Can something healthy be tasty?

Most of the time, all of the kids are good eaters and seem to enjoy what Clark and I cook for them. There have been a few painful episodes of trying to convince Garrett (that’s the 8 year old) that broccoli and zucchini will not actually kill him. Now that my family has grown exponentially, I am less tolerant of picky food behaviors. Sorry but I am not willing to accommodate each person’s dislike of certain foods. Deal with it.

One trick I have learned is not to point out what they are eating if it is a potential issue. For example, no need to call zucchini a zucchini – especially here when I can call it a marrow and they don’t make the connection (who can blame them considering it took until just a few months ago that I realized they are basically the same).

Another trick I have learned is not to call something “healthy”. Is this ridiculous? Why is it that the label of healthy is the quickest way to turn a kid (and many adults) off of a food?

Keeping all this in mind, when I was contacted by Luci from Fresh Healthy Café, I wondered if the kids would even want to eat there. I even hesitated calling it by its real name and kept referring to it as the “Fresh Café”. I dreaded thinking we would get there and I would have to deal with a lot of complaining about vegetables and healthy food.

I was wrong.

The Healthy Fresh Café is located in Bawadi mall across from the food court. It opened about a year ago. I have walked by it a few times but had never tried it. Maybe I fall into the same trap as the kids by assuming that something healthy can’t be very tasty.

20150904_114914When we got to the cafe, we were greeted by the staff who were all very friendly and attentive. They got us all situated in their colorful dining area. The tables are meant for 2-4 guests, but the staff did a great job of pushing tables together to accommodate our larger size family.20150904_122915

20150904_120440We each got a fresh smoothie. They don’t add any sugar, so the fruity taste really comes through. We each got a different flavor, so we would be able to sample each other’s. Everyone loved the drinks and they were downed pretty quickly. The raspberry blast (my drink) was a bit tart but not unpleasantly so.

20150904_122433 I let Clark and Kassandra try the 2oz wheatgrass shot (apparently the nutritional equivalent to 5 pounds of leafy green vegetables) and give their report back. Both said it wasn’t as bad as they expected, and it made them feel good to know it had so much nutrition.

When ordering, they have many delicious sounding options available as a salad, wrap, or as a panini. We tried to get a variety of things to try. The Turkey Bacon Avocado wrap was absolutely amazing. The low-fat ranch (oh how I miss ranch!) dressing gave it that extra zing that I loved. Clark thoroughly enjoyed his panini of the same flavor. Kassandra (panini) and Gabe (wrap) tried the Tuna Melt and gave it full marks. Garrett and Grant both had chicken quesadillas.  Grant (the 7 year old) had devoured his giant meal before I could even get a picture.

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No one complained about vegetables. No one objected to eating the healthy food. In fact, all I heard were raves. Look at the smile on this kid’s face! And he’s the one that typically thinks I am slowly poisoning him with vegetables.

20150904_122751 (2) After our meals, we topped it off with a fresh fruit salad and some chocolate fondue. The only complaint I had was that the quesadillas took a really long time to be served. The rest of us were already done eating by the time the boys got them. This meant that while we were eating the fondue, they were just starting their meals and enviously eyeing the chocolate. I am not sure what the delay was with the quesadillas. Maybe because it is a new item (or a special?), the cooks were less familiar with the cooking time? Or maybe that was just a one time fluke.

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After we finished eating, as if we weren’t full enough already, we were (easily) persuaded to try some dessert from Desert Freeze, which is located directly behind the Fresh Healthy Café.  It is a self-serve frozen yogurt establishment.

20150904_124511  20150904_124520There were about 10 different flavors of frozen yogurt to choose from such as strawberry, cappuccino, chocolate, black cherry, mango, and marshmallow. Once you have your bowl of frozen yogurt, you can load it up with as many or as little toppings as you desire. They had a range of fresh fruit choices, candy, and syrups to choose from. The kids loved being able to pick and choose everything along the way. At the end, you pay for the dessert based on weight. I didn’t find it to be any more expensive than something at Baskin Robbins with the added bonus of being healthier and more fun to create.

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While the kids were busy making their yogurt creations, Clark was enjoying a slice of coffee caramel cheesecake. I was so stuffed that I was just happy to sit back and watch everyone else enjoy their desserts.

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As our lunch finished, I pointed out to all the kids the Healthy part of the café’s name. With full bellies and smiling faces, they begrudgingly admitted that healthy food can be delicious food. Now maybe I will be able to get Garrett to try broccoli again. Hmmm… maybe I won’t be able to, but I bet if he had been served it at the Fresh Healthy Café, he would have liked it just as much as everything else.

https://www.facebook.com/FreshHealthyCafeUAE?fref=ts

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