In this blog series, Erica discusses ways introducing children to the diverse flavors of cheese. Starting with the challenges of new and unfamiliar cheeses on a young palate and moving through ways to make try new foods fun, Erica will explore expert advice, nutrition facts, and a world of recipes with the goal of making cheeses of all kinds accessible to kids. Last week, we talked incorporating various cheeses into your kids’ packed lunches. Follow along and try some of the tips in these post to see if we can get your child from string cheese-lover to stinky cheese-lover, and comment below for your own chance to win a free issue of culture or a cheesy giveaway!
There’s no better way to get your kids to eat their veggies than to dip them in a gooey, cheesy pot of fondue. They’ll love rolling their favorite vegetables in melted cheese with long, skinny fondue forks, and you’ll love watching those nutritious vegetables go down without a fight. By planning a fun, low-key fondue party for the whole family, you can find yet another way to introduce your children to the wonderful world of cheese.
You could spend weeks planning an elaborate party complete with a theme, decorations, and guest list – or you could keep it relaxed and casual. Instead of the usual after-school snack, surprise your kids with a fresh pot of fondue and plenty of dunking snacks. What you choose to dunk will depend on your kids’ preferences, but here are some healthy and delicious options:
- Cooked shrimp
- Bread cubes
If you’d like to get your kids involved in the preparations, feel free to encourage younger children to rinse veggies or peel shrimp, while older children can slice meat and stir the fondue. They’ll cut down your prep time and will most likely appreciate feeling involved.
If you already have a fondue set in your house – great! If not, that’s totally fine too: You can make fondue with a saucepan or – even better - a mini-crockpot, which is a versatile tool you’ll be able to find in most kitchen supply stores. Make sure to purchase one with a removable inner-pot for easy clean-up.
When it comes to the fondue itself, typical cheese fondues often include stronger cheeses, such as Emmentaler or Gruyère. If your kids have toned taste buds, don’t hesitate to stick to a traditional recipe like this one from Just Hungry. But if they are a little pickier, go for a milder cheese to make your fondue, like a soft and mild dill havarti (for more tips on taming picky eaters, check out the first post in this series). This recipe from the blog Our Little Family Adventure works well with both sweet and savory foods, and your kids will love the smooth and creamy texture.
Having an at-home fondue party is much cheaper than going out to your local fondue restaurant – plus, your kids can feel unrestricted in your own kitchen, and you don’t have to worry about restaurant etiquette. Gooey, stringy, fondue is the perfect way to (sneakily) introduce your kids to some new cheeses, and they’ll have a blast dipping food into the delicious cheesy sauce.
Have you ever thrown a fondue party for kids? Share your story in the comments below and you could win a free copy of our summer issue! Plus, one lucky commenter will be chosen from all the comments in this series to win a kid-friendly prize package of cheese from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Association. Comments must be posted by 11:59 p.m. on July 17th, 2014 to be eligible to win.Photo Credit: SimpleBites.net