Monday, June 8, 2009

Please picky eaters with kid-friendly favorites

(ARA) - What’s the best way to get picky eaters to enjoy good-for-you foods? Get kids involved in preparing meals and snacks. Experts agree that when children lend a hand (or two) in meal preparation, they are much more likely to eat what they’re proud to have helped make.

One food that pleases even the pickiest of eaters is California Raisins. Raisins are a family-favorite snack and tasty addition to recipes that can help add to a child’s recommend fruit servings. Just 1/4 cup is a serving of fruit for adults and children older than 4 years, which make raisins a convenient and delicious way to add flavorful fruit to any recipe.

Start the day off right with a wholesome breakfast of whole grain pancakes with California Raisins and bananas topped with Cinnamon-Raisin Syrup. The batter for these No-Mess Banana Nut Pancakes is made in a zip-top bag and is easily mixed together by kids’ own hands, with the advantage of letting children have mess-free fun helping out in the kitchen.

Or, for a tasty treat the whole family will enjoy, bake up a batch of healthful Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies then have kids help squish low-fat ice cream between the cookies for a yummy ice cream sandwich. For even more fruit and fun, try rolling the edges of the ice cream sandwich in California Raisins.

For more delicious, kid-friendly and budget-wise recipe ideas, along with nutritional information, visit www.LoveYourRaisins.com.

No-Mess Banana Nut Pancakes with Cinnamon-Raisin Syrup
Cost per serving: $.96
Makes four to six servings

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: about 10 minutes total

Pancake Ingredients:
1 large ripe banana
2 cups whole grain pancake mix
1 cup fat-free milk
1/2 cup California Raisins
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cinnamon Raisin Topping Ingredients:
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup California Raisins
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
Place banana in a large resealable bag and squeeze well to mash. Add remaining pancake ingredients; seal and squeeze to mix well. Snip a small corner off the bag and squeeze batter onto a large hot griddle coated with nonstick cooking spray to make circles or squiggles. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. For topping, combine ingredients in a small bowl; microwave on high for about 30 seconds or until warm.

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Cost per sandwich: $.51
Makes 18 ice cream sandwiches

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 to 12 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 1/4 cups California Raisins, divided
2 to 3 tablespoons hot water
1/4 cup heart healthy vegetable spread, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 quarts light vanilla ice cream or fat-free frozen yogurt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Measure flour, cinnamon, salt, soda, ginger and cloves into large mixing bowl. Mix well and set aside. Combine 3/4 cup raisins and hot water in food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Add spread, eggs and brown sugar and process until light. Turn into flour mixture and mix well. Stir in oats and remaining 1 1/2 cups raisins just until combined. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets and flatten slightly. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.

Spoon about 1/3 cup ice cream onto each of nine cookies and top with remaining cookies. Wrap individual sandwiches in plastic wrap and store in the freezer.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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