Feeding Small People Does Not Have To Be A Battle

This interview was actually conducted long ago, but the information is still valid today.

An entirely new group of young children can now benefit from the same recipes and ideas!

Small children need great nutrition, as their minds and bodies are growing.



What is Family Style Meal Service?

Family style meals are where the food is placed on the table in serving bowls. Each person takes what they want, and then passes the serving bowl to the next person. Through this type of service, children learn to share, develop hand-eye coordination and motor skills. Small children will need some assistance in serving and passing the bowls of food, but can certainly express a preference for which foods they want on their plates. This lets them take responsibility for deciding what they will eat and how much they will eat.


Feeding the Small Ones Right


Small people have their own special dietary needs, said Pat Anderson, Executive Director of Nutrition for North Dakota Daycare Children.

“The first two years, we are setting the building blocks for a lifetime of eating,” said Anderson. “You want to formulate good eating habits, so you want to expose them to a variety of foods.”

Children are in charge of what and how much they eat; parents are in charge of where they eat, when they eat, and how the food is prepared. This division of responsibility is important, said Anderson.

“The child’s role is probably very challenging for us,” said Anderson. “It is up to the child to choose which of the foods served they will eat and how much they will eat.”

“You cannot make a toddler eat something,” said Anderson. “It is a losing battle.”

The important role of the family is teaching the child to eat at scheduled times, said Anderson. “As a child moves from infant to toddler, they are exposed to the family meal structure. Plus snacks—they have small tummies and need to eat small portions.”

The danger is when toddlers are permitted to panhandle treats between scheduled meal and snack times. “If you are allowing the child to panhandle you and demand a cookie an hour before mealtime, they are not hungry for the meal,” said Anderson.

Do not give up on introducing new foods to a child, said Anderson. In a recent study, they found that people gave up on feeding a new food to toddlers after four exposures, said Anderson. “They are learning to like,” said Anderson. “They are learning new textures, new tastes. They have to have frequent exposures to it. Often it can take fifteen or twenty exposures before they like it.”

Serving meals family style is the best choice, said Anderson. The child can decide which of the foods they wish to eat and how much of each they will eat. “It is not uncommon there will be days they will only eat a bite from two of the foods you offer. Other days, they will surprise you with how much they will eat. As long as they are growing normally and are healthy, they are eating enough,” said Anderson.

It is important to make sure there is something on the table that you know the toddler will like, said Anderson. Offer them common staples, such as bread and milk, a protein source, a starchy food, and be sure to include fruits and vegetables in the meal. Toddler servings are very small. For tots, one to two tablespoons is a serving, or about ¼to 1/3 of an adult serving. They can ask for more if they would like more,” said Anderson.

“Sometimes that is a challenge for parents,” said Anderson. “They are concerned if the child is getting enough. You have to trust that their internal cues are working.”

Another challenge is to avoid pacifying emotions with food, said Anderson. “If a child scrapes their knee, or something bad happens, do not make them feel better with a cookie,” said Anderson. “Do not use food as a reward or punishment.”

Another food concern for toddlers is choking, said Anderson. “There are certain foods you want to be very careful of,” said Anderson. “They have to have small soft pieces. Compare to the size of a marble. Grapes can easily slip and go into the windpipe. They should be quartered.”

Other foods to avoid are raw carrots and carrot coins, peanuts, nuts and seeds. Children under four years should not be served hot dogs that are whole or sliced into rounds, hard candy, raw peas, hard pretzels, chips, popcorn, marshmallows, spoonfuls of peanut butter, and chunks of meat that are too large to be swallowed whole.

While whole grain bread is healthy for “big people” the toddlers should not be eating bread with visible whole grain kernels, said Anderson.

And most important, toddlers should never be allowed to run around when eating. “Emphasize sitting together as a family,” said Anderson. “The parent is the key to fostering good eating habits, mealtimes and structure.”


Birds Nest Salad

1/3 cup grated carrots

5 or 6 grapes, cut into quarters

1 teaspoon salad dressing (mayo type or miracle whip)


Place grated carrots in a bowl and add salad dressing, stirring to moisten. Place carrot mix in a mound in the center of a plate. Make a hollow in the carrot nest with the back of a spoon. Place grapes in the nest for eggs.

Serves 1


Pasta and Trees

1 cup pasta shapes uncooked (look for colorful and fun shapes)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced, or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

4 cups cooked broccoli pieces (cut small for young children)

¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste if desired


Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. In a large skillet heat oil and sauté garlic until golden brown and remove from oil. Or just add garlic powder to the oil. Add broccoli to the oil remaining in the skillet, stirring for 5-10 minutes until heated through. Turn onto a platter with pasta. Sprinkle with cheese, salt and pepper to taste.


