Monday, 23 September 2013

Kids and chips: is there any way to separate them?*

It’s a familiar scene shared through numerous family homes – that of children tucking into a plateful of chips. Nobody is quite sure why but for some reason this potato product is the mainstay of a child’s diet. Perhaps it’s the taste or the bite-size portions which make them easy to consume? Maybe it’s the connotations with fast food or perhaps it’s because they’re quick to make which means parents are more likely to serve them up!

Whatever the case, an increasing focus on healthy eating has meant many parents have questioned their children’s love affair with chips. So, is there a way to separate the two? And if not then how can you make the arrangement a beneficial one?

Introduce new foods

If you find that chips dominate the dinner plates then the first thing you need to do is start trying to introduce new foods. Stick with potatoes to start with but trying cooking them in different options. Wedges, jacket potatoes and oven-cooked roasties are all fantastic options available from brands like McCain and make a great alternative to everyone’s favourite McCain chips.

Once you’ve got your kids familiar with other potato options you can then look at changing to a different food group altogether. Pasta is a firm family-favourite so why not experiment with different types?

If your little ones struggle with spaghetti and you’re sick of cleaning up the mess they leave behind then why not make a traditional Bolognese with a different type of pasta? Fusilli spirals are a great option but colourful pasta shells and bows work just as well. These are actually called Conchigliette and farfalle.

Additionally, rice and couscous make great alternatives and can be flavoured or coloured to give dinners an extra kick – perfect for little ones!

Make chips healthy

Even if you manage to introduce other foods into your kids diets you’ll still find chips have a place in your kitchen. To give your children a treat they enjoy whilst tackling the health aspects, make sure you cook your chips as healthily as possible.

Oven cooked varieties can be healthier than you realise – especially as they don’t need to be submerged in oil or fat to be cooked. Alternatively, you may want to look at investing in a health fryer. These can produce perfectly golden chips in next to no time and all while only using one small spoonful of oil. 


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