By: Jodie Shield, RD
Beans are a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, but many kids – mine included- wish we would just toss them out the window like Jack’s mother did in “Jack and the Beanstalk.” But, with a little creativity in the kitchen, it’s possible to get beans into your child’s diet – and get her to love them too.
Here are some great ideas for cooking with beans:
Go for color. Mix beans with other colorful vegetables. Try combining corn, black beans, and a finely chopped red pepper to make a colorful salad that’s crunchy and fun to eat.
Change the consistency. If you usually serve beans whole, try mashing them or serving them in a soup. You can mash cooked pinto beans with a fork and let your child spread them on a soft tortilla and roll them up for an instant burrito. Or you can blend mashed chickpeas with seasonings to create a delicious vegetable dip.
Mix beans with other foods. Lots of kids love chili, minestrone, and even beans and rice. Try mixing beans with other kids’ favorites, such as lean ground beef, diced ham, or chicken to create a tasty casserole or hearty stew.
What are some of your ideas for putting beans in the “lima light”?