Actually I don’t even have to ask my husband what he would like to eat for dinner — 99% of the time, his answer is either pizza or pasta. And I’m like: “Nooooo, not again!”
Admittedly, there are so many variations of pizza and pasta, and I wouldn’t get bored with these dishes in the kitchen. However, my own expectations of healthy and varied food for my family are somewhat higher. Moreover, I personally would like to have a more varied diet. Conjure up two different dinners on the table? Sure, but not in this life!
“The way to the heart is through the stomach”, I care about what I serve at home. Usually the menus are prepared rather haphazardly. During our year abroad in Los Angeles I got to know and love the Buddha Bowls, also called Macro Bowls.
These bowls ensure a perfect balance of different ingredients:
Grains, vegetables, legumes or fish, fermented foods.
More concrete: A healthy and balanced way to absorb the main nutrients: carbohydrates (30-50%), proteins (25-35%) and fat (25-35%). Moreover, these bowls are great to put on the table as a dish to share. In the morning, especially during the summer months, we love to start the day with a smoothie bowl (see recipe below), which is also a great way to hide the greens (they become invisible when they’re pureed)!
In my opinion, colourful dishes are more fun. We often have a selection of different delicacies on the table (just like the bowls). My motto: healthy, regional and additive-free. 95% of the things on the table are healthy, 5% are more of a treat (such as sweet potato fries, fish sticks or tortilla chips). On Sunday we serve Nutella rolls or homemade nut butter / chocolate spread without any refined sugar.
Variety makes the difference! If it’s mainly healthy and nutritious, I can live with an unhealthy side dish. Personally, I am inspired by “intuitive eating”, children are my role models. With my son I often observe that he only eats when he is really hungry. For example, one day he loves berries, the next day he throws them all to the ground. Sometimes he devours huge portions, and other days, not even three peas. I trust that he will get what he needs. Adults often tend to be overeaters and eat non-stop. This is probably due to the increased supply, boredom, frustration or other feelings.
Children imitate what the grown-ups do. This also applies to eating. I recently asked my husband to stop saying “that’s really gross” if he doesn’t like something. If children see that behaviour, they’ll pick up on it too.
I like the “joker” aspect
Each member of the family may refuse a certain amount of food. If it is on the menu, it doesn’t have to be eaten, but everything else should at least be tried. While we live in the city, I grew up in the country and know how an apple grows. It is important to me that our children also know where the vegetables on the table come from. I think trips to the berry field or to the weekly market are great ways to show the little ones that a carrot doesn’t come out of the ground directly in supermarket.
But I still have to serve broccoli in a rather liquid form… ? This works great in the form of pesto (e.g. with cashews instead of parmesan) or as hummus. Dips are also a great addition to a macro bowl, salad dressing or vegetable sticks! Since healthy food isn’t always tasty per se, a little imagination is required. Be brave and try new combinations. Try combining fruits with vegetables, for example: mango, courgette and corn or tomato mozzarella with raspberries (as a light dressing).
Tastes deliciously fresh!
Cauliflower Smoothie Bowl
- half of a smaller head of cauliflower
- 150g frozen blueberries
- 1 small courgette (I used a yellow one)
- 250 ml milk (or a vegan alternative)
- 4 tbsp natural yoghurt (or a vegan alternative)
- 40g cashews
- 4 tbsp oat flakes
- 1 pinch of cinnamon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- seeds, nuts, berries, fruits as decoration
- Puree all ingredients (using a blender or food processor) until you have a creamy consistency.
- Decorate the bowls with any toppings. You can also freeze the smoothie bowls to enjoy later!