All Posts By Foodlets

Charity Curley Mathews dreams of raising kids who eat (and enjoy) real food. A former VP at MarthaStewart.com, she's a contributor to The Huffington Post and heads up Foodlets.com: Mini Foodies in the Making…Maybe. Together with her husband and three small children, she now cooks in North Carolina.

7 Ways to Get Kids Hooked on … Carrots

by in Family, June 2nd, 2014

7 Ways to Get Kids Hooked On ... CarrotsIf “Eat your vegetables!” is a constant (and frustrating) refrain in your house, boy, are these ideas are for you. I have three small kids and not one of them likes carrots. Not really. Not if you asked them. But when I cook carrots in dishes like these, voila. Suddenly everyone’s a fan.

Honey-Glazed Carrots: One of my most-successful strategies at home is adding beloved flavors to previously unpopular foods. Kid-friendly ingredients like honey and lemon transform plain carrots into a thumbs-up dish — or at least one that everyone’s willing to try without a fuss.

Mini Mac-and-Cheese Cups with Carrots (pictured above): The secret to getting these to hold together is a mixture of beaten egg and ricotta cheese, making everything just gooey enough before baking to stay solid when it’s time to serve. Bonus: These carrot-packed pasta cups work well for lunchboxes too.

Pastina with Peas and Carrots: Giada De Laurentiis’ “little pasta” dish can be made with any pasta shape you (or your kids) like. And with special ingredients cream cheese and mascarpone cheese, this creamy dish is bound to be a hit, carrots and all.

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9 Simple DIY Popsicles

by in Family, May 27th, 2014

9 Simple DIY PopsiclesWhen the weather turns warm, there’s nothing more refreshing than a Popsicle — except one made with fresh ingredients and not an iota of fake coloring in sight. Here are FN Dish and Foodlets’ favorite ideas for sunny days ahead.

Chocolate Sundae Ice Pops: Low-fat milk plus ripe avocado and bananas, not to mention honey and cocoa powder, make Melissa d’Arabian’s chocolatey pops a surprisingly healthy treat.

Strawberry-Banana Frozen Yogurt Pops: Full of fresh fruit and organic yogurt to boot, these frozen treats are low in sugar and even pack a punch of protein.

Italian Ice Pops: Frozen raspberries plus fresh mint and lemon juice are the base for these light and refreshing pops by Giada De Laurentiis.

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10 Kid-Friendly Memorial Day Recipes

by in Family, Holidays, May 20th, 2014

10 Kid-Friendly Memorial Day RecipesIf you’ve ever been to a potluck with a kid, you know how challenging it can be to find a plate full of food he or she is familiar enough with to enjoy. So if you have upcoming cookouts or campouts, or you just want a festive meal to celebrate the start of summer, try one of these dishes. Your kids (and everyone else’s) will thank you.

Chicken and Pineapple Skewers (pictured above): Chicken coated in favorites like soy sauce, ketchup, honey and even a little brown sugar doesn’t get much more kid friendly — until you add fresh pineapple chunks and put it all on a stick.

Better-for-You Peach Crisp: Full of whole oats, fresh fruit (like peaches, plums, apples or any fruit of your choice), along with coconut oil and crunchy almonds, this crisp is tasty and so good for you that it even works for breakfast — but we doubt you’ll have any left.

Grilled Link Hot Dogs with Homemade Pickle Relish: Sure, you can go with a package of regular dogs, but finding link hot dogs might be a fun twist for the little guys. And what kid can resist a crunchy dill pickle on a hot day? Let kids help you make this tangy relish and watch those proud faces when it’s time to serve.

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13 Spring Birthday Cakes for Kids

by in Events, Family, May 12th, 2014

13 Spring Birthday Cakes for KidsFrom low-sugar options to decadent cakes sure to make any sweet tooth swoon, here are some of FN Dish and Foodlets’ favorite ways to celebrate a child’s birthday in spring.

Rainbow Four-Layer Cake from Food Network Magazine (pictured above): Spring showers bring rainbows to mind and with one color per layer, this dessert makes cutting a cake even more fun. Kids can choose the colors they want, or you can make it a surprise.

Fluffy Confetti Birthday Cake: Who can resist a cake covered in sprinkles? Get the how-to tricks from Food Network Kitchen right here.

Tie-Dyed Cupcakes: Sandra Lee brings a burst of color to this batch of bright and cheery cupcakes.

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Not Your Average Apple: 6 Ideas for Teacher Appreciation Day

by in Events, May 5th, 2014

6 Ideas for Teacher Appreciation DayWhen it comes to thanking teachers, there’s no sweeter way to say it than with apples. Teacher Appreciation Day is May 6, so try one of these seven ideas sure to let the educator in your life know just how much every spelling test, bandaged knee and lesson in kindness counts to you.

No-Bake Apple-Shaped Cake Pops (pictured above): Filled with decadent chocolate sandwich cookies, these cake pops are simple to assemble and easy enough to transport, and honestly couldn’t be cuter.

French Apple Tart: Get sophisticated with this fancy French option from Ina Garten. With layers of swirling apples on a buttery crust, you can’t go wrong.

