Monday, September 14, 2009

Kids and Health Food

I have the most adorable nephew in the world. No, really. Really :) In fact, one of his doctors described his appearance as such, literally "an adorable little boy with glasses and big, brown eyes." OK, I suppose I'm somewhat biased having not met all the planet's 6-year-olds (and I'm the strict aunt!) but this kid is quite a charmer. He was diagnosed with ADHD and shortly thereafter Asperger's syndrome a couple of years ago. While some of his behaviors are virtually indetectable from other young children (an enduring fascination with trains!), his repetitive behaviors and speech, physical patterns, and limited social ability are sadly more pronounced now that he's in first grade. It's quite heartbreaking, though above all he is such an intelligent and good natured little one....

It's highly recommended that kids with these conditions eliminate sugars and refined foods from their diet. I couldn't imagine eating plain Quakers oatmeal at 12, let alone giving up the sweet, instant stuff altogether. Still, I'm determined to reinvent healthy foods in ways that he is familiar. My first try was a simple recipe of zucchini fries with flax. Fine for me, but kid friendly it was NOT. So I tried something both he - and I - could enjoy.

Chickpea Fries with Romesco

Lunch included some eggplant meatballs, romesco sauce, and of course the chickpea fries. Click here for a basic recipe for the fries - Sara cooks it without adding breading or cheese that mask their simple, delicious flavor. I recommend you leave the panisse ovenight for best results. For the sauce, see my earlier post. Take or leave the chili. In my nephew's case, I'd leave it - he knows what he likes :)

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