cooking Spray, Mixing Bowl
Parents vs. Picky Eaters
Child obesity is hitting epidemic proportions in our US households. As parents, we need to teach our children healthy eating habits. In most cases, I see a lot of parents giving way to their ‘picky eaters’ at home and compromising their child’s meals with a lot of processed foods and very little fresh fruits or vegetables. As a Dad Cooking Blogger, my cooking goal is to incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal for the remainder of the year and to show my children how easy it is to enjoy the health and nutrition of our meals without compromising great tasting food. Every parent has a challenge serving vegetables and fruits to their children, and I am making it my mission to show you how easy it can be with just a few, simple ingredients.
Fruit & Veggie Game Plan
Before getting started, I recommend to all parents having a clear game plan on how to create the best results. That means you need to take a few steps I learned along the way on getting my children to respond in the best way possible. One of the first tips I suggest is to have your children shop with you at the grocery store for the fruits and vegetables. Getting them involved in the grocery store makes them feel like they are part of a game. Most children like to play games and making the shopping experience feel like a game will make them open up and participate in the creative process back at home in the kitchen. Take my Fruits and Veggie Recipe list above and divide it up between you and your children. Make the Produce section of your grocery store become a discovery zone with your kids and set off to make a search and discover game.
After purchasing the ingredients, make sure to include your children in the prep and cooking steps of this recipe. I have discovered that when your child cooks with you, they will eat more because they feel a sense of pride and accomplishment with the meal that they prepared with you. Give my Game Plan Steps a try and you will have great results!
Cooking Steps: Cut Veggies and Fruit
Take a Cutting board out and Slice the Orange and Yellow Peppers, ( Do not include the seeds). Place in mixing Bowl. Add slices of the Zucchini and squeeze half of the orange into the mixing bowl and let the veggies sit with the orange juice. Cutting a Mango is a little different than most fruits. Make sure your Mango has a little “give” when you squeeze it with your hand. Like an Avocado, you want to make sure your Mango is soft enough, but not over-ripe. Take a sharp knife and cut wedges out of the Mango. The outer peel of the mango is easy to remove, however, the seed is not as easy to remove and don’t worry if you get a little messy. Just make sure you are able to get 6 to 8 slices out of an average Mango. Place Mango slices into the same bowl and start your BBQ grill on high heat.
Let the Grilling Begin
Take a separate Grill pan and spray the pan with cooking spray. This will keep the fruits and veggies from sticking to the pan when placed on the grill. At this time, you need to get your two sauces ready. In the summertime, most kids like salty foods. Don’t ask me why, but in this recipe, I have prepared a separate dipping bowl with a 50/50 mixture of Bread Crumbs and Parmesan Cheese. These two dry ingredients work well and add just enough saltiness to the recipe. As a back up, I have also included a sweet dipping sauce. Just take a 50/50 mixture of honey and Agave Nectar in another bowl. The grill is probably hot enough now, so onto the next step…
Take your bowl of Veggies and Fruit and dump all of the contents on your grill pan. Take Grill pan with veggies into the BQQ Grill and stir the veggies and fruit frequently to make sure you have browned the fruits and veggies evenly. The entire cooking process should take 15 minutes.
Dipping Time Means Family Time
After taking the Veggies off the heat, you now need to get your kids involved in the dipping process. Take your dipping bowls and place in front of the veggies and allow your children the opportunity to tell you which flavor they prefer the most with their veggies. This moment of truth is one of those family experiences that I truly enjoy as a Dad. I hope you have the same positive results as I had.