When was the last time yours kid ran into the kitchen begging for Japchae Veggie Stir-Fry? Never? Of course. After all it is made with mushrooms, kale and tofu. Even if you told them it would feed their brain, then would they try it?
When I was asked to taste test this recipe with the Kid Kritics, I was totally dubious – . thought for sure I was skating on thin ice. Because it was not only a super healthy recipe and because it is one of the Healing Meals served to kids receiving chemo treatments, I committed to trying it. First I had to shop for all the ingredients, not my favorite pastime. Then I had to follow the directions, another of my personal flaws of resistance. Step by step I carefully soaked the noodles as directed. Then cooked the noodles, let them cool and marinated them in some toasted sesame oil, sunflower oil and low-sodium soy sauce (I used Bragg Liquid Aminos.) Meantime I stir-fried the onions, garlic and carrots. Then added the tofu, mushrooms, spinach and kale followed by the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and onion powder plus agave sauce. (Have I lost you yet?) Lastly, I added the cooked noodles. VOILA! Packing it up, I drove to the YMCA and tip towed into the room filled with eager for yummy food kids. “What’s this? What are you serving today? What do I smell? Wow, whatever it is, it sure tastes good!” (encouraging words!). They always want to know what they are going to taste test, but this is forbidden information. With help from servers, we filled and passed around the plates. In our blind taste test, the kids first have to answer, “Does it Look Good?” I was worried this would be the deal breaker… cooked kale, spinach, tofu and mushrooms are a far cry from pizza and chicken nuggets. Not! Then they have to answer if it Smells Good. This proved to be the selling point. The nose knows! At last they are allowed to taste it. WOW – Kazaam. They loved it! In minutes they were begging for more. Who would have guessed – not me. This recipe passed with high marks.
It gets better. After, I asked them what they want to be when they grow up – part of our Fuel Your Dreams nutrition education program. One 8 year old boy, sitting in the back of the room, was waving his arm so hard I had to call on him. His answer, I want to be a vtol engineer. I tried to understand but didn’t so he repeated it, “I want to be a vtol engineer!” Seeing I was still perturbed, in frustration he shouted, “I want to invent flying cars!” A VOTL Engineer does just that. To this revelation, we connected his need to feed his brain, food found in the Japchae Veggie Stir Fry (kale, spinach, onion, mushrooms). Right away, our future flying car inventor and all in the room begged for seconds and even thirds. Thank heavens I had more than usual, enough to satisfy everyone’s demands.
The Kid Kritics Approved program not only turns kids on to healthy food that taste good and motivates them to choose it, they also become nutrition ambassadors, whether it be for a product or recipe. Moms have come rushing into after a taste test and asked what we just gave to their kids… what was so healthy and good that their kids are asking for it at home. Or, they simple want to thank us for converting their kids into healthy eaters, which has infected their whole family. This is music to our ears!
Imagine this happening to thousands of kids in hundreds of after-school programs held at the YMCA, Boys & Girls Club or schools? If you want a Kid Kritics Approved Taste Test program to be held in your community, let us know. They are supported by donations as we are a non-profit organization. Any contribution from you will help spread the Kid Kritics nutrition ambassador program around the nation, and especially to your neighborhood and home. Click here to learn more and donate!
for the health of your family,