Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the United States. To bring awareness to this issue, September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. The percentage of children that are obese has been rapidly on the rise. In the 70’s, less than 5% of children in America were obese, that number has since tripled. One in five kids are considered overweight or obese in 2017.
Some of causes of childhood obesity include the decline in recess and physical education classes in schools, unhealthy eating habits such as overeating at home because school lunches have been cut back, lack of exercise due to staying indoors watching television, playing video games, or going online, but also medical reasons like genetics and metabolism. Childhood obesity is a big issue because it can affect children in harmful ways. They can develop chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, bone and joint problems, and sleep apnea. Children can develop mental disorders such as depression and anxiety from low self esteem and bullying.
To help do our own unique part of reducing childhood obesity, we have provided some healthy recipes below that you can make in your clay cookware that your children will be sure to love.
MASHED POTATO SOUP
This is a great recipe to reuse leftover mashed potatoes, and a different way for your children to eat their vegetables. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter or oil in a clay saucepan, and add some onion, garlic, corn, broccoli and any other veggies desired. Put in cold leftover mashed potatoes. Add 1% milk to get creamy consistency of choice and hot through. Total time is approximately 20 minutes. Add a little cheese, ham, bacon, chives, etc. to top before serving. The soup will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
HIDDEN VEGGIE MAC AND CHEESE
What kid doesn’t love mac and cheese? This recipe is not only delicious, but nutritious as well because we add veggies into the mix! Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Boil your favorite pasta, drain, and set aside. Next, put 1 tablespoon of butter into a cazuela and melt over medium heat. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of flour into butter and lightly brown. Add 1 ½ cups 1% milk and warm slowly. Once milk is warm, add 2 cups of shredded or diced cheese of your choice. Just a note, it’s easier to use melty, smooth cheeses rather than hard ones. Have fun with cheeses! Let the cheese melt slowly in the warm milk. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to become a fully melted cheese sauce. Add veggies such as broccoli, peas, asparagus, brussel sprouts, carrots, etc. into the cazuela along with the pasta. Mix all together until all the ingredients are coated in the cheese sauce. Top with panko breadcrumbs and put cazuela in the oven for 20 minutes, or until lightly brown and bubbling.
This healthy recipe is sure to make your children want more. Warm wheat tortillas in a foil pouch in the oven. While those are warming, grill two large chicken breasts on the grill basket. Cover in your favorite seasonings before grilling. Grill breasts for approximately 20 minutes. Take chicken out of basket when finished and slice on a cutting board. Put chicken into tortillas and top with shredded cheese, lettuce, and other desired toppings. Using wheat tortillas and all white meat chicken are a healthy alternatives to flour or corn tortillas and beef that will produce lots of grease.
GRILLED SHRIMP STIR FRY
In your Clay Coyote Grill Basket, toss cut up bell peppers (the more colors the better), mushrooms, onions, and snap or sugar peas, drizzle with a little oil of your choice (olive, coconut, Pam spray). Put on grill for 10 minutes over medium heat. Move the veggies to the side and then put in raw, peeled shrimp. Let cook for 3-4 minutes, then stir up all the veggies and shrimp, cook for 3-4 more minutes until shrimp are cooked all the way through. Drizzle with teriyaki sauce or soy sauce and serve hot over rice.
We hope you and your family enjoy making these recipes in your clay cookware, knowing full well that you are providing your family with a healthy and nutritious meal. Don’t own clay cookware? Get yours today at the Clay Coyote Gallery and Pottery located in Hutchinson, MN. We are open everyday, Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday noon-4pm. Come see us!