Brought to you by Nuffnang and Old El Paso
Last week I was kindly invited to attend an opening of a family pop-up restaurant by Old El Paso in my hometown of Melbourne. It’s only open for one month over the school holidays and is located at 250 Elizabeth Street.
I have to admit, my hubby and I are huge fans of Mexican food and so it didn’t take much to convince us to attend. Having said that, we hadn’t really given Possum (2.5 years) much of an opportunity to experience the taste of Mexican food so we felt that she’d be in for a real treat.
At the launch, these adorable soft tortilla pockets, which are part of their ‘Stand ‘n Stuff’ range, caught my eye and completely changed my view of enjoying Mexican food as a whole family. What I’d previously considered ‘too fiddly for little fingers’ and would achieve more mess than what would be consumed had just been made easier for children as young as Possum!
As parents and carers, we all know the challenge that can come with children being fussy with food. It can be so incredibly hard to find a snack or meal that they will enjoy and is actually good for them. Of course, as you know, we have the added challenge of Possum being anaphylactic to egg, which wasn’t present in the food we tried.
Get kids involved in their food
The soft ‘Stand ‘n Stuff” tortillas reminded me of adorable little boats and so once I got home I felt inspired to try make one for Possum, which she could recreate using a wide variety of ingredients. Children love when food resembles something familiar and by including corn chips for dipping I knew it would add a fun element to her meal.
One thing I’ve always loved about Mexican tortillas is the flexibility you have to make it your way and however you please. I knew this ‘make-it-yourself’ approach would also greatly appeal to Possum and before I knew it she was having a fabulous time pouring, scooping, mixing (and eating) everything in front of her.
We eat with our eyes and so I always find it important to present food to children in an enticing way, therefore, I used small bowls that displayed the texture and colour of the foods. Grated cheese, carrot, lettuce, corn, smashed avocado, sour cream were all made available, as well as some specific Old El Paso products. These included –
- Stand ‘n Stuff soft tortillas
- Mild Salsa
- Refried Beans
- Taco Seasoning – which I mixed in with 500g mince beef and 100g diced bacon pieces
Mexican dipping boats for kids
Possum was having a wonderful time making her very own meal, the shape of the flour tortilla made it so very easy for her to do with independence. It also gave us a great opportunity to talk about food and the vibrant colours we could see and various textures they all were. I was also really pleased how well she exercised her personal choices whilst preparing her meal. We didn’t get a taco full of cheese! LOL
Another thing that really got me thinking was how valuable these types of experiences are for ourselves and our children and how sharing food together is such an amazing way to connect. It was lots of fun and way to bond as a family.
As her little boat started to take shape she was super keen to get onto making the sail. For that she used a long strip of capsicum, which acted as the mast, and two corn chips for the sail. These became the perfect tool for her to use to dip into her mixture and eat.
Possum loved the opportunity to make her own tortilla meal, which delicious and healthy. She actually ate the whole dipping boat, except for the lettuce. LOL
Would your child enjoy making a Mexican Old El Paso dipping boat?