1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Cut the onion in half, and then slice each piece crosswise into ½-inch strips. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper or foil (dull side up). Set aside.
3. Using an apple corer/slicer, cut the apples into eighths, and then cut each wedge into 3 or 4 chunks. Add to the onions along with the squash cubes.
4. Add the oil, thyme, vinegar, salt, and pepper to the baking sheet and toss well.
5. Spread out in a single layer, and bake for 30 minutes or until the onions are golden and the squash is tender when pierced with a fork.
6. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle with the cinnamon, dried cranberries, and nuts (if using). Toss lightly and place in a serving dish.
Since some apples are very hard, placing your hands next to, or on top of the child’s hand while pressing down will be useful—but don’t press too hard on their little hands if the apple is very hard!
It is much safer to use an 8-inch chef’s knife with a child under six than a paring or utility knife. Standing behind the child and holding the knife with him or her instills confidence at the same time that you focus on safety.
Combining the cranberries and apples with the savory vegetables makes the dish more intriguing for young children and will promote eating a new, healthy vegetable.
This dish is perfect as a side dish for chicken or fish. However, serve this dish on top of quinoa or barley and you will have a nutritious vegetarian main dish.
Tina Wasserman is the food editor of ReformJudaism.org and her books are available on her website. Reprinted with permission.