Kids aren’t always easy to please when it comes to mealtime. Some meals you just KNOW they’ll love end up being boring or heaven help us, yucky and gross! Well, we have an approach that might just help your picky eater clean their plate. When the same old meals are making your kids want to go into hibernation, try encouraging your child to eat as a brown bear does. You read that right…we want you to entice your young diners by fixing a meal that’s bear-tested, kid-friendly, and mother-approved.
Over the next few weeks, we’re exploring meals and snacks kids will love because they are delicious and enjoyed all over the world by their favorite zoo animals.
Eat like a brown bear
Today, let’s talk about fresh produce and other foods brown bears love and why they are perfect for your little cubs at home too.
Brown bears are known for their ferocious growls and hefty appetites, which is why they love protein-packed salmon and other fish. Beyond their taste for salmon, they also love many nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables.
We’ve picked several of a brown bear’s favorite foods like salmon, blackberries, spinach, and sweet potatoes and made a recipe using them all. It’s a simple recipe that will prevent dinnertime from becoming a grizzly scene.
How to make a brown bear dinner
Start by preparing your salmon. Whether fresh or frozen, simply salt and pepper the salmon and bake skin-side down at 400 degrees for 25-40 minutes or until cooked through. If the salmon is frozen you’ll likely be on the high end of that cooking time.
While the salmon is baking, prepare the other items starting with the blackberry sauce. We’ve kept it simple by using jarred blackberries preserves, fresh blackberries, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, and just a pinch of black pepper. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer until it starts to thicken. Turn off the heat and let it cool slightly.
For the sweet potato, simply prick a few times with a fork and microwave for 5 minutes until cooked to your desired doneness.
Lastly, heat a little avocado or olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic. Cook until fragrant and then add spinach a little at a time. Cook until it’s just starting to wilt.
Now it’s time to make your plates. Add a portion of the wilted spinach and top with a piece of salmon. Top the salmon with blackberry sauce and then plate the sweet potatoes. We know many children prefer them mashed, so we mashed ours with just a little salt and butter.
That’s it! Now your cubs are ready to dine just like their favorite furry friend. It goes without saying, but this dish is obviously ideal for adults too. Moms and dads will love the combination of sweet and savory in the salmon with blackberry sauce. The wilted spinach, although simplistic, provides a welcomed vibrance to the plate. And let’s face it, everyone loves sweet potatoes!
We want to know what you and your sleuth thinks. Tell us how your brown bear buffet went in the comments below or tag us in your dinner photos on Instagram @theproducemoms.
Thanks to the Indianapolis Zoo for sharing their brown bear diets with us.