I’m getting the reputation as “that mom”. You know, the one who posts everything her kids are eating on Instagram…and most of it is healthy.
It’s one of the handful of reputations I’m really okay with. Mostly it’s just that the food I’m making my kids just so happens to be somewhat tastefully plated, adorned with some sort of garnish, and photos taken as proof of all of the above. I mean, you DO eat with your eyes…kids are no exception.
Growing up an overweight child, I’m VERY purposeful about everything that I say and do that involves food. You’ll never hear me use the word “clean” or “bad” or even “not good”. Instead, I’m trying to use language that includes “help us grow” and “keep healthy” or looking at the less-than-healthy foods as “sometimes foods”.
I don’t want to create any unhealthy relationships or associations with foods but it’s DARN HARD. I didn’t introduce Shea to fruit snacks or goldfish crackers, but she certainly knows what they are and she wants them. She’d choose them over most healthy foods….because, duh.
Somehow, I think that making food look GOOD has actually helped me keep my kids eating what’s put on the dinner table. And enjoying it. Firstly, they’re not getting anything else. Secondly, they see Mark and I eating the same. And last but not least, I involve my kids in the cooking process and they see me photograph good-looking food. Of course they want to try it!
Some food, though…it’s hard to make look good. The dump-and-go meals are some of the recipes that we all love most and yet they’re the ones that can fail to impress on looks alone. I took this recipe for foil packets and simplified it into a 9×13 baking dish. Dump…and go. So simple and enjoyed by all! Great as leftovers, too!
- 2 cups quick brown rice or white
- 2 cup water
- 4 Tbsp taco seasoning
- 3 (8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ⅔ cup salsa
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 (15 oz) can no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lime, halved
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Combine the rice and water in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the taco seasoning.
- Cut chicken breasts in half width-wise to create two thinner breasts and place on top of the rice. Sprinkle with remaining taco seasoning.
- Top chicken with salsa and cheese. Add the veggies and beans on the top and sides of the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil and top with foil.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven and carefully open up the foils. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables begin to char. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top and serve hot.