My 4 year old decided that we should make a recipe from the Coles magazine for creamy bacon and corn soup. I did modify it slightly though to fit in with the ingredients that we had on hand. The recipe is below.
The steps that were good for both girls to participate in were:
Removing the husks and silks from the corn
Hand over hand peeling of the potatoes
Chopping the onion in our Tupperware turbochef (no, I am not affiliated with them – just love that the girls enjoy using it and it is pretty safe)
Pouring in the stock to the pot
Sorting out and putting the scraps into the compost bin
Picking the thyme leaves from the twigs
Stirring the butter and thyme through the popped corn
As I mentioned in this blog post I wrote for One Handed Cooks about why kids don’t eat meat – getting “help” in the kitchen from the kids doesn’t necessarily need to be helpful. Sorting out scraps, washing fruits and vegetables in a little container on the floor and playing with the herbs are great ways for them to get sensory exposures to the foods that will be presented to them without any pressure to eat them. The engaged senses include touch, smell, sound and sight. Building on this sensory engagement by discussing what they are expereincing with tangible aspects of the food is a great exercise and helps at mealtimes ten-fold. The more we practice language skills in the everyday with kids the easier it becomes for us and the more they learn.
Now, despite my best efforts to engage them in this process, the time it took meant that I unintentionally caused another sensory issue for my 4 year old. TIREDNESS and becoming OVER HUNGRY. Yes, we should treat “missing” their tired and hungry cues as a sensory meltdown (NOT behavioural meltdown). Immediately, I saw that the meal was going pear shaped. We all hopped up from the table and did some star jumps, bounced like a kangaroo (for proprioceptive engagment) and then I also engaged her vestibular sensory system by playfully tipping her upside down. AND then I also used the emotion program to work out the content of the issue, empathised with her and we problem solved it together. We decided that the soup needed to be more finely blended and that she would like her popped corn on the side (not on top). Then, she polished off the bowl of soup and popped corn. To be honest the soup was sooooo much better the way she suggested.
Here is our adapted recipe.
- 20g butter
- 2 rashers, diced middle bacon (rind and some fat removed)
- 1 leek, pale part only, sliced into rounds
- 2 cobs of corn, husks and silks removed
- 750ml low sodium vegetable stock
- 1 large potato, peeled and diced
- 2 tsp crushed garlic
- 100ml thickened cream
- Popped Corn:
- 1 tbsp of popping kernels
- 1 tsp butter
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed from twig
- Heat the butter in a large saucepan and sautee the leek and bacon over a medium heat. Once the leek is softened, add the garlic and stir for about one minute.
- Use a sharp knife to remove the kernels from the cobs of corn. Add the corn, potato and stock to the saucepan.
- Simmer for 20 minutes and check that the potato is cooked through.
- In the meantime, put the popping corn kernels into a brown paper bag. Fold over the ends and place in the microwave on high for 70 seconds or until the popping of the kernels reduces in frequency. Some kernels may not pop. Add the popped corn to the bowl and mix through the butter quickly so that it melts. Next add the thyme so it can stick to the popped corn with the butter.
- Remove the soup from the heat and use a stick blender to blend the soup ingredients together.
- Stir in the cream and serve.
- Add thyme flavoured popped corn to the top of your own soup at the table or serve on the side.
How do you handle mealtime meltdowns brought on by tiredness or becoming over hungry? Would your kids enjoy bouncing like kangaroos, stomping like dinosaurs or trying to push the wall over the most? I love how creative they can be about getting their bodies moving!
If you want more information on helping a toddler eat soup – you will love this post!
PS. More information on strategies for fussy eating, family meals and lunchboxes can be found in the happy mealtimes eCourse.