Persian Food for Children
Last week Foodbuzz sent out an email letting us bloggers know that we could help raise money for theÂ Make Time for Change campaign. The concept is great, it’s all about teaching kids how to cook. The campaign is headed by Frigidaire and Jennifer Garner who are teaming up to inspire families everywhere to roll up their sleeves and get cooking together. Have I ever told you how much I love Jennifer Garner? Well I just did!! 🙂
Foodbuzz Featured Publisher like me can help raise money by posting kid friendly recipes. For each post that bloggers create for this campaign Foodbuzz will donate $50 to the campaign! I knew immediately that I had to come up with at least a couple of recipes for the occasion!
Let me begin by saying that my earliest memories of “cooking” go back to the time when I used to hang out in the kitchen while my grandmother cooked. I usually sat at the table and watched her effortlessly move around the kitchen and create a delicious meal.Â I liked being helpful and generally I would be given the task of peeling potatoes or carrots needed in the meal. I honestly think that it is because of those early interactions that I love cooking as much as I do. I definitely had a great role model in Maman Fakhri.
As far as eating good goes, I have never been a picky eater and my mom will confirm this statement! Don’t get me wrong, there were a good few types of food that I didn’t like. For example, when I was little I didn’t like spinach, well until the day PopeyeÂ walked into my life, I hated the taste of bitter greens, I was not a fan of shell fish or seafood, and still to this day I don’t particularly care for the taste of milk.Â Â As a child I always ate what was made that day.Â The rule of the house was I had two choices when it came to a meal that had something that I didn’t like: either eat the meal or don’t eat and stay hungry. I don’t ever remember my mom or grandma making a special meal for me to substitute something that I didn’t like.
Eventually, I outgrew my dislike for the above mentioned foods because I had no choice but to eat them. It’s kinda ironic that I used to dread the days when my mom used to make Spaghetti with Clams or Mussels or any type of fish, and believe me she used to make it often because she and my step-dad LOVE seafood. Nowadays, I absolutely love seafood in general! I pretty much love all leafy greens. Milk on the other hand…we still don’t get along too much and as faith would have it, I somehow have become lactose intolerant!!
The Sous Chef and I don’t have children, but if we did, I am pretty sure that our kids would become our little helpers in the kitchen from a young age. I think that it is important to get kids involved in the process of cooking because that way they see the transition that happens.Â By becoming involved in the cooking process they can take pride in something that they have helped create and will be more interested in eating what has been cooked.
This recipe features something that most Persian kids love: meatballs or as we call them Koofteh Ghel Gheli! So come along and let me share some ideas with you on how to get kids involved in the kitchen and cook together!
5oz ground meat
1 tbsp grated onion
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 medium red potato
For this particular recipe I chose ground turkey. It’s up to you what type of meat to use. I personally like ground turkey or chicken just because they are less fatty.Â Mix grated onion with ground beef. Add, turmeric, cinnamon, and season with salt.
Make small meatballs out of the meat mixture, I’d say the size of small cherry tomatoes.Â Have your kids make the meatballs. They will have so much fun, it’s like playing with play-doh!!!
Next have the kids peel a carrot. Cut the carrot in 1/4 in rounds. Then have them cut flowers out of the carrot rounds with cookie cutters.
Potatoes need to be peeled next and cut in 1/4 in rounds as well.Â Using a different type of cookie cutter cut shapes out of the potatoes.Â I used stars for mine. You can do any theme you want!
Place a bit of oil in a pot and add meatballs. Cook each side for about a minute. Then have the kids add the carrots to the pot along with a dash of salt and 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Place some vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry potatoes.Â Another task that I was occasionally given by my grandmother was to keep an eye on her potatoes as she fried them up. I had to make sure that they didn’t burn, but got nice and crisp! Once they were ready I had to carefully add a dash of salt to the potatoes. I loved her potatoes and maybe she is the reason why I love potatoes as much as I do!!
Lastly, have you kids plate and decorate their own plate. This will allow for some creativity when arranging the food on the plate!
This recipe is so simply and your kid(s) can pretty much help each and every step of the way from peeling, cutting, measuring, and seasoning. Using cookie cutters to cut out shapes out of veggies adds a whole other level of fun and excitement to the cooking process.
I must confess to you that I could not wait to finish taking pictures of this plate!! As soon as I was done I ate it all! Not only was it fun to make, but it was soooooooo good!!
Do you cook with your kids? Or do you make a separate/special meal for your kids because they are picky eaters?