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.
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.
This isn’t just your average pizza night. Sure, we’ve got some must-try basics, like an easy tomato sauce from The Pioneer Woman, but wait until you see what Rachael Ray has to offer when it comes to creative pizza-flavor combinations. Check out classic and all-new ways to reinvent the crust-sauce-topping game.
Dough: There are a few ways to get started with dough.
We’ve got the cutest snack and dessert ideas for spring — including shortcuts, trade secrets and a few recipes that require no baking at all. Check out these downright adorable treats.
The Largest (and Cutest) Egg-Shaped Cookie (pictured above)
Start with your favorite sugar cookie recipe — or a package from the store because we’ll never tell — then it’s all about frosting, sprinkles and fun.
That’s right: salads that kids will love. That kids do love. We have four small fry at my place, and believe it or not, they’re totally becoming salad converts. These recipes are the reasons why.
From beginner meatball how-tos to Ina Garten’s ultimate dinner, we’ve got meatballs paired with spaghetti, dunked in soup, perched on top of pizza and served with couscous, atop sandwiches and even stuffed in a taco. When it comes to meatballs, there’s no end to the ways to enjoy them.
Comfort Meatballs (pictured above)
Think of The Pioneer Woman’s comfort meatballs as tiny round meatloaves, all bubbling together in one happy casserole pan — complete with classic ketchup sauce on top.
“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.