Healthy Apple Muffins: For teachers who appreciate a little whole-grain goodness, this muffin recipe works perfectly (plus they’ll freeze beautifully to enjoy longer).

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13 Spring Picnic Ideas

by in Family, April 29th, 2014

13 Spring Picnic IdeasWhen the weather’s just right — not too hot, not too cold, not too buggy — there’s only one way to describe it: It’s picnic season. From kid-friendly fare to portable desserts and spicy dishes for all, these are our favorite dishes to bring to a blanket near you.

Warm Picnic Burritos: What travels better than tortillas rolled up around simple pulled pork with extra-zesty flavors? Put this recipe at the top of your list.

Cold Classic Potato Salad: Picnic purists, this one is for you. Alton Brown’s masterpiece is destined to become a family favorite for you too.

Sandwiches on a Stick: Just say “no” to messy mayo. Instead, spear the kids’ favorite sandwich foods onto a skewer and snip in half if it can’t fit in your container.

Layered Picnic in a Jar (pictured above): Who said picnics had to be so much fuss? For a simple meal on the go, try Melissa d’Arabian’s brilliant idea for layering rotisserie chicken, green olives and more — all in individual servings ready the moment you twist off the lid.

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10 Festive Kid-Approved Eats for Spring Birthday Parties

by in Entertaining, Family, April 21st, 2014

10 Festive Kid-Approved Eats for Spring Birthday PartiesWhen it comes to children’s birthday parties, the name of the game is fun, festive and kid-friendly. That’s why FN Dish loves these miniaturized versions of everything ,from personal mac-and-cheese cups to baked corn dogs, to tiny burgers and Giada’s mini Italian subs — all perfect for small hands to dig into. And don’t forget the sweets. Ina’s sharing chocolate-dipped goodies like strawberries, pretzels and graham crackers. These recipes are decadent but never too complicated for the cook — Mom and Dad will still enjoy the party too. Here’s to hosting a happy spring birthday bash near you.

1. Lasagna Cupcakes

2. Baked Mozzarella Sticks (pictured above)

3. Mini Mac and Cheese Cups (with Carrots)

4. Chocolate Dipped Delights

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12 Easter Ideas for Kids

by in Family, Holidays, April 15th, 2014

12 Easter Ideas for KidsWith just enough spring sun to warm their little cheeks, Easter is one of the sweetest days of the year for kids — and these are some of our favorite ways to celebrate. We’ve got surprisingly simple cookies, cupcakes, brownies and even a few sugar-free options. Here’s to a happy Easter ahead!

1. Easter Bunny Cake: Complete with coconut “fur,” this bunny cake is surprisingly simple to make (hint: It starts with a boxed cake mix!)

2. Little Lamb Pull-Apart Cupcakes: As a busy mom of three small fries, I love the idea of a specially shaped dessert I can actually make. Starting with a simple batch of 24 cupcakes, this recipe lays out exactly how to do it.

3. Giant Easter Egg Cookie: Another crowd-pleaser for busy cooks, this awesome egg can be as easy as baking a batch of store-bought cookie dough.

4. Hard-Boiled-Egg Chicken Family (pictured above): The lengthiest step in this easy creation is boiling the eggs. If you’ve got the eggs, a carrot and a few chia seeds, you can do this one in minutes.

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10 Kid-Friendly Dinners Done in 30 Minutes or Less

by in Family, March 31st, 2014

10 Kid-Friendly Dinners Done in 30 Minutes or LessI have three kids under the age of 5 at home, so speed in the kitchen isn’t just nice, it’s a necessity. If your house goes a little crazy around 5 pm the way mine does, these fast, easy and kid-friendly recipes are just for you. A combination of Food Network’s best dishes and our own family favorites, these are all recipes you need to feed a crew fast, and stay sane while doing it.

1. Stovetop Lasagna: Did you know it’s possible to make lasagna from scratch in 30 minutes — sauce and all? This speedy version of a classic family favorite has fast (and delicious) dinner written all over it.

2. Pepperoni and Cheese Scrambled Eggs: What’s faster than breakfast for dinner? Robert Irvine revamps a universally beloved dish in minutes for Food Network Magazine (pictured above).

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White Bean Dip: The Key to Getting More Veggies Into Your Kids

by in Family, February 18th, 2014

White Bean Dip: The Key to Getting More Veggies Into Your KidsTwo of my three small kids love hummus and I know many, many more who do. But hummus at the store usually has lots of mysterious ingredients in it — things I can’t pronounce — and having tahini on hand to make it myself is something my pantry just can’t seem to do. Enter the easiest, healthiest dip of 2014. If you want to get your kids excited about eating a few more veggies with lunch or as a snack, this is the way to go.

All you need to do is rinse a can of white beans and add a slug of olive oil, a dash of salt and pepper, the juice of one lemon and, if you dare, mince half a clove of garlic and throw that in too (it’ll make the whole thing a little spicy so be careful with delicate palates). Then fire up the food processor — blend, eat and enjoy with your vegetables of choice.

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