Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Great Apple Challenge

Clementine loves apple pie and apple sauce, but she won't take a bite of a raw apple.

In winter when the available fruits dwindle to apples and oranges, it's hard to get fresh fruit into a kid who won't eat either.

I used to just hope that all the blackberries she ate over the summer would carry her over to the spring.

But this January, instead, I am taking on a challenge: to make those apples so attractive Clem just has to take a bite.

I was amazed that while making gratin Clementine at raw potatoes. So we are going to chop and cook a lot of apples. Eventually she'll have to take a bite of a raw one, right? If not, I plan on cooking the apples less and less.

We're going to construct a food bridge from apple pie to apples.

Susan B. Roberts, a Tufts University nutritionist...suggested a “rule of 15” — putting a food on the table at least 15 times to see if a child will accept it. Once a food is accepted, parents should use “food bridges,” finding similarly colored or flavored foods to expand the variety of foods a child will eat. If a child likes pumpkin pie, for instance, try mashed sweet potatoes and then mashed carrots. If a child loves corn, try mixing in a few peas or carrots. Even if a child picks them out, the exposure to the new food is what counts.

We did a little food bridging last night. Ev and Clem love chicken and dumplings, but Greta will only eat the chicken and maybe a couple carrot slices. Our "dumplings" are usually strips of flour tortilla. You can't beat 'em for easy.

But yesterday I thought we'd make real dumplings. Clementine and Greta helped. Clementine measured and mixed all the dry ingredients. And stirred in the cream.
Greta helped out with forming the dumplings.
And plopping them into the soup.
I am sure the thick, almost oatmeal-like consistency of the soup after the dumplings went in would have provoked horror had they not made the dumplings themselves. As it was, Clem ate it and Greta...well...Greta fished out some chicken and carrots as usual.

I guess bridges aren't built in a day.

Anyone have any apple recipes or apple book recommendations to share?


gina said...

Have you made your own applesauce yet? Super easy- or baked apples.

dish56 said...

Dumplings! We make soup all the time in winter, but we haven't made dumplings in ages.

One of the first recipes I ever baked with regularity was the Apple Crumble Pizza Pie which I learned in my 7th grade home ec class. (Taught by a man--how cool is that?) I don't have the recipe anymore, but it was basically a big flat apple pie baked in a pizza pan, with crumble topping. Just a random apple recipe recollection...

I love Alice Waters' books: Chez Panisse Vegetables and Chez Panisse Fruits when I'm looking for a recipe for a particular fruit or veggie.

Susan said...

Great ideas--we just made applesauce. Look for a post tomorrow...:) I think Clem would love the idea of an apple crumble pizza pie. Did it have a bottom crust, or just the crumble top? And I love Chez Panisse Vegetables, but don't have CP Fruit. I put a link at the top of the blog to Chez Panisse Fruit on Amazon and I am doing battle once again with my nemesis that ole one click button.

AM said...

The food bridge is an awesome idea. In addition, what about a "horizontal" approach - with pears?

AM said...

When you say "dumpling," does that mean they are filled with meat, like a won ton?

Susan said...

If you click on the photo of the recipe it will take you to the recipe on epicurious. I found this definition from Wikipedia entertaining. A dumpling is basically anything you want it to be:

Dumplings, as defined in a standard English dictionary, fall in two main categories: these are either "piece[s] of dough, sometimes filled, that are cooked in liquid such as water or soup" or alternatively "sweetened dough wrapped around fruit, such as an apple, baked and served as a dessert."[1] More generally, dumplings may be any of a wide variety of dishes, both sweet and savoury, that are not necessarily dough-based. There are varieties of dumplings made from bread, potatoes, or matzoh meal, with or without filling. Dumplings are made from balls of dough, crumbled bread, or mashed potatoes. Alternatively, they may be fashioned as small parcels of food encased in dough, batter, pastry, or even edible leaves. Once the filling is put inside the ball or is encased in a pocket, dumplings usually undergo further treatment by boiling, steaming, simmering, frying, or baking. Before the discovery of the New World dumplings did not contain potatoes, but instead were typically made with meat, fish, or sweets.