Today on No Whine Wednesday, we’re really excited to host the Meal Makeover Moms, Liz and Janice.  I met these lovely ladies at BlogHer in August and they were diligently working on a collection of recipes for picky eaters for their book cleverly titled No Whine With Dinner.  I thought a giveaway with their cookbook would be a perfect fit for No Whine Wednesday!

Picky Eater Pointers and a Recipe for Quesadillas

By: Liz Weiss, MS, RD and Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RD

Authors, No Whine With Dinner
Food blog: Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen

In a perfect world, every child would eat a well-balanced diet overflowing with fruits and vegetables and whole grains. But in reality, most children fall short of the daily recommendations. Even though we’re dietitians and cookbook authors, we too have weathered eye rolls, yucks, and even the devastating “that’s gross.’’

The advice that’s most often given to entice kids to eat well can be highly effective: Eat together as a family; model good eating habits; offer new foods over and over again; and maintain a positive attitude at the dinner table. That said, if this advice worked 100 percent of the time, supermarkets would be hard pressed to keep spinach and broccoli on their shelves and moms across America would be a lot less stressed during mealtime.

In the summer of 2009, we sent a survey to our online community of moms to gauge their greatest mealtime challenges and find out how they promoted healthy eating. From the nearly 600 people who took the survey, we learned that the number one obstacle to getting children to eat healthy, well-balanced meals is “picky eaters who whine and complain.” That kernel of feedback from so many moms inspired us to write our new cookbook, No Whine with Dinner . In it, we serve up 150 kid-approved recipes and 50 moms’ secrets for getting kids — picky, adventurous, or anywhere in between — to try new foods.

Here’s a sneak preview of some of the tips featured in our book:

  • Valerie, mother of George, age 4 says, “We gave our son his own apron, chef’s hat, and bought some age-appropriate kitchen tools. Having him help in the kitchen gets him excited to try his own creations!”
  • Lisa, mother of Taylor, age 3, Jackson, age 5 and Anthony, age 8 suggests, “Each of my children has to ‘eat their age’ in bites, which means that Anthony has to have at least eight bites, Jackson, five bites, and Taylor, three bites.”

All of the recipes in the book were tested by moms and tasted by kids. We have so many favorites in the book, but this one for Quick Apple Sausage Quesadillas seemed like a great one to share. It’s chockfull of veggies – sautéed bits of red bell pepper and sweet corn kernels – and it’s versatile. You could easily swap the bell pepper for a shredded carrot or a finely diced zucchini and the barbecue sauce for salsa. Best of all, it’s always a hit with our kids!

Quick Apple Sausage Quesadillas

Makes 5 Servings

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch dice (about 1 ½ cups)
2 fully cooked apple chicken sausages, casings removed and meat coarsely chopped
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
Five 8-inch flour tortillas, preferably whole wheat

1.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 7 minutes.  Stir in the sausage, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. In a bowl, stir together the cooked bell pepper and sausage, cheese, corn kernels, and barbecue sauce. Spread the mixture evenly over half of each tortilla. Fold over, press down gently, and set aside.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat (you may want to wipe out the skillet first). Add 2 of the quesadillas and cook, pressing down occasionally with a spatula, until the bottoms are crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Flip them, and cook until the other sides are golden, about 2 minutes.

4. Repeat with the remaining oil and quesadillas. Cut into halves or quarters and serve.

Nutrition Information per Serving:  320 calories, 15g fat (3.5g saturated, 0.5g omega-3), 710mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 17g protein, 35% vitamin A, 100% vitamin C, 20% calcium

To celebrate the launch of our new cookbook, we are giving away an autographed copy of No Whine with DinnerThe giveaway ends on November 7, so hurry up and enter! We’ll pick our winner using

To enter, post a comment with your best, most creative tip for encouraging everyone in your family (spouses included) to eat a super-nutritious diet … happily.  For a second entry, post a tip on the Food on the Table’s Facebook page.  After the giveaway ends, we’ll take some of your tips and tricks and add them to our new Picky Eater Makeover page. Good luck, and we look forward to hearing from you.

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