Here I am on Spring break, going through the freezer and fridge trying to find dinner for me and my son and I honestly thought that I had a good menu planned for the day.  Breakfast…check, lunch…check check, dinner…ummm, so I am staring and wondering what I can prepare, with only 1 hour before someone starts going through the pantry, asking for everything.  It’s too late to thaw anything and I don’t have any leftovers in the fridge, so I look in the pantry and realize I have an overabundance of beans. What can I do with beans that will appeal to me and my son?  I care about what he eats and I don’t want dinner to be bland or boring since he is being introduced to new foods on a regular.

Hmmm, I could do a meal with beans and veggies.

How am I going to pull it off with my son?  These days he loves pasta and cheese and I always sneak some type of veggies in because everyone knows cheese makes everything taste better and occasionally he will munch on chicken nuggets or meatballs. He’s not a big meat-eater, but I like him to have a balanced diet.  I grab a stock pot fill it with chicken broth, a pinch of salt, black pepper, diced onion and garlic and bring it to a boil. I look through the fridge for some veggies and grab some carrots, sweet and white potatoes and dice those up and put them in the oven to be roasted.  I use some lentils since they cook quickly and get a pot boiling for some rice.

So everything is about finished and smells great and I am looking forward to our dinner. I’m a little nervous because my son has never had a meal like this before, I’m usually trying to hide the healthy stuff or use a substitution, but I want him to learn to enjoy certain food items and try it until he likes it.  So I put his plate of rice, lentils, and roasted veggies in front of him and I make sure to separate everything and he stares at me and my plate. One thing I have learned is to lead by example, for us to eat the same exact meal together so he will see that we are both eating the same thing. He starts eating his rice and ignores the lentils, I tell him to try a piece of sweet potato and watch him munch on it and say…yum!!!! I was shocked and praised him for trying his veggie, we were doing high fives all during dinner.  He didn’t eat any of his lentils, but I was happy he ate his veggies and I found a new way to prepare them. Roasting the veggies brings out the natural sweetness in them, so you really don’t have to worry about doing too much. You can roast an assortment of veggies like squash, zucchini, peppers, artichokes, tomatoes, and you can even make a refreshing yogurt dip with baked pita chips to pair with them for a great appetizer.