Tag: kids & family

8 Creative School Lunch Ideas, No Edible Markers Needed

by in Family, September 4th, 2014

8 Creative School Lunch Ideas, No Edible Markers NeededI don’t know about you, but I think making a brilliant school lunch doesn’t have to be so hard. (Just open any parenting magazine and you’ll find glossy photos showcasing hula dancer sandwiches with cucumber skirts, rice pandas complete with sly little smiles and more.) These simple-but-special ideas will punch up your crew’s lunchboxes with nary a hand-carved cow sandwich in sight.

1. Rainbows and Butterflies Pasta Salad by Food Network Magazine: Did you know bow tie pasta is called farfalle in Italian and means “butterfly”? Ellie Krieger opts for this colorful cold pasta dish (pictured above) full of fresh carrots, corn, edamame, red peppers and, of course, a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese.

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Back-to-School Meal Planning

by in Family, September 3rd, 2014

Back to School Meal PlanningLast week signaled back to school for families in some parts of the country, and it starts this week here in New York. Watching my friends post first-day-of-school photos reminds me of the 180-degree turn it’ll mean for our schedules. No more sleeping in and eating breakfast at noon. Instead of sitting down to dinner at 8pm, that’s when I’ll be tucking the kids into bed. One thing back to school doesn’t have to mean, though, is back to takeout. With some smart planning, we’ll be enjoying the same home cooking, just a little earlier than our lazy days of summer.

Prep School: Set yourself up for success on busy weeknights by having vegetables ready to use. You can chop or slice onions and leave them in sealed containers one to two days advance. When I have a recipe that calls for only half an onion, I immediately chop the other half and store it in the freezer in a zip-top bag. Then I can just toss it into the skillet when I’m ready to use it (no need to thaw it first). The same goes for garlic. Chop a whole head and spoon it into mini ice cube trays. Just pop out what you need when you’re ready to get cooking (no need to thaw it first).

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7 Peanut Butter for Lunch Recipes

by in Recipes, September 2nd, 2014

Peanut Butter for Lunch
It’s time to pack the kids up for school again, and that means making mounds of school lunches. But PB&J sandwiches can take you only so far. For a new twist on a classic ingredient that kids and adults love, look no further than the Peanut Butter series on FN Dish. For the next three weeks, we’ll be giving you inventive recipes that let you incorporate peanut butter into all your meals — from breakfast to dessert — for the entire family.

Here are ways you can sneak a little peanut butter into your midday meal: lunch. And don’t forget to check out last week’s breakfast post here.

1. Instead of a mayonnaise-based chicken salad, try it with a touch of peanut butter with Bobby Flay‘s Chinese Chicken Salad with Red Chile Peanut Butter recipe (pictured above).

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6 Peanut Butter for Breakfast Recipes

by in Recipes, August 28th, 2014

Peanut ButterIt’s almost time to pack the kids up for school again, and that means making mounds of school lunches. But PB&J sandwiches can take you only so far. For a new twist on a classic ingredient that kids and adults love, look no further than the Peanut Butter series on FN Dish. For the next four weeks, we’ll be giving you inventive recipes that let you incorporate peanut butter into all your meals — from breakfast to dessert — for the entire family. We’re starting with the most-important meal of the day: breakfast.

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5 All-New Recipes Kids Can (and Will Want to!) Make

by in Family, Recipes, August 27th, 2014

5 All-New Recipes Kids Can (and Will Want to!) MakeAre your kids inspired by the tiny chefs on Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off and the impressive contenders from Chopped Teen Tournament? Then it’s time to let them get their hands dirty in the kitchen. Food Network Kitchen came up with these easy, satisfying and safe dishes to get them started. Everyone (including parents!) will enjoy eating the final products, like these fun Taco Cheeseburgers.

Little kids can help tear the cheese and measure the salsa, while big kids can help shape and season the beef patties and shred the lettuce. Everyone can assemble his or her own taco.

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6 Breakfast Picnic Ideas

by in Family, August 25th, 2014

6 Breakfast Picnic IdeasWhat better way to savor the last days of sunshine than packing up a breakfast picnic? There are two ways to do it: Go old school with a blanket in the yard, or head to the patio. Either way, just pack a thermos of coffee, another full of milk (doing double duty as a beverage for the kids, plus creamer for the java), then bring your breakfast out on a tray — it’s easier to handle than a basket. Now take your pick: We’ve got muffins, eggs and more, each of them to go.

1. Baked Scrambled Eggs (pictured above): You don’t need a bug-shaped pan to pull this off, but it’s sure fun. Beaten eggs plus milk and the toppings of your choice (cheese, ham, tomatoes and more) go into the oven for a sturdy egg dish that’s just as good at room (or outdoor) temperature as it is hot.

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In the Kitchen with Little Chefs: Recipes to Make with Kids

by in Recipes, August 16th, 2014

Parmigiano and Herb Chicken BreastWhile hectic weeknight schedules might make it difficult to embrace cooking with your kids on Monday through Friday, lazy weekends — especially in the summer — are often an ideal time to let little ones try their hands in the kitchen. This morning on an all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts celebrated young chefs and introduced a series of must-try bites that kids of all ages would be eager to both assemble and enjoy. