In class the other day, we had to team up and design a restaurant. As a longtime chef, this was right up my alley! My team created a fast-casual idea for a make-your-own chowder dining experience. As I worked, I couldn't shake the notion that this fun dinner could help nutrition educators inspire their clients.
Finally it hit me -- "build your own" meals are perfect for great family dinners!
Building your own meal is a great way to get kids involved in healthy eating. It's also the perfect solution for picky eaters, and its creativity can help inspire and motivate people who find themselves in a healthy eating rut.
Chowder lends itself perfectly to this "build your own" model because there is so much you can add to it! Try freshly-chopped herbs, some ground spices, diced and steamed potatoes, grilled corn, canned beans, etc. You can start with a base soup, then craft the toppings to your audience's preferences, offering a variety of healthy options.
Want to see the menu we drew up for the restaurant?
To recreate it at home, simply choose a base, then add the accents. Go for a protein source or two, plenty of veggies, and some fresh herbs. Put the ingredients out on the table and let everyone make their own version, stirring their choices into the base soup.
So what do you think? Will you try this in your next presentation or cooking demonstration? Here's a fun (and free!) handout that you can use too!
Oh! And before I forget, I'm sharing a base chowder recipe over on the members-only side of the site. Don't miss the post Speedy Corn Chowder, which features a printable recipe handout.
And for more cooking resources, don't miss these amazing materials from the Nutrition Education Store!
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