Kids often have a hard time chewing meat. Children seem to lose interest in the meal if the meat is the least bit dry or chewy.
Here’s a recipe to serve them meats that will be much easier for little ones to eat. It’s also a way to serve less expensive cuts of meat because the cooking time and liquid will soften just about anything.
Kids can cook this themselves, once you show them how.
Shredded Meats and How to Prepare Them
If you have fresh or even leftover meats, chop them up a bit so they are not left in huge pieces.
Put them in a saucepan with enough chicken, beef, or vegetable stock (or just water and a little salt and pepper) to cover them and bring the mixture to a boil. When it’s bubbling, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Keep adding liquid as it evaporates away, but when the meat starts to soften, let the rest of the liquid cook away without adding more, being careful not to burn the bottom.
This is also the time to add flavorings if you wish. Here are some ideas: salt, pepper, dill, cumin, salsa, thyme, oregano, diced onion, or chopped garlic. Many meats are just fine alone, stewed in chicken or vegetable stock.
The meats will soften and become easy to “shred” (break up into small strips) with a fork. They will be much easier for little teeth (and teeth that are just about ready to fall out) to chew. Maybe it makes them a little more digestible as well, since kids don’t always chew their bites as much as we would like them to.
Shredded meat can be served in a variety of ways:
- In wraps with shredded lettuce, kidney beans, chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumber, cheddar cheese, etc.
- In pita bread with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, hummus, chopped cucumber, chopped onion, etc.
- Between hamburger or hot dog buns like an Italian Beef Sandwich with your choice of trimmings.
- Over rice or quinoa with a little chopped cilantro as a garnish.
- Mixed with cooked beans and vegetables.
There are many more possibilities. Let your imagination run with this one. It takes good and is very kid-friendly.