In their own different ways, both my children can be quite picky eaters.
They have their favourite foods that they would quite happily have for every meal. For Rhys it’s sandwiches and for Nerys it’s a plate of cheesy pasta. If you ask them what they would like for dinner, you can pretty much guarantee that those will be the foods they ask for.
For a long time it was hard to get Rhys to eat different foods, but we’re coming out the other side of it now. He’s started to ask to try new things which is just amazing for him. Even if he does still pull the same ‘new food’ face that he’s pulled since he was a baby. It’s brilliant, he looks slightly disgusted when he tries something new, but will then smile and tell you he really likes it!
The most recent thing he’s asked to try is burgers in buns, so it was great timing when we were invited to take part in the Rustlers burger hacking challenge recently.
The challenge is all about finding fun ways to ‘hack’ your Rustlers burgers, to make a quick and easy meal for your family that’s perfect for busy weekends.
We got some southern fried chicken burgers for the children to try for lunch on Sunday, after Rhys had his swimming lesson. I also bought some beef burgers for me and Steve, with the idea being that Rhys and Nerys could then try a bite of those as well, seeing as we were trying new things that day!
One of the things that can be really frustrating if you have a picky eater is spending a lot of time cooking a meal, just for your child to take a tiny bite and then refuse to eat any more.
So what I really loved about taking part in this challenge was the fact that the burgers cook in just over a minute in the microwave. No fuss. No feeling like I’ve wasted a lot of time if the children didn’t like them.
You can put the burger in the bun and cook it all together in the microwave, but I tend to find that the bun feels a bit soggy when you do it that way. So I cooked the burger on it’s own in the microwave and popped the bun in the toaster for about 30 seconds to warm it through.
We did find that the chicken burgers were a bit on the tough side, so I’m not sure if I adjusted the cooking time quite right, or if our microwave is more powerful than standard. Either way, the children didn’t seem to mind at all. I might just try adjusting the cooking time a bit more if I make these burgers again.
The southern fried chicken burgers come with a little sachet of black pepper mayo, which we left off as the children don’t really like peppery things yet. But we didn’t want to just give them plain burgers so we offered them some healthy toppings to put on them.
We put little bowls of iceberg lettuce and cucumber on the table so that the children could add as much or as little as they wanted to their chicken burgers.
Rhys is a big cucumber fan so put a couple of slices on his burger, along with a good handful of lettuce. Nerys is like her dad and doesn’t like cucumber at all, so she chose to just put some lettuce on hers.
We also decided to add some tasty sides to our burgers to fill us up nicely ready for a chilly afternoon at the park.
I kept things quite classic with some ready made coleslaw and some homemade sweet potato fries.
My husband in particular really loves these sweet potato fries, and they’re nice and easy to make and are a great alternative to normal oven chips.
If you want to try them yourself at home, here’s how I make them:
- Preheat the oven to about 180 degrees.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut the knobbly ends off.
- Cut them into chips or wedges. Try and make them all a similar size if you can.
- Boil them in a pan of water for about 10 minutes.
- Drain the chips and then pop back in the saucepan.
- Add some oil and mixed herbs and give the pan a shake to coat all the chips. We also like to add some sweet chilli sauce to ours at this stage, but left them out when we made them for the children because neither of them are really fans of spice/heat yet!
- Tip the chips onto a baking tray and cook in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
Overall, the whole challenge was a huge success for us.
Rhys declared his burger, complete with cucumber and lettuce, the tastiest thing ever. So I think we’ll be adding chicken burgers to the menu from now on! He even tried a few of the sweet potato fries and said he liked those too, although I think he still prefers normal chips at the moment.
Nerys ate about half of her burger, with some lettuce on it and a bit more on the side, which Steve and I were quite happy with as she quite often will only eat a small amount of new foods that she tries.
For those busy weekends when it feels like you don’t have time to stop between swimming lessons and birthday parties and football matches and so on, these little burgers are a great option for a quick family meal.
They’re made with good quality chicken, and marinated with a tasty southern fried breadcrumb and can be really easily personalised with toppings to suit different tastes.
And for us they were a perfect way for the children to try out some new flavours and discover some new foods.
This post is an entry for BritMums Rustlers Burger Hacking Challenge, sponsored by Rustlers.