There is an amazing program at my son’s elementary school called Fruit Fridays. What started as a brainstorming session with the district’s Nutrition Committee heads has grown into a program that would make the likes of Michelle Obama and Jamie Oliver proud.
The simple idea – get our children to eat more fruit – was initially met with backlash. Several parents questioned, “would the fruit be organic?” “what if my child has an allergic reaction?” “where is the fruit coming from?” Legitimate concerns to be sure, however, these same parents did not seem to be concerned about the copious amounts of cookies and candy brought into school for birthday and holiday celebrations. Strange that an apple would cause such a stir!
One committee member decided to take matters into her own hands. She self-launched and self-funded the program during its’ first year and refused to take no for an answer. Her attitude was if a parent could walk into school with a tray of cupcakes why couldn’t the same thing be done with a tray of oranges? Well, her perseverance paid off. Fast-forward three years – the idea was such a success other schools are starting to jump on board.
I have been fortunate enough to work with this committee and volunteer on Fruit Fridays at my son’s school. I have been astounded to see the kids eat fruit faster than we could serve it. From kindergarten all the way to the 5th grade, they absolutely love the program.
So far this year we have served the following:
Honey Crisp Apples
After reviewing the above list I realized I had never introduced my own little guys to mangos. And interestingly enough they are the most popular fruit in the WORLD. Wow, who would have thought?
I admit I am not a mango fan and that is the reason we never have them. I even had to research how to choose a ripe one and the proper way to slice it. But practicing what you preach is a good mantra to live by so I’m going to see if I can make converts out of all of us.
Grilled Shrimp with Mango Dip
For the dipping sauce:
1 ripe mango
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp coconut milk (use whole not skim)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp Thai chili sauce (optional)
For the shrimp:
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Salt & Pepper
1 lb. Peeled and deveined shrimp
Scoop out the mango fruit and place in a food processor. Add the fish sauce, coconut milk, brown sugar, lime juice, garlic and chili sauce.
Blend until it is the consistency of applesauce. Or leave chunkier if you are a mango lover. Refrigerate until shrimp is cooked. (Dip can be made a few days ahead and refrigerated)
Preheat the grill. In a small bowl, combine the oil, honey, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Place shrimp on the grill and brush with the marinade. Cook about 3-4 minutes and turn, brush with remaining marinade. Shrimp is done when it curls into a C shape.
Serve with mango dipping sauce and enjoy!
AND THE VERDICT IS:
Matthew (age 5): “It tastes like mango – can we double dip?”
Liam (age 4!): “Too spicy, but I will eat it because I like it a little”
Dylan (age 4!): “I am dipping everything in it!”
I can’t believe how they gobbled this up – they really did dip everything in it, including the broccoli! This is a very easy dip that goes great with seafood or chicken and will surely make a mango lover out of anybody. Make this for your kids but don’t tell them you put fish sauce in it!
Have a great weekend and Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms!
Image Source:// Author’s Own