French Toast Dippers

4 slices whole wheat bread

1 tablespoon sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons melted margarine

3 cups Rice Krispies

¾ teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup milk

Dash of salt


Cut each slice of bread into four sticks. Place sticks of bread on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes to dry out a little. Put cereal into a resealable bag and crush into fine crumbs. Pour crumbs into a pie plate and add sugar and cinnamon. Mix well. In a bowl beat together eggs, milk, vanilla and salt. Dip each bread stick into egg mixture and roll in crumb mixture. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Drizzle melted margarine over bread sticks. Bake at 425 degrees for 17-19 minutes or until crispy. Fill small cups with warm applesauce and let children dip their French toast sticks. Allow 4 sticks for children ages 6-12 years and 2 sticks for ages 1-5 years.


Surprise Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ cup brown sugar

1 egg

¼ cup jam

1 cup quick-cooking oats

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup canola oil

1 cup skim milk


Preheat oven to 400F. Mix dry ingredients (except sugar) in a bowl. Combine brown sugar, oil, egg and milk until smooth. Add brown sugar mixture to dry ingredients and mix until moistened. Fill 12 greased muffin cups ¼ full. Spoon 1 teaspoon jam over batter and fill each cup ¾ full with remaining batter. Bake 15-20 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving as jam will be very hot.


Pizza Noodle Bake

3 cups noodles (uncooked)

1/3 cup diced onion

1 ½ cups water

1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

1 ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 pound ground beef (90% or more lean)

1 ½ cans (15 ounce size) tomato sauce

1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder


Brown ground beef and onion. In 11×7 baking dish put uncooked noodles and top with hamburger-onion mixture. Mix tomato sauce, water and seasonings, pour over hamburger. Cover and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven, top with shredded cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted.



All recipes courtesy of Nutrition for North Dakota Daycare Children.



Cajun Food

Let the good times roll.

Toe-tapping fiddle music, colorful Mardi Gras parades, and plenty of good eating are quickly envisioned at the very mention of “Cajun” cuisine. Or, as they say in New Orleans – Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Entertaining the Creole way means the host needs to have fun, too. Make the entertaining easy. One easy way to give side dishes and salads that “French Quarter” flair is to spice things up by using Creole seasoning in place of salt. Sprinkle on an authentic, all-purpose blend of Creole spices, readily available in the supermarket spice aisle.

Enjoy The Big Easy, the sweet onion version of the famed muffaletta sandwich, a New Orleans tradition. Choose ingredients with big Creole flavor, easy preparation and that little something extra, or “lagniappe,” as they say in the French Quarter.

Plan for leftovers, because some dishes taste better the next day after their ingredients have had a chance to mingle. Keep refrigerated leftovers fresh in tight-sealing plastic containers and pop in the microwave and to enjoy your treat another day.


The Big Easy

1 cup green olives, preferably Italian, pitted and chopped

1 cup chopped sun-dried tomato (packed in olive oil, drained)

1-1/2 tablespoons capers

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh oregano

(1 teaspoon dried)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or other red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large round loaf Italian bread, about 7 inches in diameter

1 OSO Sweet onion, thinly sliced, separated into rings

1/4 pound thinly sliced mozzarella

1/4 pound thinly sliced salami

1/4 pound thinly sliced ham

1/4 pound thinly sliced provolone

1/4 pound thinly sliced mortadella


Mix the chopped olives and the next 6 ingredients; stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator at least 12 hours to marry flavors. Olive mixture can be made up to a week ahead. Cut bread in half horizontally; remove bread from bottom and top of loaf (discard or save for bread crumbs) to form a thick shell. Spread half the reserved olive mixture (with liquid) on the bottom half, then half the onion rings. Next, layer the cheese and cold cuts in the order listed. Top with remaining onion slices, then remaining olive mixture. Sandwich can be made up to 6 hours ahead. Wrap tightly; store in the refrigerator. Return to room temperature before serving. Cut into 6 wedges.

6 servings

Courtesy of: OSO Sweet Onions


Peanut Butter Cake With Banana Buttercream Icing

1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

3/4 cup peanut butter

3/4 cup butter, softened

6 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup chocolate chips (optional)


Preheat oven to 350F. Spray pan with nonstick vegetable spray. In large bowl, beat brown sugar, peanut butter and butter until light and creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in combined flour, baking powder and baking soda until smooth. If desired, stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean when inserted in middle. Remove cake from oven and cool on cake rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on cake rack.


Banana Buttercream Icing:

3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening

3/4 cup butter

1 1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract

6 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 1/2 pounds)

3 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon banana extract


Cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and banana extract. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Re-whip before using. Yield: 4 1/2 cups.


Blackened Rib Eye Steak

4 (10-ounce) Omaha Steaks Rib Eye Steaks

2 teaspoons Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning

Heat cast iron skillet on high for 5 minutes. Season steaks on both sides with 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning.

Place seasoned steak in hot skillet. For perfect medium rare, cook 3 minutes, then turn and cook 2 minutes more. Serve with Dirty Rice and Creole Vegetable Kabobs.

