Kid Friendly Bean Recipes

I have the opposite problem of most parents. My four year old son loves fruits and vegetables, so it can be hard to get him to eat proteins sometimes! We're on a limited budget, and I know beans are both nutritious and inexpensive. I'm wondering if anyone has any healthy recipes or ideas for bean-related dishes. Of course there's chili, etc. but I'm looking for some more unique ideas.

We had chili last week and my son picked the beans out, saying he didn't like them! I was thinking that a bean dip might be something I could use to have him dip veggies into (and that way he won't see that it's actually made with beans, since they're not whole!). So any recipes or ideas like that would be great! Thanks for any help you can give me!

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Lisa from Kenosha, WI

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January 30, 20080 found this helpful
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Make a dip with Garbanzos. Drain Garbanzos, put in food processor, add 1/4 cup Miracle Whip, 1/4 cup Green Goddess dressing. Process until creamy. We like this spread on a tortilla topped with grated cheese, lettuce and chopped tomatoes and rolled up, burrito style.

I also make Mexican pizzas with refried beans on a tortilla topped with salsa and cheese and heated under the broiler in the oven.

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January 30, 20080 found this helpful
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Yep. Mash the beans or use refried beans mixed in with the ground meat. They will never know it and it gives it great texture.

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January 30, 20080 found this helpful
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Puree the beans in your food processor or blender, then add to chili. How about bean and cheese burritos, tacos with beans instead of meat. I wouldn't however, allow hime to refuse all meats. This is a power issue. Serv him small serving of meat, whatever your family is eating, as well as small servings of preferred foods like fruits and vegies. Make sure there aren't enough fruits and vegies for him to be filled up. If he asks for more, tell him when he has eaten what is on his plate, he can have more of his favs. If he is hungry, he will eat! Also, eggs and pnut butter are good protein sources, as are cheese and yogurt, but these can be high in fat so choose low fat or non-fat products. There are also high pro low carb pastas available on the regular grocery shelves (Barilla Plus is my fav).

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January 31, 20080 found this helpful
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I make bean/rice burgers. Mash the drained cooked beans and use 2C beans and 2C drained cooked rice. Add some fine chopped onion and some veggies that are not as finely chopped, that way it may be more appealing to him. Use some spices/herbs he likes and a egg or two. Mix and make patties, then fry them like you would hamburger. Also I make it up into "meat loaf".

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February 1, 20080 found this helpful
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Hummus makes a great sandwich spread instead of mayo or mustard - it's ground up chick peas which are very high in protein.

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January 30, 20110 found this helpful
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Yesterday, I made Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bean Cookies from a recipe at www.food.com. They were so good that today they aren't around anymore. What kid wouldn't eat a cookie, right?

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January 29, 20080 found this helpful

One tip for chili is that you can smash them with a potato masher at the end so that they aren't obvious. You could even puree them and add them back in or just add a can of refried beans. Beans are a natural in soups. Lentils or split peas might also be a good way to go as they are smaller than kidney beans.

As for the bean dip, hummus is a natural choice with veggies. You can buy it at the store in the deli section or it is not difficult to make. You use garbanzo beans (chickpeas), Here is one recipe on ThriftyFun for hummus, there are more here and tons on the internet.

http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf378129.tip.html

I know I have also seen dips made with white beans that are more Italian. That might be another way to approach it.

Another thought for the summer would be to grow some beans in the garden. I remember picking them when I was a kid and maybe this would open the door to more bean experimenting.

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January 29, 20080 found this helpful

This is easy and it tastes good, but it's not so healthy. Chop one onion, saute it in a bit of corn oil. Drain one can mushrooms, reserving liquid. Add the mushrooms to the onion & fry. Now add one can drained kidney beans & the mushroom liquid & cook the whole mess until the liquid boils away. Chill it. You can add a bit of mayo too if it's not fattening enough already :)

This one is better on the health front. Set some lentils to boil. In another pan, saute shredded carrot, onion, garlic, fresh ginger until it starts to smell good. When the lentils are almost done- I try also for not soupy- add the veggies. Serve over rice with sliced tomatoes and green onions. (Salt it only after it's done, but you can pepper the lentils while they're cooking.)

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January 30, 20080 found this helpful

Make Easy Burritos. Heat a can of refried beans, add your sons favorite vegetables chopped up, also add between a 1/2 cup to 1 cup of your favorite salsa. Mix all to heat through. To make burritos: Place whole wheat tortilla, or burrito size tortilla on a plate, place 1/2 cup bean mixture on center, top with shredded cheddar, fold up sides of tortilla, roll up. Enjoy.

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January 31, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you to everyone who has posted a response--some great ideas here! I'll be trying most of them out, I'm sure. In response to a post, it's not that my son refuses to eat meat, just that I'm pretty health-conscious and trying to steer away from a lot of processed, nitrate-laden meats. We're Wisconsinites, so cheese is a staple around here! Ha ha! It's not exactly that I'm fighting to get him to eat, more so that I want to vary his diet a bit. Even if there was a power struggle, I'm a teacher, so it usually wouldn't end in me giving in--I stand firm! :) Thanks again everyone, and if you have any other ideas, please keep them coming!

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January 31, 20080 found this helpful

In food processor take 1/2 can navy bean + 1 Tablespoon water and puree.

Add to mashed potatoes. My kids never know. I think it makes them taste richer and even better.

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February 4, 20080 found this helpful

I made Bean and Bacon "Tacos" in the 1950's for our two oldest Children when they were small. They didn't like meat then. Also the canned Campbell's soup was much cheaper than hamburger. Anyway here's the way I did them.

Bean n Bacon Soup Tacos

Use 1 can of Bean and Bacon soup, adding only enough water to make a paste and not burn while heating.

Using a small about of butter to warm up as many corn tortillas as you need. Heat a skillet and just warm both sides of the tortillas a few seconds will do, you want them soft.( 2 each for 3 people? )

I put about a Tablespoon of bean paste in the warmed soft shells, added shredded cheese.

Then as they got older added lettuce & tomatoes.

Adding black olives and onions and even Rice a Roni left overs. Then when they decided they liked "scrambled"hamburger, I added a lb. of browned hambuger with some chopped onions and added the Bean & Bacon soup to the pan.

Now daughter makes them for her granddaughter.

Kids seem to like them still.

Since we both like them I make them for HD & I every now and then. Adding leftover veggies,rice,hashbrowns etc or just bean and bacon soup and cheese /lettuce..

GG Vi

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