Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Foods On A Stick: A sure fire way to get your kids to try new fare

If your kids are hesitant to try new foods that are fresh and healthy, try a new approach. I take a new approach when I want to break up the monotony of my kid’s camp lunch box i.e. the normal sandwich or regular piece of fruit. For instance, try making a fruit salad and put it on a stick for desert and accompany it with a yogurt sauce on the side for dipping.

For the main coarse, I have done diff types of proteins from chicken to tofu, lamb and beef interspersed with different raw and cooked veggies. It is always a hit, and best of all it is a good way to get your kids involved in the preparation. Even the pickiest eaters are more apt to try things if they are on a stick.

The very nature of a skewer, lean meat or fish interspersed with a variety of fresh vegetables and maybe brushed with a simple sauce, all but guarantees healthy eating. Best of all, food on stick (kebabs) take just a few minutes to assemble and the potential for deliciousness are limited only by your child’s imagination.

Rules if you are going to cook with the skewers:

Step 1. Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 20 minutes before loading them up. The moisture will prevent the wood from catching fire.
Step 2. The protein you're cooking will determine the size of the produce on your skewers. Shrimp and scallops cook quickly, so fruits and veggies should be cut smaller. Chicken and pork take time to cook, so pair them with larger chunks.
Step 3. You can marinate the loaded skewers in sauce before cooking, up to two hours for meat, but no more than 30 minutes for seafood.

1 1/2 to 2 pounds of salmon, cut into 2-inch pieces (largish-bite sized pieces)
The cloves from 1/2 head of garlic, peeled, crushed, minced
2 Tablespoons of fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon of coarse salt
2 1/2 teaspoons of dry cumin
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
Olive oil

1. Mix garlic, lime juice, salt, , cumin, salt and pepper, and cilantro together. Pour mixture over salmon chunks and marinate more than 24 hours. I’ve found that 2 nights is ideal.
2. Remove salmon from mixture and blot out any extra liquid residing on the salmon with a paper towel. Keep any garlic/cilantro on the salmon! Drizzle 1 tbs of olive oil to lightly coat the salmon.
3. String salmon onto skewers. If the salmon chunk is fairly thin, fold the salmon in half and pierce through the middle.
3. Heat grill plate on medium heat and spray the pan with non-stick spray . Grill salmon skewers on one side for 3 minutes (do not flip during the 3 minutes!) Flip the skewer over and cook for another 2 minutes.If you do not have a grill you can broil them with same instructions in your oven.


  1. I love the fruit idea! I'm going to try it out with my day campers (I'm working as a camp director this summer). It sounds like a fun activity. Thanks!

  2. I also work in a camp. Kids will like this idea

  3. My kids love any food on a stick. It makes any food more appealing and special. Meatballs with a dipping sauce work great.