by Foodlets in Family, July 31st, 2014
by Foodlets in Family, July 14th, 2014
Ever tried to serve your kids something new? I write a blog about cooking for kids — about cooking one dinner, about raising kids who appreciate real food, about trying again when it doesn’t work out — so we eat a lot of new stuff around here. And when our group of four little ones (all under the age of 6) are skeptical about my latest culinary experiment, I try to bridge the gap with familiar, and beloved, flavors. No, the kids don’t all like the same things, but there are a few universally loved flavors. These are my heavy hitters, the MVPs of the kitchen and our best flavor ambassadors.
Fresh Lemon: Squeezing lemon on anything instantly makes my kids intrigued. Does it work for fish? Yes, of course, but there’s also roasted potato wedges and steak. Even greens like sauteed spinach, Swiss chard and kale are wonderful with a splash of juicy citrus. Plus, squeezing the juice is fun for the kids to do themselves.
by Foodlets in Family, Holidays, July 1st, 2014
Tired of lackluster reactions to the phrase “dinner’s ready”? Try a trick I use on my brood and serve skewers. From sides to entrees, everything’s more festive on a stick, and the good news is, it’s pretty simple too.
1. Fish Skewers with Basil Chimichurri (pictured above): With bright pops of green basil sauce and juicy red cherry tomatoes, Melissa d’Arabian’s skewers turn fish from a picky eater’s no-no into a showstopper worth trying.
2. Pork and Pineapple Kebabs: Sure a pork chop is tasty, but chopping it up and serving it with fresh pineapple wedges transforms an otherwise average dinner into something special.
by Foodlets in Family, June 25th, 2014
As if the Fourth of July isn’t already festive enough, here are five recipes that even the littlest cooks can help make. Each dish gets high marks in two key areas, cuteness and simplicity, which gives everyone enough time to enjoy his or her fine work when it’s done.
Berry Trifle: Layers of berries, cake and cream — any dessert with such an easy-to-follow recipe is one all kid-friendly kitchens should have on hand.
Starry Cheese, Tomatoes and Crackers (pictured above): With the help of a star-shaped cutter, transform an average afternoon snack into one with a patriotic punch.
by Foodlets in Family, June 16th, 2014
When it comes to gimmicks for getting kids interested in their food, I say, “Yes, please.” I have no shame when it comes to fun presentation, cute shapes or miniature anything, as long as it’s no more difficult than making a plain old version. With four kids at home — the oldest just turned 5 — these are my favorite tricks of the meal-making trade.
1. Sandwich Sushi: We call these “roly-polies” in our house, and the method couldn’t be simpler. Take a piece of bread and use a rolling pin to flatten it out (making the surface bigger too), then fill with your usual toppings like PB&J, turkey or whatever your kids like. Roll up and slice into 3 to 4 pieces.
2. Bunny and Bear Hard-Boiled Egg Molds: Our kids love eggs, but they actually cheer when I spend an extra 20 seconds creating bunnies or bears with these easy-to-use egg molds. Just press a peeled egg into the mold, close and wait a few seconds, then pop ‘em out.
by Foodlets in Family, June 2nd, 2014
Having kids means having snacks on hand. Try these can’t-miss recipes for homemade versions of supermarket favorites like granola bars, graham crackers, cereal bars and cheddar cheese crackers. They’re fresher, tastier and easier to make than you think.
Homemade Granola Bars: Ina Garten packs her bars with almonds, dates, dried cranberries and even a pinch of wheat germ in this recipe.
DIY Strawberry Cereal Bars: Give that box of popular cereal bars a run for its money with this simple recipe full of whole oats and a secret ingredient no kid can resist: a thick layer of organic strawberry fruit spread.
by Foodlets in Family, Holidays, May 20th, 2014
If “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.
by Foodlets in Family, Holidays, April 15th, 2014
If 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.
by Allison Milam in Family, Recipes, April 10th, 2014
With 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.
by Foodlets in Family, March 31st, 2014
When it comes to growing your kiddos into the best eaters they can be, it’s all about baby steps. And, if you’re asking us, your side dishes are perhaps the best place to start. With sides come the veggies, the strange textures and the other tough sells. But don’t you fret. These winning kid-friendly sides expose your little ones to new tastes without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. That way, your kids will go from full-on picky eaters to budding food connoisseurs in no time.
Little morsels of toasted orzo are so easy to eat, your kids won’t even realize all of the big-kid, Mediterranean ingredients they’re devouring. Rest assured that the “big kids” (cough, cough) will love Toasted Orzo Salad (pictured above) on their plates too.
I 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).