It’s never a problem convincing my kids to celebrate. They’re even pretty game for trying new foods. But the non-negotiable part about feeding most small fry is heat: They just don’t like anything spicy. You see where I’m going with this, right? It’s time for a made-over Cinco de Mayo party, one with kids in mind. This collection of delicious recipes is perfect for introducing a flavor blast of fun, without turning your first grader off salsa for life. Check out my tips below for kid-friendly party starters, new twists on taco night and even make-ahead meals you’ll thank yourself for later.
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Is there an ingredient that’s more universally loved among kids than peanut butter? Add that it’s affordable, easy to find and packed with protein, and you’ll be turning to these eight simple ideas constantly, including a few big-batch recipes you’ll thank yourself for making ahead of time. (And of course, anyone with peanut allergies could easily substitute any other nut butter.)
Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Leave it to Giada De Laurentiis to come up with a homemade granola bar swirled with brown sugar, honey and melted butter, and kissed with slivered almonds and mini chocolate chips.
What’s not to love about cereal? It’s crunchy, almost always at least a little sweet, and best of all, ready in 30 seconds flat! But if you’re ready to break out of the same cereal rut we fall into at our house, here are five family-friendly breakfasts full of simple, fresh ingredients. Every idea is easy enough to pull off on the busiest of mornings, which is to say, pretty much all of them.
Nothing tastes more like spring than a sweet pea bursting in your mouth. But you don’t have to use the fresh ones for kids to eat them up. Fresh or frozen, no vegetable is easier, more affordable or tastier to serve kids than peas. Here are 10 of our favorite ways to feature them.
Pasta, Pesto and Peas
This Ina Garten classic is a favorite with kids everywhere. That’s because kids love pesto. And pasta. And peas. It’s a trifecta of kids’ favorite flavors.
It’s spring! Are you jumping up and down and dancing in circles and howling at the moon like I am? No?
… Really? Just me, huh? OK.
Well, now that it’s spring, I feel like eating a smidge lighter. Not too much lighter … don’t get sad. But something slightly more springy and festive and moon-howly (yes, it’s a thing). And, on top of that, there’s BREAD here. Oh sure, now you’re dancing.
Need new lunch ideas? We’ve got them all: hot and cold ideas, dishes you can make ahead and some you can make in a flash. These are 10 kid-tested ideas for lunches that hit the spot — and stick with your little (or big) ones all day long.
Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad
What kid could resist Ree Drummond’s simple pasta salad, with big chunks of cheddar cheese and juicy tomatoes swimming in a sweet, tangy mayo dressing?
It’s one thing to spend spring break in a tropical locale, cocktail in hand. But it’s a whole other thing to spend the week holed up at home with the kids — and nothing to do. Consult this list of easy, tasty recipes when you’ve hit a lull … or, you know, when everyone gets hungry.
In a way, cooking is always about self-expression, but kids will likely get more excited by this literal interpretation: their hands starring as cookies, decorated with all the icing and sprinkles they want.
Once a month Bev Weidner, of Bev Cooks fame and the mom of adorable twin littles, stops by to share an easy, one-two approach to dinner to keep everyone happy: Start by making one classic recipe for the kids in the house, then dress up that same dish with bold flavors for the adults.
Oh, heeeeey. We’re making kebabs — for everyone! Even the little ones are included.
Kebabs don’t have to be insanely fancy. They’re kind of the perfect food for any and all generations. What’s not to dig about bite-size pieces of grilled meat and veggie bliss, right?
Today I’ve basically prepared one meal, but I’ve tweaked it that way for them first, then this way for you. But I’m not about say “winner, winner chicken dinner” because I like having human friends.
“I have plenty of time on my hands, so let’s really stretch out the dinner-making process,” said no busy parent ever. That’s why this list of all-in-one dinners will change your approach to mealtime. Each casserole includes protein and veggies, so there’s no need to make a meal with multiple components. (And if you’re worried about picky eaters who may not like the look of certain items come 6 o’clock, a bowl of crunchy raw veggies and dip is an instant side almost everyone enjoys every time.)
Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole with Cauliflower (pictured above)
With egg noodles, mushrooms, chicken breasts and a whole head of cauliflower, this creamy casserole already sounds like a winner. But it’s got one more beloved feature up its sleeve: a crispy panko crust.
Feeding the kids after school is part art (something fresh and inviting!) and part science (fill them up, but not too much!). As the mom of four young kids, I like to go small for the afternoon snack, focusing on fruit and vegetables. It’s a chance to get another serving of either one in for the day — but that doesn’t mean a stray granola bar won’t make an appearance. Check out some of my favorites.
Peanut Butter Granola Bars
The only problem with serving Giada De Laurentiis’ homemade granola bars after school is that your kids will want more than one — and that’s not going to leave them with room for dinner! If you can convince the kiddos to eat these tasty snacks in moderation, you really can’t go wrong.