Burger pitta pockets for an easy and nutritious kids' dinner

Burger pitta pockets for an easy and nutritious kids' dinner

Today, few people enjoy eating liver and other offal. Let alone children. Where once it was a cheap, nutritious staple, it’s now viewed with misguided revulsion and derision. But liver – and other offal – is a veritable powerhouse of nutrition that should not be excluded from our children’s diets. Secretly filled with chicken liver, these burger patties deliver serious goodness for children. Without them realising it – magic.

Liver is rich in vitamin A. We all know that vitamin A is good for eyes; it’s also great for skin, inside and out. It could be important, therefore, for children with skin problems. Vitamin A’s other job is as an antioxidant, supporting our immune system. Boosting the quality of our skin also protects us from infection. So the liver in these burgers will be looking after our children’s immunity too.

Liver is also rich in vitamin B12. We need this vitamin to carry oxygen in our blood, to make DNA and energy, and for our nerves to work. Brains are jam-packed with nerves and neurons. In children, of course, these are super busy growing and making important new connections. And that’s not all – iron, phosphorous and selenium are important minerals found in these burgers.

We cannot make minerals so, to get enough, we have to make sure our children eat food loaded with them.

Growing, playing, learning and wrestling all use lashings of energy. Wrapping the burger around pitta bread ensures there is plenty of energy-rich carbohydrate to fuel these adventures. Brown bread ensures this is sustained because it’s released slowly. By contrast, energy from white bread is released more quickly. This often creates a high followed inevitably by a crash.

Even better, containing no nuts or seeds, these burger pitta pockets are ideal for lunchboxes.

Makes 8-9 burgers

What you need

  • 500g beef mince
  • 100g organic chicken liver
  • 1 onion
  • A handful fresh parsley, about 10g
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons finely ground oats (oat bran) or gluten-free flour
  • Salt and pepper 

Method

Put the beef mince into a large mixing bowl. Finely chop the chicken liver, discarding any particularly stringy or fatty bits, and add it to the bowl.

Peel and finely chop the onion and parsley, crush the garlic.  Add these to the beef and chicken along with the egg and ground oats. Season.

Get a tray ready to grill the burgers, then wash your hands and remove any rings from your fingers. Mix the ingredients together well with your hands, then shape into equal sized burger patties and place on the tray ready for grilling. If you’re making this recipe ahead, put the burgers in the fridge.

Set the grill to high (about 200°C) and when hot, grill for six minutes. Turn the burgers over and grill for a further 5 minutes. Leave for a few minutes.

Toast the pitta breads then cut in half. Butter and fill each half with a burger. Include sliced tomatoes, peppers or lettuce to add interest and added nutrition.

Harriet Bindloss has always loved cooking and feeding family and friends. She trained at Leith’s School of Food and Wine, worked as a private cook, then went on to produce the food pages at House & Garden magazine for five years. Now she uses her experiences and passion for nutrition to feed her most difficult critics, her two young children.

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