(NAPSI)—For many parents of young children, introducing healthy foods can be a struggle. A recent national survey reported that parents believe that the media has a negative influence on their children’s eating habits.* The Pampered Chef®, in partnership with the Family Resiliency Center, has found that cooking together helps create family traditions and teaches children to make healthier selections.
“Involving children in the mealtime process can have a positive impact on their food choices,” explains Dr. Barbara Fiese, Professor and Director of the Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois. “Children who learn cooking skills and help with grocery shopping are more likely to enjoy nutritious foods, like fruits and vegetables.”
The Pampered Chef, the largest direct seller of kitchen tools, is committed to helping these families come together around the table each night. Through its partnership with the Family Resiliency Center, they have developed tips that make it easier to include kids in the mealtime process.
• Reduce screen time. Cut down on children’s exposure to food advertising by limiting screen time, including game and entertainment websites that promote unhealthy foods.
• Start the conversation. Talk to children before and during grocery shopping about what are healthy foods and why you are buying them. Help older children read and understand food labels.
• Involve everyone. Kids as young as 2 can help with mealtime preparations, such as cleaning counters and tables and helping with napkins and utensils. Older children can mix and measure ingredients and read recipes.
• Make it fun. Use your time in the kitchen together to talk about how foods look, smell and feel. Children learn best when they can utilize all their senses.
• Create memories. Share family stories about learning to cook, while spending time together in the kitchen.
• Make mealtimes that are quick, simple and affordable. Try this family-friendly recipe for Korean BBQ Pork with Crunchy Wontons, which replaces rice with crisp wontons made in the microwave:
Korean BBQ Pork with Crunchy Wontons
16 square wonton wrappers (3 in./7.5 cm)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded
2 medium carrots, peeled
1 large red bell pepper
1 medium onion
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb/450 g), trimmed
3 garlic cloves
1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) canola oil, divided
1 cup (250 mL) snow peas, trimmed
3 green onions, cut into 1?-in. (4-cm) pieces
1/2 cup (125 mL) Korean BBQ Sauce
1/4 cup (50 mL) apple jelly
Additional sliced green onion for garnish (optional)
1. Stack wontons and cut them into ¼-in. (6-mm) strips with Chef’s Knife. Separate strips and place in Small Ridged Baker. Lightly spray them with canola oil using Kitchen Spritzer and toss to coat.
2. Microwave strips, uncovered, on HIGH 3−4 minutes or until they begin to brown, stirring every minute.
Spread strips over Parchment Paper to cool.
3. Coarsely chop jalapeño using Food Chopper. Cut carrots lengthwise into quarters, then crosswise into thirds.
4. Cut off top of bell pepper and scoop out seeds. Wedge pepper using Veggie Wedger and cut wedges crosswise into thirds. Wedge onion; cut wedges crosswise in half.
5. Slice pork lengthwise into four strips. Cut strips crosswise into ¼-in. (6-mm) pieces. Mix pork and garlic pressed with Garlic Press in Classic Batter Bowl.
6. Heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of the oil in 11- or 12-in. (28- or 30-cm) Skillet over medium-high heat 1−3 minutes or until shimmering.
7. Cook pork without stirring 3−5 minutes or until browned. Stir pork and cook 1−2 minutes; remove it from Skillet.
8. Add remaining ½ Tbsp (7 mL) oil to Skillet. Add vegetables; cook and stir 2−3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in pork, sauce and jelly; cook 1−2 minutes or until heated through.
9. Divide wonton strips among serving plates and top with pork mixture. Garnish with additional sliced green onion, if desired.
U.S. Nutrients per serving: Calories 280, Total Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 50 mg, Sodium 400 mg, Carbohydrate 35 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 20 g
Cook’s Tips: Removing the silver skin keeps the pork tender during cooking. For a change of pace, 1 lb (450 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips, can be substituted for the pork tenderloin.
At in-home Cooking Shows, guests see and try products, prepare and sample recipes, and learn quick and easy food preparation techniques and tips on how to entertain with style and ease—transforming the simple to the spectacular. For more information, call 1-800-266-5562 or visit www.pamperedchef.com. Like them on Facebook® at www.facebook.com/ThePamperedChef. For more mealtime tips, recipes and free resources, visit www.pamperedchef.com/mealtimeminutes.
*Food marketing to children and adolescents: What do parents think?” by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.