Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Trader Joe's: Inspiring Variety in William's Diet

Yesterday after our ECFE class William and I ventured over to our local Trader Joe's store. Although this store isn't a complete replacement of a traditional grocery store, it's a great place to pick up fresh, organic foods at incredibly low prices. Of every two or three grocery store trips, I try to make one of those destinations to Trader Joe's.

As I was making my way through the aisles I made a stop at the deli where they were serving a sample dish. By just looking at it I wasn't exactly sure what it was but I've always been one to try something before declaring that I don't like it. So I did. It tasted like chicken with spicy black and baked beans, almost like a Moroccan or Indian dish. I later found out the dish did contain chicken but included neither black nor baked beans. As I was doing my tasting there was a little guy sitting in the front seat of my cart yelling, "Peassssse!"

I said, "It's spicy buddy so I don't think you're going to like it."

Response: "PEASSSSSSSE!"

So I gave in. And I was shocked. This kid, who can barely make it through a bowl of rice, could not get enough! After he was finished I asked for and purchased all the ingredients to make this meal. And he ate it again for dinner.

Yesterday afternoon I learned that being a parent sometimes means standing back and letting your kids make their own decisions and never turning down an opportunity to at least give something a try. Too often I think we let our assumptions or our own past experiences lead the decisions we make for our children.

"He's too little for that."

"He won't like it."

"He's not going to understand how that works."

In the whirlwind of every day life, it's difficult to remember that our children are their own individuals and not exact replicas of ourselves. And thank God for that!

So now you're wondering what was in the dish, right? Ok here it is. Unfortunately I haven't seen a lot of these specific ingredients at regular grocery stores but I guess it's worth a shot!

  • 2 pouches of the fully cooked Pilaf (This one had tomatoes, onions, garlic, soy beans, cracked wheat and chili in it but every pilaf is a bit different.)

  • 1 pouch of fully cooked lentils (In case you're not familiar with lentils, they taste like tiny black beans. This pouch contains 18 grams of fiber per serving!)

  • 1 pound of ground chicken

    1. In a skillet cook the chicken until it is no longer pink.
    2. Add the pilaf and lentils and heat through.

  • That's it! It literally took me less than 10 minutes. And the best part is that it contains all the healthy stuff that is often lacking from William's meals. He's not a big meat eater so I was thrilled that he was getting a high dose of protein. And the fiber? Well it's almost unheard of to get that much in one dish.

    Thanks, Trader Joe's!

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