There are two things that I’ve learned as the mother of two young children:
1. A toddler with good table manners is an urban legend
2. Popcorn is an extremely powerful behavior modification tool. :)
My 4 year old daughter absolutely loves popcorn and will do most anything for the delightful treat after a healthy lunch or dinner (and no, this Healthy Mamma is not above bribery).
Microwave popcorn, however, is not only unhealthy because of the additives and fat, but also dangerous because when the bag is heated, it breaks down to a substance called perfluorooctanoc (PFOA), a likely carcinogen. Our family recently invested in an air popper, which we adore! It takes no more time than the microwave version, uses nothing but good old-fashioned air to cook the kernels and most importantly, it’s super cool to watch!
Our family has recently found a yummy, savory recipe that give our kernels a little ‘kick’. The Healthy Daddy in this home thinks it tastes a little like a chili cheese popcorn. This recipe calls for Nutritional Yeast, which is an inactive yeast with a nutty, cheesy taste. I’ve been able to find it in the supplement/health section of our local grocery store.
Nutritional Yeast is pretty awesome not only in it’s taste (try adding it to garlic bread or pasta), but because it contains vitamin B12. B12 is an important vitamin because it is involved in the metabolism of every cell in the body. B12 helps maintain a healthy nervous system and is important in the growth and development of children (just to list a few benefits). It’s been tweaked a bit from a recipe I got off of allrecipes.com.
1/2 t salt (to taste)
Use air popper to pop popcorn kernels. Spray popped corn lightly with cooking spray (coat just enough for seasoning to stick). Mix in the yeast, chili powder, cumin mixture (either in large bowl or by shaking in plastic baggie). Add salt to taste as desired.