Teriyaki sauce might not be something you think of when preparing meals for your little one. Toddlers and preschoolers are not well known for their adventurous eating habits, but teriyaki pairs well with many other foods and is a snap to make. You might even be able to hide it in meals and your kid won’t even know. Here’s to not having to eat another bland and tasteless meal.
You don’t need to break out any special equipment to whip up a batch of reriyaki sauce, though you do need a few items to make it come out right. Use a small saucepan for cooking the sauce and a fork or small whisk to stir it with as you blend the ingredients before and during cooking. You’ll also need measuring cups and spoons to portion out the ingredients. This differs by recipe so read yours to determine exactly which ones you need. Some recipes require a blender.
Recipes for teriyaki sauce vary, and your favorite might have things that a friend’s doesn’t. In general, though, the sauce contains a few basics that give it the flavor you hope your child will like. Soy sauce is one of the key ingredients, but soy is very high in sodium, which can contribute to high blood pressure and other health problems. A toddler should have no more than 1,000 mgs of sodium a day, and a preschooler should have no more 1,200 mgs a day. Even low-sodium soy sauce has about 600 mgs of sodium per tablespoon, so you can see how quickly this can build up. To make this not only kid-friendly but also kid-healthy, use no more than a couple of tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce when making teriyaki sauce for children. To make this, use two tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce, pineapple juice, white vinegar, a bit of brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cornstarch are common in most recipes. Some also call for ground mustard or white sugar. If you’ve never made teriyaki sauce before, try a few different recipes to find the one your child likes the best.
Making teriyaki sauce couldn’t be any easier, which is great if you are tripping over or chasing a toddler as you prepare dinner. Simply toss all the ingredients into a saucepan and cook over medium-high until it simmers. Then let it cook for about five minutes more before serving. You’ll know it’s done when it thickens slightly. Some recipes call for sticking all the ingredients in the blender before cooking, which helps make the sauce smoother. If your little one turns her nose up at chunky things, this might be the way to go.
Serving Teriyaki Sauce
Any mom of a toddler or preschooler knows the allure of dipping food. Serve teriyaki sauce alongside chicken, beef, steamed broccoli or carrots and let her sample it that way. You can also drizzle it over brown or white rice, or use it to marinate chicken, fish or beef before cooking. It also works well to flavor vegetables in stir-fry. If you’re worried that your little one won’t like the sauce, try offering it in small doses at first so the flavor doesn’t overwhelm her.