Start Kidding Yourself

Chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs, purple ketchup, lunchables, and crazy straws. Parents and marketers alike are always trying to make foods more kid-friendly: fun, bite-size, colorful. Kids have it good, right? And who thinks of all this fun stuff? Adults. Adults are the masterminds of fun. Kids have been riding our coattails forever.

While the products mentioned above are gimmicky and would not be classified as healthy, they are fun and easy to eat.  Aesthetics and ease make a big difference when it comes to food. Think about it. Are you more likely to break into a big bunch of celery with a rubber band wrapped around it, or some neatly cut celery sticks? Are you more likely to start chomping on a whole carrot unpeeled and a little dirty, or some bite size carrot sticks? Are you… do I need to do this three times? I think you get the point.

Just because you’re an adult does not mean your food has to be boring.  And just because you’re eating the most nutritious food you can find, doesn’t mean your food can’t be dazzling to the eye.  Here are some fun ideas that will blow chicken nugget raptors out of the water:

  • Lettuce tacos with beef, shrimp, fish, or chicken. Dice up some tomatoes, olives, and chiles. Throw on some salsa. Hey, I made a recipe! Nom Nom Paleo has a better one here.
  • Adorable beef or turkey sliders on portabella mushroom “buns”. Show me a tiny hamburger that’s not adorable and I’ll…well, I’ll eat it regardless. C’mon.
  • Gloriously green guacamole. Avocados are packed with mono-unsaturated fats, which are mono-delicious. Eat it with some of those nice carrot and celery sticks you cut up! Or get fancy and make some plantain chips.

Of course, this isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s also about preparation. Spending an extra 5 minutes planning your meals, 10 minutes prepping easy-to-grab veggies, or an hour cooking a few meals at once can make all the difference on how your food looks and tastes. And how much more likely you are to stick with it over a Happy Meal. You can still have the crazy straw, though.

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~ by 8weeks2thrive on January 18, 2012.

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