Eat Your Way Around the World: Italy

Busy families rely on spaghetti as a default, kid friendly food, and there’s nothing wrong about that, but consider this: Italian style eating is a really easy, surefire way to get some nutrition onto the plate and into kids’ mouths.

There is perhaps no culture on the planet more passionate, more dedicated to the quality and care of food than the Italians. Their processes and their pride in their work go back centuries. Conceptually, eating in Italy is a fascinating study of human nature, not to mention, completely delicious.

If your kids are finicky, making Italian food is a twofer: a chance to create something beautiful and a chance to talk about the idea of really enjoying the art of making and eating everyday, like the Italians. Here are some simple dishes to try with your kids, and some tidbits of culture to boot.

Caprese Salad. Basil, Cacio (or Mozzarella) Cheese, some summer tomatoes, and a drizzle of olive oil, and boom, you have an edible work of art. Originating from the Island of Capri, this simple salad is so fun for kids to arrange on the plate. You can also use baby mozzarella for the little ones and they love the bite size chunks. http://www.swide.com/food-travel/caprese-salad-history-and-traditional-recipe/2014/07/11

Orzo Salad. This light, pasta dish is great, again simple to prepare, but filled with yummy ingredients and its fun to riff on this and throw in other seasonal flavors like sweet corn or beans. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/orzo-salad-with-feta-olives-and-bell-peppers-4562

Cherries with Ricotta and Almonds. This desert is so delicious – and it only has three ingredients! It also welcomes a swirl of honey or a dash of cocoa powder. And you know how kids love to garnish. Ricotta originated in Sicily, but the processes of creating the cur go even further back to the ancient Greeks.
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/cherries_with_ricotta_toasted_almonds.html

References: http://www.cliffordawright.com/caw/food/entries/display.php/topic_id/12/id/87/

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