by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Chinese food is a favorite of many adults, but often children won't share the same sentiments. Tweens can be especially picky because they are starting to fully develop and realize their own tastes. Are you tired of desiring your favorite Chinese entrees, only to forgo them for something more kid-friendly? Well, now you may be able to enjoy your beloved Chinese food again, your tween included. The recipes below have been tried and loved by my children, who used to balk at the thought of Chinese food. Over time, using these recipes of mine also helped to ease them into trying and liking the authentic ones.
Many egg rolls contain things tween kids are unfamiliar with and so they often shy away from them. In order to avoid this issue, what I like to do is substitute those ingredients for ones kids are more likely to enjoy. Rather than pork or beef, I will use chicken or scrambled eggs. Keep the egg roll ingredients as simple as possible, eliminating the things your kids don't like. You can even mix it up and add slightly non-traditional Chinese food items that your kids enjoy.
Beef Lo Mein
Often the beef lo mein served in many restaurants will contain things like onions that children might be hesitant to taste. Eliminating some of the garlic, as well as the raw onions, from the recipe tones down the flavor for the kids. Sometimes you can just use powdered versions of both, as it's really the sight of the fresh garlic and onions that tweens will frown about. It will be just as tasty, but your tweens don't have to see those ingredients they don't like.
Some children will shy away from the sesame seeds, so you can trick them by using sesame oil instead or substituting orange chicken for sesame chicken. The texture of foods is very important when it comes to satisfying kids. You can make the orange or un-sesame chicken more interesting by leaving the sauce to the side for dipping. This makes things fun for the kids. If you really enjoy the sesame seeds, consider making two sauces.
Egg Drop Soup
Since egg-drop soup is structured differently than other soups, a child might refuse to taste it. The broth is very thin and then the child can see huge chunks of things floating around in there. This might strike a child's mind as a bit odd. Consider accenting it with some of your child's favorite noodle shapes. While noodles are not a traditional ingredient in egg drop soup, adding a small amount may open your child up more to trying it out. You may gradually be able to take away the noodles as your tween grows.
Tween-Friendly Fried Rice
Fried rice often contains vegetables that tweens do not prefer, such as peas and carrots. You don't have to eliminate these vegetables. Instead, I suggest pureeing them and stirring them in as the rice is cooking. This keeps the nutritional value. But your kids don't even need to see those veggies lurking. Chances are, whatever is out of sight is also out of mind. If your kids also have a thing against eggs, you can add them to the puree as well. You can also tone down some of the spices by using less.
Most any cuisine that your tweens may have something against can be adjusted to fit their needs. You just have to be creative in your preparation methods. Whether you are going to hide the ingredient or eliminate it altogether, there's always a way to make your favorite cuisines kid-friendly. Don't stop enjoying your favorite foods. Just learn to cook them in new ways.
*I originally published via Yahoo Contributor Network
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