Everyone in my family and extended family loves sushi (especially my hubby, he is a sucker for all types of sushi that exist!). Thus this is the type of dish that gets a lot of request around here. Since I have not given Angela any raw fish yet (except for the freshly caught so-called famous Dutch herring) and she is not really a fan of vegetarian sushi, I normally make her some Onigiri or Japanese rice balls. The traditional Onigiri is tightly packed sushi rice with some salty seafood or vegetable filling in the middle. As that might look a bit plain (read: unappealing) for my toddler, I make my version of Origini: rainbow rice balls.
These rainbow rice balls are vibrant, appealing, tasty, healthy and definitely fun to eat. This recipe includes carrot, broccoli and salmon but you certainly do not have to limit yourself with only those ingredients. You can play around with other veggies or fishes, as you like. This is also a great dish that you can try to make your toddler eat some of his not-so-favorite vegetables by paring them with his favorite ones. I imagine yellow radish and sweet peas would make a great combo too. The main reasons why I use salmon in this recipe is: one, Angela loves salmon and two, salmon is quite fatty after cooked through; it makes the rice less sticky during the ball forming step.
If you have some more time at hands, try to let your toddler form his own rice balls. It certainly will not be as beautiful as the one you make but he will have a lot of fun “making his own food” and that almost guarantees some extra bites during mealtime.
Another thing that I love about these rainbow rice balls is that they can become a very decent balanced meal for the whole family. You can make a big batch of mix vegetables and fish (or meat if you like), set aside some light seasoned portion for your toddler and season the rest as you normally would for the whole family. How easy is that?