March 7, 2011

Kids Cook Monday: Vietnamese Salad

It's Monday, so the kids are in the kitchen!  This week we continued our tasty trip around the globe with a Vietnamese Salad from out Little Chef's UNICEF cookbook.

The kids are a little unclear in the video, so here's all the things you'll add to your salad!
~1 grated carrot
~1 sliced cucumber
~1 can of bean sprouts, rinsed and cooked
~juice of 1 lemon, 2 tbsp soy sauce, and a dash of sugar mixed together
~cooked chicken and crab meat shredded (we used the crab instead of the shrimp called for)
~1/4 cup chopped peanuts

The kids didn't love this one.  For the first time ever, we found something that the boys just wouldn't eat.  Which surprised me because it's full of things they love.  I must say that even when the kids don't end up liking what we make, they learn something about the culture and about how blessed they are to live where we have a myriad of food choices.  I often wonder how Hannah Jane would survive in a place where she only had a couple of food options.  She might waste away!
My point is just that yes, we want them to find healthy foods that they like and this kind of food experimentation leads to those discoveries, but the foods they don't like can be valuable as well if you guide the conversation a bit.  You can talk look at a map and discuss why a particular food might be popular based on the region, look at religion and food and how they are connected in many places, and consider how kids' tastes may be shaped by the foods they are raised with.  Maybe someone in Vietnam would find our chicken nuggets to be gross!  Who knows?  But there are all sorts of way to take an unapproved dish and still weasel some cultural insights out of it!

I think we've almost made all of the recipes we wanted to try from the UNICEF cook book, but we found lots of kids' cooking books at the library last week, so we may make the move to cook book reviewers, making the recipe, and giving the book a thumbs up or thumbs down.  Whatever it takes to keep those kiddos enjoying their time in the kitchen!  See you next week!

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