Take The Stress Out Of Dinnertime With These Meals Your Kids Can Help Prepare

When you think about dinnertime with your family, what images first come to mind? Is it a tranquil time for sharing with your children? Or (like so many of us), do you instantly feel a pang of anxiety thinking about how to successfully cajole, beg and plead with your little ones to stop pushing the food around on the plate and actually eat it? You’re certainly not alone; dinnertime can quickly turn stressful for any parent who has to cook dinner and please a tough crowd.

Embracing The Joy Of Cooking With Your Kids

Of course, nothing says that parents have to do all the cooking and serving while the kids sit back and wrinkle their noses at anything that even slightly offends their delicate palettes. One of the most effective (and fun) methods a parent can use to help minimize mealtime stress is by getting the kiddos directly involved in the cooking and preparation process. Having children working with you in the kitchen to make the dinnertime meal can deliver a wide range of benefits. It’s a great way to spend quality time together (where one of you isn’t anxiously imploring the other to at least give something a “no thank you bite”) while you help them learn about food and nutrition in a fun, handson way. Best of all, having directly contributed to the process makes it all the more likely that your little ones will be more apt to try new and different foods.

Three Kid-Friendly Recipes To Work Into The Menu Rotation

When you’re ready to get cooking with your kids, consider these three, easy to prepare recipes that not only taste great, but also offer a healthful and nutritious meal that you’ll feel good about serving.

Oven Toasted Pita Pizzas: Pizza is always a popular choice with childrern of any age. However, getting a pie from your local pizzeria doesn’t exactly scream “healthy!” Instead of delivery, take pita bread loaves and brush lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Next, layer on a sugar free tomato sauce and a hearty handful of shredded low fat mozzerella. From there, the sky is virtually the limit! Pile on everyone’s favorite veggies and bake at 400 degress for approximately 6-8 minutes.

Customized Salad Bar: Don’t think you’d ever be able to get your family to revel in a salad for dinner? Guess again. Take the kids to the market and have them select all their favorite veggies…then add some of your own. Be sure to grab some other healthful toppings such as avocados, boiled eggs whites, cubed turkey breast and grilled chicken. Rinse, chop and put out in individual serving plates so everyone can make their own custom salad that they’ll love putting together almost as much as they love eating.

Cheesy Bean Tacos: Tacos are another kid-friendly meal that can be made extra healthy using any type of pinto or kidney beans. Take one can of preferred beans and microwave with 3/4 cup of salsa until warmed through. When completed, spoon salsa/beans into a whole grain taco shell (or even whole wheat soft taco wrap) and cover with shredded lettuce and/or spinach. Finish off each taco with shredded cheese and you’ll have a delicious meal with a Mexican flare that your family will love.

Tracy Gibb started Lessthanperfectparents.com to offer parenting techniques and tips to parents of children of all ages. From pointers to product review sites and a wide range of familial everything in between, Lessthanperfectparents.com is your go to parenting forum.

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