[18 months +]
They always say, the more a child is involved in the process of preparing food, the more likely they will be to eat it. Well, I proved it with this fun meal! Call them what you like – rice wraps, vietnamese spring rolls or just spring rolls, they are guaranteed to get your kids eating raw vegetables (which is my constant aim) and even trying new foods (even better!).
How to get the kids hooked!
1. Allow them to help prepare the veges – pick some veges or herbs from your garden, cut omelette or cucumber with a rounded-end knife, scoop avocado out etc.
2. Put out a range of items so they feel like they are choosing what they are eating. We put out chicken cooked with garlic, avocado, grated carrot and beetroot, omelette cut up, basil. Don’t forget things like bean sprouts, snow pea sprouts, grated cabbage, baby spinach or capsicum and cucumber cut into sticks. Finding these organic for the boys can be tricky. The adults also had red onion. We avoid the vermicelli that is sometimes used as it is really only ‘fodder’ and if the boys can fill up with veges/protein/good fats instead, I am happy!
3. Get them involved in first watching and learning how one is made and then helping the next time. We needed one on one for this activity but I’m sure they will soon get better with it.
4. Ease them into it slowly if needed. We explained the rice wrapping was just like rice noodles which the boys love. This allowed their brain to cope with the texture and flavour, knowing it was something they had already experienced. After the first round, we suggested they try something new wrapped up, such as grated beetroot. Wow, they agreed to it!
5. Provide a sauce – the ‘dip dip’ is half the fun (and might disguise some of the new flavours!). We used sesame oil due to the boys’ soy intolerance, but you could also bring out kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) which sticks to the rice well, tamari or sweet chilli sauce or even tahini (super healthy). Or make your own!
6. Always remember to confirm that they liked these (as long as they did) and keep talking about them until you make them again, to avoid the ‘yuck/I don’t like these’ next time!