Food for Thought is a weekly collaboration between Thick Fit Mom and Flexible Fork encouraging thoughtful eating and easy, balanced meals for you and your family.
I don’t make my child eat things. Well, maybe that’s not the way to put it. I don’t make her eat things that she doesn’t like. Now, if I make pasta and you like pasta but just don’t feel like eating it, you’re still eating pasta. I wouldn’t, however, force her to sit at the table and choke down meatloaf that I know she doesn’t like. She likes so many things that I can make a varied menu without making foods that will cause issues. Every once in a while, though, there is something I want that she hates and won’t eat and I am faced with a decision. Wait till she’s with her dad and make it (let’s be honest though, if I don’t need to feed her it’s likely that I’m not cooking at all), make it for myself and make an alternative for her (extra work) or adapt it. My mom used to adapt things for me and so this is probably my favorite way to handle it. As a child, I didn’t care for beans, but I liked the flavor of chili. So, my mom would make chili and then before she added the beans, she would separate a portion of it in to a smaller pot. This was my chili. It doesn’t really make a bunch of extra work and we’re eating together.
I've had people tell me this is indulgent and that I'm spoiling her. My answer is usually, "So?" I mean, what's wrong with a little indulgence when it comes to what we're having for dinner. Our kids deal with a lot every day at school. Friends, frenemies, bullies, homework, etc. Why can't I make life at home a little easier without being considered indulgent? It's not like I said she can skip the meal and just eat cookies. I don't know. I suppose I could be wrong, but she's not a raging mean girl and I've been doing this for several years so you'll have a hard time convincing me there's error in my ways.
Then again, why try and convince someone they're parenting wrong instead of just accepting that you parent differently and may still be able to raise non-jerks in more than one way.
Anyway, back on topic... Since Em doesn’t like cheese (IKR?!) I knew that this week’s lasagna cup recipe would be a challenge, but then I asked her if she’d be interested in trying it if I made a couple without the cheese and she agreed! Adaptation for the win!
22 pieces of Whole Wheat - Whole Grain - Lasagna Noodles
½ lb Ground Turkey Breast
½ large Onion
½ medium Sweet Red Pepper
1 cup Zucchini diced
2 tsp Minced Garlic (if you use garlic in a jar, use the garlic that is packed in water)
1 tbsp dried Basil
½ tbsp dried Oregano
1 cup No Salt Added/Low Sodium Tomato Sauce
8 oz No Salt Added canned Diced Tomatoes (If your can is bigger than 8 oz, be sure to use a liquid measuring cup to measure your 8 oz)
1 tsp Brown Sugar
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Pepper
2 tbsp shredded Parmesan Cheese
⅓ cup Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
1 large Egg
1 container (7.5 oz) Chive & Onion Cream Cheese
½ cup part skim shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1. Brown ground turkey and set aside.
2. Dice onion, pepper and zucchini. Easily the most time consuming part of this recipe.
3. Sauce- heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onions, pepper, zucchini and garlic until tender, 5 minutes.
4. Stir in cooked ground beef and tomato sauce until well incorporated.