Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Napa Cabbage & Chicken Salad and Choosing Healthy Foods

This Napa Cabbage salad was today's lunch and my girls and I ate it all up!

I am so proud of my girls (5 year old twins) and how well they eat. When given a choice of what to eat, (most of the time) they will ask for salads, fruits, nuts. It is so much easier to get your kids to eat healthy when you start from the beginning of life.

We try to eat "clean" at least 85% of the time. We still love our chicken nuggets and waffle fries from Chick-fil-a, but we limit that to about once a month. I also have to squeeze in my cheese enchiladas about once a month too!

The best thing to do is to make the healthy foods very tasty, fun, and appealing so kids (and adults) will choose the healthy option. My goal is to do that with my cooking and plating of our family meals. These days, we are challenged with making foods, like cabbage, appealing to kids while competing with gummies and cereals that have prizes inside or cartoon characters on the outside.

An example of how to avoid the character cereal and gummies is to tell my kids "instead buying foods that just have a picture of the characters on the box, which will be tossed in the trash when it is gone, lets buy a coloring book for hours of activity fun." Then I can give them fruits, cheese, pretzel sticks, nuts, or air popped popcorn for snack. They appreciate the coloring book or even a little toy from the $1 section better than starring at a picture on a box. Now this doesn't happen all the time, so I don't mean go buy a toy every time they ask for junk food at the store, but it helps in moderation, then just say 'no' the other times.

Back to the salad above...In a large mixing bowl, whisk 1T lime juice, 1T lemon juice, 2 tsp dark sesame oil, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper for the dressing. Toss the following ingredients and coat well...5 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage, 1 lb shredded cooked organic chicken breast, 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots, 1 medium red bell pepper, and 3T scallions. Once tossed and coated well with the dressing, top with 2T fresh blue cheese crumbles. Enjoy!

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