Monday, February 14, 2011


Picky eaters are not ideal. It can be cute when they're babies and spit out the mashed spinach, but when they're toddlers refusing their plate its tiring and once they're over 10 and refuse to eat what's been prepared you feel the urge to smack them but settle for not letting them have dessert. When it's an adult (husband, wife, relative) that wrinkles their nose it's even worse. 

You should always offer new and healthy foods to your picky eaters but some studies have shown it takes more than 7 tries for your child to actually take a taste of the new food. It's frustrating when they won't eat but you've just got to breathe and try again next time. Eat the healthy food while they're watching and they're likely to try it sooner. 

I offer all sorts of foods to my little picky eater and he'll usually try it but very often it's not in his mouth for long. The biggest headache for me is that he isn't consistent: one night he'll eat his chicken, the next he'll eat his peas, the third night the only thing he wants for dinner is a banana. Most the time however he will eat mashed potatoes so today we're featuring a side dish, that I think most kids enjoy, with a little extra nutrition tucked in. 

This recipe does contain more calories than a boxed mashed potatoes but you're adding more than 3 grams of fiber, more than 4 grams of protein, losing more than 1 1/2 grams of fat as well as taking out more than 330 mg of sodium! I think the trade off is worth it. 

Serves: 6
Difficulty: Easy
Prep: overnight +10 min Cook: 15-20 min
1 cup white beans (canned, any variety)
1/2 cup barley (soaked overnight)
2 large potatoes
1 clove garlic
6 T sour cream
½ cup water
2 T salt-free seasoning blend (such as Italian, poultry, Mrs. Dash, ect.)

1.Soak the barley overnight in 1 cup of water.

2.In a small saucepan mix the barley and beans with 1 ½ cups of water. Bring to a boil then let simmer on a medium-low temperature for 15 min.

3.Cut the potatoes into half inch squares and place in a second saucepan, add the garlic, cover with water and bring to a boil. Keep potatoes at a medium boil for 15 to 20 min. The potatoes are ready when they can be poked with a fork. 

4.After 15 min remove your barley and beans from the heat and drain off all the liquid. To the beans and barley add the sour cream and water.  With an immersion blender (or food processor or stand blender) mix until creamy (2-3 minutes).

5.Drain the water from the potatoes and add to the bean and barley puree. With a fork or spoon smash the potatoes into the bean mixture. Add the seasoning mix and stir until completely combined.

Makes 6 half cup servings.

For the comparison recipe we’re going with packaged potatoes, the sort where you add milk and butter and water and whip it together.

This recipe:                                     Packaged Potatoes:
Serving size: ½ cup                         Serving size: ½ cup
Calories: 191                                  Calories: 119
Fat: 2.9 g                                         Fat: 4.4 g
Saturated Fat: 1.7 g                         Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
Cholesterol: 5.3 mg                        Cholesterol: 1 mg
Sodium: 19.9 mg                             Sodium: 350 mg
Carbs: 36.1 g                                   Carbs: 17.7 g
Fiber: 5.3 g                                      Fiber: 1.6 g
Sugar: 1.2 g                                      Sugar: 1.5 g
Protein: 6.5 g                                   Protein: 2.1 g
Potassium: 776.4 mg                        Potassium: 344.4 mg

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Really excited to try this! Thanks for your comment on my blog. Interested to keep reading here!