Rice, Beans, Tortillas... and Shared Responsibility

Black bean, rice, and cheese burritos are a favorite at lunch. But not everyone approaches a burrito in the same way.

separate elements

neat and tidy


We use our simple rice and beans recipe and give kids options on the table. A platter of tortillas, a bowl of rice and beans, shredded cheese, veggies, and salsa. They decide what goes in their burrito, or if they roll one up at all. We believe in division of  responsibility when it comes to feeding kids, especially kids who are dealing with food insecurity or other kinds of trauma. The model, designed by Ellyn Satter, is outlined here: divisionofresponsibilityinfeeding.php, and it basically states that adults can choose when children will eat, and what is available, and children will decide what to eat and how much. 
From the ESI site:
The Ellyn Satter Institute is named for Ellyn Satter, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Family Therapist and internationally recognized authority on eating and feeding, who pioneered the Satter Feeding Dynamics Model and the Satter Eating Competence Model. She is the author of the Division of Responsibility in Feeding, which is the gold standard for feeding children. In her transformative, practical, theoretically sound, and evidence-based conceptualizations of eating and feeding, Satter emphasizes competency rather than deficiency, providing rather than depriving, and trust rather than control. 
As therapeutic caregivers, we love this. We believe that quality care and education for young children  is incomplete without a strong nutrition component that's an integrated part of the day, the school culture, and the curriuculum,  and we love how Ms. Satter's model emphasizes not just providing children with enough healthy food, but teaching them food competency. An understanding of food systems around them, and how different foods affect them. It stresses helping children recognize and respond to their hunger in appropriate ways. It also promotes a positive relationship with food, and the community one eats with regularly - whether that's a family or group of classmates. We feel like this is a powerful way to interact with kids around food, and we practice it everyday at meal and snack times.

I'm working on a longer piece about our ideas around food and feeding kids, and how they fit into the interconnected systems we believe need to work together to make a high quality early eduction program. To make a school really work for all of its children, families, and staff.  I'm developing this whole thing about how relationships are all we really have in this world, and we can't raise children, or teach them anything, without stressing healthy, loving, respectful relationships above everything else. And how we can't talk about relationships without talking about food. But I'm getting way ahead of myself. It's Sunday night and I need to get off the computer and plan out my Monday morning. More on all of this later, but for now, here's our recipe for tasty rice and beans for burritos.  They make a great Monday night dinner.

Basic Rice and Beans
2 cups short grain brown or basmati rice
2 cloves garlic
1/4 medium yellow onion
2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
black pepper to taste
1 tsp cumin

Cook  rice according to package directions. For extra flavor, cook the rice in veggie broth.
Set aside.
Mince  garlic and  onion. Saute in a Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat until fragrant, but not browning. Add  black beans, drained and rinsed. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin, and mix well.
Toss with the cooked rice, and a pat of butter.

Homemade salsa
3 medium Roma tomatoes, chopped
3-4 scallions
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
a handful of cilantro leaves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until mixed, but not smooth. Leave some texture!

Roll up with some cheese, or add cooked beef or chicken, avocado, pickled veggies, roasted veggies, crunchy veggies, etc. You get the picture.



  1. "we can't raise children, or teach them anything, without stressing healthy, loving, respectful relationships above everything else."
    I love this! So true. Thank you for your thoughtfulness about food.

    1. Thanks for reading Amy!!!!!! Hope you're doing well!!! xoxo

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