Dinnertime can be some of the best moments we spend with our children…or at least that’s what we like to imagine. In our minds, we envision a quiet time to share a meal, hear about each other’s day and just enjoy each other’s company before the bedtime routine. However, in reality, dinnertime can often feel stressful and chaotic, especially when trying to coax our precious little ones into trying new foods. Not only can it be difficult to navigate through fussy mealtime resistance, but as parents, we worry that we’re not getting enough healthful morsels successfully off the plate and into tiny tummies.
Get Kids Involved To Help With Mealtime Stress
Fortunately, there are ways to help expand even the finickiest eater’s palette. What is one of the best ways to get your kids to try something new at dinnertime? Let them get involved in the preparation process. Try some of these healthful, easy to make recipes that your little ones can help you make:
Bean & Cheese Tacos: Warm 1 small can of any type of kidney or pinto beans with 3/4 cup of salsa in the microwave (about 1-2 minutes). Tear some lettuce (or even bite size baby spinach) into small pieces. Spoon bean mixture into whole grain taco shells, cover with lettuce, shredded cheddar. Add a final dollop of salsa and “Voila!” Dinner is served.
Pita Pizzas: Looking for a healthful alternative to pizza? Use pita bread as the crust, lightly brush on olive oil, layer on sugar free tomato sauce and low fat shredded mozzarella. From there you and your family can get as colorful and creative as you want with virtually endless healthy topping options. Peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, even pineapple make for great fixings. Heat at 400 degrees until cheese bubbles (approx… 6-8 minutes).
Salad Bar: Who says you can’t get your children to salute salad night? Plan a trip to the grocery store and have them help pick out all the ingredients that they’d like to have included (while you, naturally, add your own choices…as well as retain veto rights!). Beyond the veggies, items like pre-cooked grilled chicken, hard boiled eggs and even turkey bacon will make choices. Once home, wash all produce and cut into bit sized pieces and prep any other food items. Create your own salad bar on the counter and allow everyone to pile their plates with their favorites. Serve with a warmed organic soup and whole wheat toast and you’ll have a meal that they’ll ask for again and again!
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