How often does the clock strike 5 and you realize "oh *%#@, I haven't even thought about what to make for dinner!" The night that I came up with these rice & cheese balls was one of those times, and since then, it's become a total household favorite. The recipe is incredibly easy and you probably have all of the ingredients in your kitchen already. All you do is cut cheese sticks into cubes, use your hands to wrap the rice around them into balls and then steam them quickly. For extra flavor and added nutrition, I like to give them a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
I find that whenever food appears fun or has a hidden surprise, kids are most excited about eating it. This dish satisfies both criteria: it's shaped like a ball (fun!) and has a cheesy center (surprise!). As soon as Kenya took a bite and realized there was gooey, melted cheese inside his rice ball, it was as if he found a new best friend! He just looked up at me with utter surprise and joy and said, "Mommy, there's cheese!" Literally love at first bite.
(This is a great idea for the lunch box, too!)