Serving up a new meal for your family? Worried the kids won’t eat it? Try ‘deconstructing’ it and you may find the problem solved for even the fussy eaters.
The ‘deconstructed meal’ or ‘shared meal’ is one where you put different ingredients on different plates or bowls in the middle of the table and then family members or friends, fill their own plates. This is great for kids because they have some responsibility over their eating, have fun designing their meal and feel a real sense of ownership in their dinner. As well, they may feel a sense of adventure when they choose something new! What’s not to like?
Example of deconstructed salad: meal on the left is the mixed version and the right is deconstructed.
Top tip for creating a ‘shared’ meal – Be considerate and make sure there is at least one element of the meal you know your kids will like and happily usually eat (bread, rice, cucumber are often liked by kids). Have a range of foods so they can have fun choosing and feel happy with themselves.
Deconstructed meal ideas:
• sushi bowl – rice, cut nori sheet, grated carrot, omelette, sliced red capsicum, diced cucumber, sliced avocado
• souvlaki – pita, cooked meat, tzatziki, lettuce, cucumber, carrot, capsicum
• Mexican faijitas – tortilla, cooked meat or baked beans, lettuce, mashed avocado, diced mushrooms, capsicum, cucumber, carrot
• tuna noise salad – tinned tuna, mayonnaise, chopped hard boiled eggs, spinach leaves, diced avocado, sliced cucumber
• chicken mango salad – grilled chicken, mango slices, cucumber slices, spinach leaves, croutons, tomatoes or sun dried tomatoes
• roast dinner with different roasted and steamed or raw veggies (see our anything salad for ideas)
• roast potatoes with a range of toppers – roast potatoes, grated cheese, baked beans, drained tinned pineapple, grated carrot, diced cucumber, diced red capsicum, spinach leaves
Sandwiches or wraps with a range of filling choices for kids to enjoy.
What is your favourite ‘ deconstructed meal’? Do pass it on so we can all try it.