Keep your cool. It is always a balancing act between parents and kids.
When it comes to meals the balance between fun food and more refined healthy dishes can be difficult sometimes. Engaging kids with something entertaining and interesting while keeping the demeanor of a semi-formal dining experience for adults is something I strive to deliver.
I refuse to make a separate meal for my daughter. I know some parents do and good on you for deciding what works for your family.
This was something that was decided early on. The extra time and energy in making a separate kids meal would be put towards other activities. There are some adjustments made if the dish is on the hot and spicy side and knowing that it will not be enjoyed by all. Dining has always been a shared experience growing up and separating meals seems to go against that.
There is a ‘You have to try everything’ policy during mealtimes in my house. You don’t have to like it, you don’t have to eat is all, but you need to try everything once. This has lead to the discovery that, ‘Hey I didn’t like this the last time I tried it, but I like it now’. Wow, amazing how that works.
The other benefit I have found is that it has rapidly expanded the palette of my daughter as she is developing. As the years go by her taste preferences have become more sophisticated. She can identify flavours and ingredients within a dish along with a strong curiosity about food preparation.
This strong relationship base with food will serve her well in the future during a lifetime of culinary experiences.
I know I have given in to saying ‘Okay fine’ when it comes to my daughter not finishing her meal and vegetables. Raw veggies don’t seem to be too much of a confrontation, but cooked is another story. Bribery with something sweet only gets you so far once a determined child decides to stick to their guns. Trust me on that one. I am always up for new ideas on how to get more vegetables into different foods even it is seems like dessert. Sneaky. Sneaky.
So how does one keep their cool and have fun at the same time? Improvisation is always a good idea and being creative and using your sense of whimsy does help a bit as well.
These ice pops are a super easy way to get in some healthy vegetables and what kid doesn’t like a frozen treat? They are naturally sweet with no sugar or sweetner added. The flavours are great together and adults can easily enjoy these along with their tots. Heck, I would even just serve these to adults to enjoy the refined coolness and refreshing mint.
Clear some freezer space and make room for a summertime refreshing treat to be enjoyed by all.
Cucumber Coconut Mint Ice Pops
Cool as a cucumber and minty fresh. This ice pop will have you singing the lime and coconut song all day long.
- 1 whole English cucumber
- 2 limes, juiced and zested
- 1 can coconut milk
- 3 sprigs of fresh mint
- 6 slices of cucumber
- Chunk up the English cucumber (keep the skin on) so that pieces can fit in a blender. Add in the lime zest and juice along with the coconut milk. Blend until smooth with a few bits of cucumber to maintain some structure to the ice pop.
- Chop the mint leaves and place in the blender mixture. Pulse on mix setting a few times until the mint is added throughout.
- Pour even amount into 6 plastic cups and add wooden popsicle stick in the middle of each cup. Place the cups in a regular sized muffin pan to help prevent spills and freeze for a couple of hours until solid.
- Remove the ice pop from the cups and serve immediately. Skewer a slice of cucumber on the wooden popsicle sticks and slide to the bottom of each ice pop.