health-and-wellness

Simple dinners your family can make together

Even your kids can help cook these!

Simple dinners your family can make together

Even your kids can help cook these!
  • Meal time is very important for your children.

  • "This daily mealtime connection is like a seat belt for traveling the potholed road of childhood and adolescence and all its possible risky behaviors," said Harvard professor Anne Fishel.

  • Cooking with your children will not only enhance your dinner conversations, it can also be a fun way to include them in the healthy decision-making process. The more your children are involved, the more they will be excited to eat the food and the less nagging or fighting will happen around your dinner table.

  • "Everyone's dinner will be enhanced by more members contributing and by no single member feeling resentful," explains Fishel.

  • Making meals a family event will help solve the seemingly impossible task of getting your kids to eat healthy food. Here are five great recipes to try with your children:

  • 1. Butternut squash mac and cheese

  • Mac and cheese is comfort food and this is a great way to make it healthier for your children. Find the recipe here.

  • How kids can help:

  • Your child can help deseed a squash, scrape it from the skin, push the buttons on the blender (with you standing nearby of course) and stir the mixture.

  • 2. Mini pizzas

  • This is a great recipe because most children love to eat pizza and making ones that are just for them will make the process even more exciting. Find the recipe here.

  • How your kids can help:

  • Your children can help roll out the dough, spread the sauce on the dough, sprinkle cheese on top and add the pizza toppings. This recipe is a great way to involve kids every step of the way.

  • 3. 20-minute chicken and vegetable stir fry

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  • If you don't have a lot of time, this is a great recipe for you. It's easy, healthy and will be fun for your kids to help with. Find the recipe here.

  • How kids can help:

  • Your kids can help stir the sauce together and measure the rice out. If you have older children they can help stir the veggies and chicken together over the stove.

  • 4. Taco pizza

  • This recipe is for when the children only want pizza, but you're tired of pepperoni. Find the recipe here.

  • How kids can help:

  • Children can help unroll the dough and pinch the pieces together. Your older children can help spread the cream cheese and sour cream across the cooked dough. Then everyone can be involved in adding the toppings. This is another great recipe because your children can make it personal and choose what toppings they want on their taco pizza.

  • 5. Walking tacos

  • If you are on the go, this is an awesome plate-free recipe (and it's easy to clean up afterwards too). Find the recipe here.

  • How kids can help:

  • This is one of my favorite recipes because each child can add whatever they want into their Frito bag. It makes each walking taco personal and no one ends up complaining that they have something on their plate they don't like. Children can help grate the cheese, stir the taco seasoning into the meat and put the ingredients out on the table.

  • Whatever recipe you choose, don't be afraid to let your children help. If you are worried about their safety or their ability to help, bring a chair over and let them watch you cook. Explain to them what you are doing and get them excited about the meal you are making. Your children will love being included in making dinner and you will love when they eat everything off their plate.

Christa is a part time photographer, part time writer and full time lover of life. She loves eating chocolate chip cookies and singing (but not at the same time). She has her degree in political science.

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