I find the most important thing when encouraging children to eat and engage with food is keeping it simple. Really simple. Most children like to be reassured by what they eat.
I’m not saying feed your children the same things all the time, as that wouldn’t be good for their diet or appreciation of different food tastes. My kids love trying food from different cultures, countries and continents but I always find some part of the dish that is familiar (to them) and not too extreme in flavour. One bite of anything hot and spicy and I’ve lost Big Sister for the rest of the meal, as she’ll steadfastly refuse trying anything new.
I often find children can be quite fussy when they eat in unfamiliar surroundings or at each others houses. In such instances I don’t want to rely on the universal tea time fall back meal (eaten by nearly all little people) of fish fingers with X and Y. In such instances this risotto is the perfect solution.
Kids Favourite Yummy Green Risotto
- feeds 4 x little people as a main course under the age of 6
- 1 x tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 x carrot peeled and diced into .5cm cubes (preferably organic)
- 1 x red onion peeled and cut very finely (preferably organic)
- 1 x cup, 228g, uncooked arborio risotto rice
- 3 x tablespoons of Bouillon in 800ml boiling hot water or 800ml of fresh vegetable stock (I use Marigold, Organic Swiss Vegetable Vegan Bouillon powder)
- 1 x small broccoli, with florets cut in to small bite sizes pieces
- 1/2 cup, 128g, of frozen peas (preferably organic)
- 3 x tablespoons of my fresh vegan pesto recipe here (or alternative pesto if you don’t use fresh pesto you’ll need less, I would recommend adding a teaspoon at a time to taste)
- 1 x small knob of butter
- Maldon (or alternative) Sea Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large pan and gently saute the onion and carrot on a low heat until soft for approx. 5 mins.
- Add the rice and leave for just under a min, the rice should change colour very slightly and will appear almost translucent then add your first large ladle of the hot bouillon and stir so that all the rice is just covered by a blanket of the bouillon. Keep stirring and repeat the process when the rice has absorbed all the liquid.
- In the mean time put on a pan of water to boil and when the water is rising to the boil add the broccoli and cook for 5 minutes.
- When you have added the last ladle of bouillon and the rice has nearly absorbed all the liquid (this should take approx. 20 mins) add the brocoli, frozen peas and pesto and stir continuously for a couple of mins before adding the butter stirring everything together and ideally add a lid and leave for 2 mins before serving.
Notes: This yummy child friendly risotto will keep well covered in fridge for up to 3 days.
I never leave a child to cook unsupervised and always explain the pan is hot and stand very close to the child when stirring etc.