When I was a kid, I remember giving my mom such a hard time during meals.
Not because I didn’t want to eat nor was it because I was a picky eater—I loved to eat alright and I would even ask for extra servings even at the school canteen! Besides the extra rice, I would even ask for extra soup or even a just a bit more sauce/serving!
The problem was that I only ate pork, beef, chicken and a little bit fish—but absolutely ZERO
veggies. I would ask for a separate serving of “nilaga” or “sinigang” without any of the vegetables in the soup and would remove even the miniscule bits of carrots in the lumpiang shanghai or fried rice. I looked at veggies like bits of dirt that contaminated my food and I would have none of it.
But that was until I got introduced to potatoes—to be specific— fries.
Back then, fries weren’t all that common. Those famous fast food restaurants already already existed but just like a lot of families in those days we only went there on Sundays or special occasions.
I liked potato chips but I started to like fries even more, and when I first got a taste of mashed potatoes (I think I was already in grade five) that was it– I realized potatoes is Love!
Although I still don’t eat a lot of veggies, potatoes somehow helped me get introduced to food of the healthier kind.
Now that there are all sorts of potato dishes available, I think it’s easier to get more kids to love them more. After all, what’s not to love? They can be prepared dozens of healthy ways with flavors and spices that lend them to ethnic and traditional cuisine. What’s more, potatoes do a body good.
Did you know that potatoes are packed with vitamin C (boosts immunity), vitamin B6 (improves cognitive function) and potassium (important for healthy growth and building muscles). They are filled with “quality carbs” that help optimize mental and physical performance. Potatoes are also naturally fat-, sodium- and cholesterol-free.
Potatoes are also called a gateway vegetable, because instead of displacing other vegetables on the plate, potatoes actually make it easier for kids to eat a wider variety of veggies.
And since kids get hungry fast, they need quality foods that help them feel full longer and provide the energy they need to keep going—again potatoes to the rescue!
Growing and learning kids need to power up for their studies and school activities and it’s up to the parents and guardians to make them eat more nutritious kinds of food.
Potato fries are probably your child’s most popular choice, but like I said potatoes can be very versatile. You can include them in soups, salads, main dishes, and even sweet and savory desserts that use potatoes.
Potatoes USA, an organization that has thankfully brought US frozen, US tablestock and US dehydrated potatoes to our shores, offers a lot of options for potato meals. Preparing and portioning your potatoes are a step towards healthier and happier kids. It’s time for them to learn that there’s so much more to power snacking and right eating than just avoiding sweets.
Instead of just frying tots, get creative and explore recipes that your child might enjoy. Try baking, or roasting, or mixing potatoes with low-calorie ingredients and flavorings. Consider keeping the skin on for more nutrients.
To demonstrate the potato’s versatility the organization recently visited the culinary club of The Raya School in Fairview, Quezon City. After a session on the potato’s benefits, and a preparation and cooking demo, the students were challenged to try their own potato dishes at home.
Chef Kristine Lotilla conducted the workshop that was attended by middle school students of The Raya School. The students are members of the school’s Culinary Club. Chef Kristine and the students prepared two recipes: Broccoli Cheddar Potato Puffs and Chocolate Mashed Potato Truffles.
Each student was given a mashed potato kit containing U.S. Dehydrated Potato Standard Flakes, milk, butter, and salt. Chef Kristine showed them how to rehydrate the dehydrated potatoes.
If the kids can do it, so can you!
Here’s a recipe that you might want to try out!
Cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Potato Puffs
“These cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Potato Puffs are fluffy on the inside with just a bit of crispiness on the outside. Loaded with flavor and super easy to make, you’ll want to make th
ese potato puffs to round out your next meal or to serve as an appetizer at your next party!”
1 lb. white potatoes, washed and cubed
3 Tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cooked broccoli florets, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped chives
1 minced garlic clove
Additional chopped chives, for garnish
PREPARATION Prep Time: 25min | Cook Time: 35min
In a large pot add cubed potatoes and fill with enough cold water to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Drain water and mash potatoes with butter, salt, and pepper, adding more salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese, broccoli, eggs, chives, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Evenly divide potato mixture into the 12 muffin cups.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until potato puffs are set and tops are browned.
Remove muffin tin to a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes. Carefully remove potato puffs from tin to serving platter. Top with sour cream and additional chopped chives. Serve immediately.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
If you have kids who don’t like new recipes, you can also do small changes to incorporate potatoes in their favorite dishes like using crisscut fries in your next kaldereta? Or maybe make some warm potato chowder during those rainy days to keep your family warm,
I know there are lots of other healthy foods to choose from. But all the greens and sprouts in the world won’t help, if they just get pushed around the plate. Remember, it only becomes nutritious once your child chews and swallows it.
High quality U.S. potatoes in a wide variety can be purchased from major supermarkets and groceries nationwide. For more information on US potatoes, visit www.potatogoodness.com or like and follow Potatoes USA-Philippines on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PotatoesUSAPhilippines.