Getting kiddos to eat their meals isn’t always a walk in the park. One minute, they are happily nibbling on any food they can get their hands on. Another, they refuse to eat anything but a specific dish (often junk!) on repeat. This situation is a nightmare for many parents, racking their brains for lunch options and scrambling to find apt ulam ideas for dinner.
If you have this dilemma, turn to these seven tasty ideas that will excite even the pickiest eaters. A departure from the typical lineup of easy Pinoy ulam recipes, these dishes are quick, fuss-free, and kid-approved. Stress-free meal prep is now within reach!
1. Chicken Fingers
Any fussy eater can’t resist fried chicken. Rather than making deep-fried drumsticks or wings, opt for air-fried or baked breaded breast fillets. They turn out just as crispy as the fried version but without unwelcome calories and other drawbacks. Make the dish more exciting by pairing the crispers with kid-friendly sauces. Introduce them to savory salted egg, honey mustard, and a barbecue bacon dip, and have them pick a favorite.
2. Cheeseburger Soup
Turn your child’s dream of eating burgers for dinner into a reality! This cheeseburger soup has all the components of the fast-food staple minus the fat and extra sodium. To make, combine onions, ground beef, potatoes, cheese, and carrots in a pot. Next, add beef broth and milk, then let the mixture simmer. Garnish with bacon bits, shredded lettuce, and chopped tomatoes. Although this is hearty enough to enjoy on its own, this soup also pairs well with rice or dinner rolls. Save the french fries for next time!
3. Creamy Swedish Meatballs
Sweet and savory food combos are always a hit with bulilits. Give them a protein-packed dinner with a filling plate of Swedish meatballs. Start by bringing out your go-to meatball recipe. Try preparing it with ground chicken or turkey for a healthier take. Next, make a simple gravy. Assemble components in a plate and serve with store-bought strawberry or cranberry jam. Enjoy alongside mashed potatoes or steamed rice.
4. Saucy Eggplant Parmigiana
This one-pan dish can help you sneak more vegetables into your little one’s diet. Eggplant parmigiana is an inexpensive, no-fuss viand that you can make ahead. It’s also low in calories, and each serving offers lycopene, calcium, and dietary fiber. Just follow a classic chicken parm recipe, but no need to fry the eggplants beforehand! Serve on top of spaghetti noodles or toasted pandesal.
5. Healthy Burrito Bowl
The trick to getting picky eaters interested in food is to serve them a fun, colorful meal. Like a burrito bowl, for example. Top steamed rice with corn kernels, shredded cheddar cheese, beans, tomatoes, and avocados. For protein, go for grilled chicken breast or stir-fried ground meat flavored with taco seasoning. Finish this hearty ulam with a drizzle of sour cream or Greek yogurt. As a treat, give the dish some crunch by serving tortilla chips on the side.
6. Crunchy Popcorn Shrimp
Having ready-to-cook chicken poppers can be a lifesaver for parents of picky children. Unfortunately, frozen processed food isn’t always the most wholesome choice. Homemade is still the way to go. Why not make popcorn shrimp that you can air-fry or bake anytime? This ulam even offers vitamin B12, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Take this simple dinner recipe further by preparing squid and fish versions. Serve with a dip of Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise flavored with Knorr Liquid Seasoning.
7. Pork Skewers With Peanut Sauce
Pork satay can easily cross over to everyday ulam territory. But inihaw takes time, a no-no for hungry tots who want their food ASAP. So instead of grilling the marinated pork (lean, please!) over hot coals, cook them on a grill pan. It’ll only take 15 minutes to get this dish from the stove to the table. Don’t forget to serve it with a nutty sauce that peanut butter-loving kids will enjoy.
The process of finding a recipe, cooking it, and feeding it to choosy chikitings can be a struggle. It’s the last thing any parent wants to go through after a long, tiring day. But hope is not lost. Breeze through all that by preparing these ulam ideas for dinner. You can do it!
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