Serves 4

Courtesy of: The Glad Products Company, Omaha Steaks and Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasonings


Orange Walnut Bread With Sweet Marmalade Butter


1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

4 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup orange juice

Zest from 1 orange

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups chopped walnuts

Marmalade Butter:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

3 tablespoons orange marmalade


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease bottoms only of two (9 x 5-inch) loaf pans or five (5-1/2 x 3-inch) mini loaf pans. Set aside.

Combine sugar and butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs; mix well. Add sour cream, orange juice and orange zest; mix well.

Reduce speed to low. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda; mix well. Stir in nuts.

Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake 45 to 55 minutes in 9 x 5-inch pans (35 to 45 minutes in mini loaf pans) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Let stand 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely.

To make Marmalade Butter, combine butter, powdered sugar and marmalade in small mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Cover; refrigerate until serving time.

Makes 2 loaves or 5 mini-loaves

Courtesy of: National Butter Promotion


Cool Down Cranberry Lemonade

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

2 cups ReaLemon lemon juice from concentrate

4 cups cranberry juice cocktail

Fresh mint sprigs


In skillet, combine water and sugar over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture is simmering. Simmer 10 minutes to make a sugar syrup. (should have about 2 2/3 cups). Remove from heat and cool.

Combine sugar syrup, lemon juice from concentrate and cranberry juice cocktail. Stir well.

Serve in tall glasses over ice.

As a festive touch, garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

Makes 2 quarts

Courtesy of: The Catfish Institute, Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends, and ReaLemon


Creamy Bronzed Catfish Dip

2 U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets (about 6 ounces each)

2 tablespoons Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic, divided

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 pound cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon ReaLemon lemon juice from concentrate

2 teaspoons Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Pepper Sauce

1/4 cup chopped green onions


Sprinkle each side of fillets with 1 teaspoon seasoning. Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over one side of each fillet.

Place skillet over high heat until pan is hot, about 4 minutes. Place fillets in pan, oiled side down. Cook, turning once, until fillets are just cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Fish is cooked when flesh flakes away easily. Set aside and cool.

Chop catfish into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside.

In food processor, combine cream cheese, lemon juice from concentrate, pepper sauce and remaining 2 teaspoons seasoning. Process until cream cheese is fluffy and soft. Transfer mixture to mixing bowl and gently fold in reserved catfish and green onions. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Serve with your favorite crackers, or if you are watching carbohydrates, try this dip with celery sticks.

Makes about 3 cups

Courtesy of: The Catfish Institute, Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends, and ReaLemon


Creamy Chocolate Honey Decadence

Spread onto shortbread or biscuits, heat and drizzle over ice cream or serve with fresh fruit.

2 (4-ounce) bars German sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate

1 cup honey

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup heavy cream


Melt all ingredients together in top of double boiler over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Transfer to decorative bowls and cover with plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator, tightly covered, up to 1 month.

Makes about 3 cups

Variation: After removing from heat, stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons of liqueur. Try Grand Marnier, Amaretto or Chambord.

Courtesy of: National Honey Board


Steak Jambalaya

1 tablespoon oil

1/2 cup yellow onions (1/2-inch chop)

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

1/2 cup red peppers (1/2-inch chop)

1/4 cup celery (1/2-inch chop)

1/4 cup sliced okra

1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes in sauce

1 cup water

1 Omaha Steaks Blackened Rib Eye Steak (see recipe) sliced thin, then halved


Heat oil in skillet. Add onions and garlic; cook until soft. Add peppers, celery and okra; cook until soft. Stir in Creole seasoning. Add diced tomatoes in sauce and water; simmer 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and fold in steak slices. Serve over Dirty Rice.

Serves 4

Courtesy of: The Glad Products Company, Omaha Steaks and Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasonings


Dirty Rice

2 ½ cups cold water

1/2 cup chicken livers and gizzards

1/2 cup cubed pork shoulder

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons diced onions

1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons diced celery

1/4 cup sliced frozen okra

2 tablespoons minced green onions

1/2 tablespoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning

1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 cup uncooked converted rice


Place chicken livers, chicken gizzards and pork shoulder in cold water. Bring to boil and skim off any fat or foam that rises to top. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 30 minutes.

Strain off chicken and pork. Reserve liquid and finely chop meat.

Melt butter in large saucepot. Add vegetables and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are soft.

Add reserved liquid from meat and the rest of the ingredients plus Creole seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and rice, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes, until rice is cooked and most liquid has cooked away.

Serves 4

Courtesy of: The Glad Products Company, Omaha Steaks and Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasonings

2017 Meat & Greet – Come one, come All!




Fundraiser to benefit the 2nd Story Club in Minot, North Dakota!



The Wild Game Meat & Greet Fundraiser will be Friday, April 28th at 5:00 PM. We have an offer of $15,000.00 in matching funds, so our goal is to raise a minimum of $30,000.00 for the night!

It will be at
Off The Vine
15 South Main
Minot, ND

There will be a variety of :
Elk Sausage
Cheese/ Dips/ Crackers
Beer/ Wine


If you cannot attend in person, you can donate at the website!