As parents, everyone can relate to one major struggle: the mealtime standoff. Encouraging little ones to expand their culinary horizons and try new foods can quickly become stressful for the entire family. Fortunately, there are plenty of different ways to make dinner enjoyable for everyone again.
When it comes to introducing your child to pork, check out our top three tips:
1. Incorporate their other favorites
One of the best ways to help kids get comfortable eating pork is to cook it up with some tried-and-true favorites. For example, hot dogs and ground pork can both easily be incorporated into other meals that your little one is already happy to eat. Some ideas for ways to use pork in different dishes include:
- Mac and cheese: If your little one’s all-time favorite food is macaroni, this hot dog casserole is a great way to introduce them to pork. Cheesy, savory and delicious, they’ll be sure to ask for seconds.
- Pasta: For our pasta lovers out there, bolognese sauce is a great recipe for both adults and kids.
- Quesadillas: Another way to cook a kid-friendly meal with hot dogs are quesadillas. Not only do they taste great, but you can also easily store any leftovers in case your child is only able to eat a few pieces at a time.
Once your child has gotten comfortable with pork in other dishes, you can slowly start introducing them to it on its own, such as with a tenderloin or a full ham.
2. Make mealtime fun
We all remember being told not to play with our food as children, however, it can be incredibly helpful when it comes to making new foods a little less intimidating.
Ham cutouts are an easy recipe that puts the fun back in dinner — plus, all you need to create this dish are your favorite ham steaks and cookie cutters. Depending on your little one’s preferences, there are plenty of different flavors to choose from, including brown sugar and maple. If one of the hurdles you face in getting your child to try pork is a taste that’s new to them, these sweet-yet-savory options are sure to do just the trick.
When you’re ready to eat, have your child pick out their favorite cookie cutters. Then, help them to cut different shapes out of their ham steak. The sizes can vary, but if your picky eater is worried about tackling a full plate, opting for smaller, bite-size shapes can help alleviate some of that stress. Once they’ve finished using the cooking cuter, all you need to do is place your ham steaks on a baking sheet and bake until heated through, which should take about five minutes. Serve with your child’s favorite sides and enjoy!
3. Make cooking a family activity
For older children or less complicated recipes, having everyone help out in the kitchen is a great way to make mealtime more fun for the whole family. There’s nothing better or more satisfying than cooking and enjoying a delicious meal with loved ones. Exploring new recipes as a family will be sure to create meaningful memories for years to come.