Building healthful meals for picky eatersIt's a perpetual...


August 22, 1993|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Staff Writer

Building healthful meals for picky eaters

It's a perpetual problem: getting children to eat more nutritious foods. It's especially difficult since so many children are picky eaters: a national survey sponsored by Land O Lakes recently found that 41 percent of mothers are forced to limit meal choices to avoid kids' food dislikes.

Land O Lakes has developed a program called "building block cooking," which uses a basic version of a dish for younger folks in the household, then adds more variety of ingredients for older children and adults in the family.

Land O Lakes is also sponsoring a contest for the best tips for getting children to eat healthful foods. The most creative solution will win $500, and five runners-up will get $100 prizes. Mail entries to Land O Lakes Dairy Case Cheese "Eat It -- It's Good for You" Contest, P.O. Box 26341, Shoreview, Minn., 55126-0341. Entries must be postmarked by Nov. 12. For complete contest rules, call (800) 782-9602.

Did you know that juice-drink packages can be recycled? The Aseptic Packaging Council of Washington wants you to know that the commonly called "drink boxes" can be environmentally sound as well as user-friendly.

Although some critics question the need for single-serving packages of any type, drink boxes get high marks for "source reduction" -- a high ratio of product to packaging -- and light weight that reduces transportation needs. More and more communities are including drink boxes in recycling efforts -- 1.6 million households in 14 states (Baltimore is not on the list as yet) -- and there are pilot recycling programs in 1,600 schools in 14 states. The boxes, when combined with recycled milk cartons, produce high-quality paper fiber because all package printing is on a polyethylene layer that is discarded in the process. For more information about community programs or school programs, call the trade association at (800) 277-8088. Owings Mills New Town Farmer's Market has devised a way to help customers find new and luscious produce strategies: On Tuesdays through September 14, a guest chef from a local eatery or catering firm will demonstrate favorite seasonal dishes for market shoppers. They will be giving out recipes and offering samples as well.

In the next few weeks, shoppers can look forward to "Secrets of the Great Chefs" from Harvey's of Greenspring Station, Aug. 24; Ami Taubenfeld of Great Occasions Catering, Aug. 31; and Sutton Place Gourmet, Sept. 14. The market is located at the Owings Mills New Town Sports Center, 9700 Middle Mill Drive. Chef presentations last from noon to about 2:30 p.m.

Bay benefit time

The second annual Dinner for the Chesapeake, sponsored by Chef and Restaurant Advocates of the Bay, will be held from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 13 at the National Aquarium.

Under the direction of Nancy Longo, chef-owner of Pierpoint in Fells Point, the event matches up local chefs and guest chefs from around the country for a food and wine extravaganza. Among guest chefs this year are Stephen Pyles of Dallas, author of "New Texas Cuisine"; Barbara Tropp, of China Moon Cafe, San Francisco; and Nora Pouillon of Nora's in Washington.

Tickets, partially tax-deductible, are $200 a person. Call (410) 563-9452 or write to CRAB at P.O. Box 38404, Baltimore, Md. 21231.

For a roaring good time

Kids have taken to dinosaurs this summer like T. rex to a hapless lawyer. If you've been wracking your brain for a new and different approach to birthday parties, the terrible lizards can come to the rescue, with a little help from the Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission of Corvallis, Ore.

The commission suggests keeping kids entertained with a dinosaur egg hunt (eggs from the hosiery counter or craft store filled with dino candy); pin-the-tail-on-the-triceratops; "prehistoric art," a mural-painting event; and a "dinosaur relay," in which teams of children transfer a stack of paper dino cutouts from one end of a room to the other by holding them with suction to the end of a straw.

For treats, how about dinosaur shapes cut out of slices of ice cream, frozen hard on a wax-paper-covered cookie sheet and "painted" at the table with berry purees. Candy sprinkles, raisins, nuts, toasted coconut, red hots and other sundae toppings can provide further decoration for the icecreamosaurs.

Fruit purees

Serves 4 (see note).

4 cups each raspberries and blackberries, fresh or whole frozen, thawed

sugar, to taste

1 29-ounce can peaches, drained

Process each fruit separately in clean food mill, processor or blender. Process fruit until smooth, removing seeds from berries by straining through a medium sieve, for blackberries, or a fine sieve, for raspberries. Sweeten berries to taste. Canned peaches do not need to be strained or sweetened.

Place each puree in a clear plastic condiment bottle and refrigerate until party time.

Note: This recipe makes enough for four youngsters to decorate a couple of dino shapes each. Double or triple for more party-goers.

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