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Chef’s Corner


 
taste photoLUNCH BOX BARGAIN
By Allyson Marrs

Getting your kids to eat the right food can be the ultimate battle. But when you send them into the cafeteria armed with nutritious, delicious protection, they may be able to escape the trading trenches without a refined-sugar headache.

It can be tempting during a busy schedule to fill their lunch boxes with quick fixes—think Lunchables or a $5 bill—but a little preparation can go a long way for your little one. Kids are learning and making new eating habits based on your examples, and since you, as the parent, are providing the food, control falls in your hands. You pick the ingredients, and your kids get the benefits.

Help them build healthy habits while you still can. Sometimes, though, this can be easier said than done, but there are some strategies you can employ.

Camouflage
Replace those greasy, fatty potato chips with veggie chips or rice cakes. Kids are less likely to notice a huge change if you take these healthier snacks out of their packaging and put them in discreet plastic baggies. You can do this with most lunch sides. For example, replace that pudding cup with some vanilla Greek yogurt, mixed with honey and fresh berries.

You can make subtle changes in their sandwiches, too, and they'll be less likely to notice if it still looks the same. Change the white bread out for something with fiber and whole grains, ditch the bologna for lean turkey breast and exchange mayonnaise for mustard or hummus. If your little eater is a PB&J fan, purchase all-natural or organic peanut butter and pair it with reduced-sugar or organic jam.

If the change isn't drastic, it'll most likely go unnoticed.

Provide to Decide
Ultimately, you have the say for what goes in the brown paper bag, but it's important to give your children options they'll actually eat. You don't want them to go hungry, and you don't want them bargaining for cupcakes and nachos in desperation.

Spend a couple days doing tastings with your kids after school—since they're always hungry for a snack anyway. Combine fruits and veggies with peanut butter dips and yogurt dips, or make something entirely different together. If you lay out multiple options that you're happy with, and the kids choose from those to find something they're happy with, you're both happy!

Making a change can take some persuasion if your kids are more used to sweets than nutrition, but it'll only get harder the longer you wait. Just remember to start small, simple and subtle. From there, you can help your kids build their nutrition profiles, and maybe even prevent yourself from having to say, "Finish your vegetables." Maybe.

CHEF'S CORNER

Executive Chef Paul Marks will be sharing some of his favorite recipes each month. For all of your salads this January (you're still eating healthy, right?) here are two vinaigrettes to give those veggies a kick.

Herb Vinaigrette
(Makes 3 cups)

• 2 tablespoons honey
• 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons smashed roasted garlic
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
• 1 cup fresh herb mix
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
• 2 cups thickened vegetable stock
• ¼ cup unsweetened apple juice
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste

In blender, combine honey, mustard, garlic, onion, herbs and vegetable stock. Process on low speed until smooth. With machine running, drizzle oil and apple juice through lid to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for 10 days.

Per 2 tablespoons:
Calories 20; Protein 1g; Total fat 0.5g; Saturated fat 0g; Carbs 4g; Fiber 0g;
Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 270g

Balsamic Vinaigrette 
(Makes 3 cups)

• 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons fine herb mix
• 1 tablespoon smashed roasted garlic
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 2 cups thickened vegetable stock
• ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste

In blender, combine honey, mustard, garlic, onions, herbs and vegetable stock. Process on low speed until smooth. Drizzle the oil and balsamic vinegar through the lid and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for 10 days.

Per 2 tablespoons:
Calories 25; Protein 0g; Total fat 1.5g; Saturated fat 0g; Carbs 4g; Fiber 0g;
Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 100mg


 


 
Executive Chef: Paul Marks | askchefpaul@bellevueclub.com
Polaris: 425-637-4608 | M-F 6:30-10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. | M-Th 5:30-9 p.m.; F & Sa 5:30-10 p.m.
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