I am passionate about healthy eating for everyone- especially kids. On the topic of kids’ nutrition, I thought I would blog about some tips and tricks that have worked for me for serving kids clean food. I am a mother of two and when I wrote my meal plan, I modeled it after how I like to eat and prepare food in my household. With two young ones, I can get away with a delicious salad maybe for my lunch, but I’m usually cooking dinner for the whole family so it has to be husband and kid approved. Most of the dinner meals in my Meals Made Simple Plan fit these parameters.
One thing I have noticed for kids is that most kids actually do not like bland food, especially if you train their palettes young with a variety of spices and flavors. While I tend to stay away from spicier seasonings, most other spice flavors are intriguing for kids. Just make sure to add salt to appeal to their tastes, and then most kids will usually tolerate more varied seasoning than we usually offer them.
Another tip with getting kids to eat their protein is that while most children are comfortable with chicken, they don’t really like the taste or texture unless it’s in nugget form. That said, I’ve given my kids pork tenderloin and called it “chicken” and they have eaten it more readily because it tends to be juicier and more flavorful than chicken. Pork tenderloin is similar enough to chicken though so they do not totally recoil when seeing it. After they have happily cleared their plates, it’s up to you whether you tell them you’ve tricked them and they actually liked a different kind of meat!
This recipe has been very successful with kids (and adults!) and the key is to not dry out the meat. Make sure to pull the pork out of the oven or off the grill at 140 degrees. Let it sit so that the meat temperature rises safely to 145 degrees- medium rare- and is perfectly juicy when you slice it!
Enjoy~ Happy Healthy Eating!
Mustard Crusted Pork Tenderloin (3 servings)
Total Time: 1 hour, marinate overnight
Equipment: over safe dish
1 pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme (2tsp if using fresh thyme)
1 teaspoon dried basil (2tsp if using fresh basil)
1 teaspoon dried rosemary (2tsp if using fresh rosemary)
Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. With your fingers, massage the mixture onto the pork loin, covering all of the meat. The longer the meat marinates, the better. Overnight is preferable.
Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roast the pork for 25-35 minutes depending on the size of tenderloin. Test for doneness using an instant-read thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F, remove the roast from the oven. Allow the pork to rest for 10 minutes before serving as it will continue to cook while it rests.
Grill Method: Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Place the tenderloin on the grill. Do not place it directly over coals or hot flames; use indirect heat, or it will burn.
Cook the tenderloin for 20-30 minutes, flipping occasionally. Pork tenderloin is ready when the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F. Allow the pork to rest for 10 minutes before serving as it will continue to cook while it rests.
Pan Seared Method: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set a skillet coated in cooking oil (clarified butter, coconut oil, avocado oil) over medium heat.
Sear the tenderloin in the skillet. When it has browned on one side, turn it over using a pair of tongs and brown the other side. Place the tenderloin in a roasting dish and into the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F. Allow the pork to rest for 10 minutes before serving as it will continue to cook while it rests.
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