An article came out this week in the Chicago Tribune telling the story of drastic changes made to the Chicago Public Schools’ hot lunch program and the less than stellar response to the changes. The article entitled, “You can lead kids to broccoli, but you can’t make them eat“, reaffirmed the importance of what we do at Out of the Box Food: make fresh food palatable to kids. Now, I am a believer of kids eating real food, not just kid food like macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets (even if they are made from scratch or without added chemicals). But realistically, as this Chicago Tribune article states, we need a middle ground. A transition. We have to reach those kids who think they only like macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets. Since the goal is to get them to actually learn to like fresh, I’d rather see a child tuck into a bowl of fresh macaroni and cheese made with fiber-full macaroni, fresh cheese and milk then have them stare blankly into a bowl of Quinoa and Kale. At least to begin with. Let them first learn to like fresh.
Because processed food has held top billing in many homes, restaurants and school cafeterias for such a long time, we now have to retrain our children’s palates to crave and enjoy the fresh. Here’s how I propose we do it. If we can make fresh versions of foods they like, then they will begin to recognize and enjoy real, whole ingredients. They can learn to like food, not artificial product. Then once they get to know these ingredients, we can transition them to a more varied, “grownup” dish if you will. For example, if our kids only like Dino Chicken Nuggets, we can first offer them freshly made chicken nuggets, then transition to chicken tenders made from scratch, then transition to roasted chicken served with a side of your child’s favorite fresh fruit or vegetable. It’s about retraining kids (and even some of us adults) and it can work!
Out of the Box Kid Friendly Honey Roast Chicken
Special Equipment: Roasting pan, meat thermometer
- 1 whole 4-5 lb organic chicken
- 2 tbsp butter, softened
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/4 tsp course sea salt
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Rinse chicken and pat dry (drying the bird well will provide for crispy skin)
- In a small bowl, blend butter, honey and salt together.
- Gently press your fingers under the skin of the breast (being careful not to tear the skin) and lift skin around breast. Gently continue to lift skin on top of the legs (you do not need to lift skin around entire leg).
- Using fingers, spread a few dollops of the honey butter under the skin above legs and breast.
- Sprinkle skin with a little course sea salt (optional)
- Place chicken in roasting pan and place in preheated oven.
- Roast for 55 minutes. Check half-way through cooking time. If chicken is starting to brown too much, cover parts that are browning with foil for remainder of cooking time.
- After 55 minutes check temperature (chicken should have reached 165-170 degrees in thickest part of the thigh)
- Let rest for 10-15 minutes and carve.
Don’t throw away the roasted chicken carcass. Save any leftover bits (bones, skin and all) for next week’s Out of the Box look into packaged chicken stocks/broths. You may be surprised at what you find in the packaged variety and how easy it is to make your own by simply using the leftovers from this week’s recipe and a few stray veggies. PLUS don’t forget to visit last week’s post, A Healthy Homemade Lunchable Your Kids Will Love…Plus a Bento Lunch Box Give-Away for You for a chance to win an Easy Lunchbox System. Contest ends March 5th. Until next week…
© 2011 – 2013, kimgerber. All rights reserved.