Emily’s Chicken & Veg Black Noodle Stir-Fry
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
For the stir-fry:
250g (9oz) black rice noodles
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
200g (7oz) cooked chicken, torn into 2.5cm (1in) pieces
50g (1 ¾ oz) carrots, thinly sliced
50g (1 ¾ oz) sugar snap peas
50g (1 ¾ oz) Tenderstem broccoli, cut into 2.5cm (1in) pieces
½ red pepper, deseeded and sliced
50g (1 ¾ oz) baby sweetcorn, halved lengthways
2.5cm (1in) piece of fresh root ginger, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
For the sauce:
1 teaspoon soy sauce (reduced-salt, if available)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon mild chilli powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon honey
40ml (1 ½ fl oz) water
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Veg Portions / Serving: 2
Recipe from Get Your Kids to Eat Anything by Emily Leary. Photography by Tom Regester.
Emily Leary of A Mummy Too plays with kids’ love of colour with this tasty and pretty stir-fry dinner. In this dish, the flavours are familiar but it’s the colour that will surprise at dinnertime, as the black rice noodles really steal the show. You can buy them in some larger supermarkets, but if you can’t find them, use other noodles, or even tricolour pasta instead.
Cook the noodles in a large pan of boiling water for 4–5 minutes, or according to the packet instructions. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.
Warm the oil in a large wok over a medium heat. Add the chicken, carrots, sugar snap peas, broccoli, red pepper, baby sweetcorn, ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl, pour over the stir-fry and simmer for 2–3 minutes. Add the noodles and stir until heated through. Serve sprinkled with spring onions and sesame seeds.
Tip: Switch up the ingredients to create a new meal every time: add a handful of aromatic coriander, swap chicken for tofu, or use sriracha sauce for sweet heat.
Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.
Kids in the kitchen
Put the kids in charge of the sauce and garnishes. Prepare everything, then while you are quickly cooking the veg, have them mix together the sauce ingredients and help them carefully pour it in the pan, then let them help you plate up and sprinkle with spring onions and seeds.
While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.
Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.
The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.
Charlotte Radcliffe RNutr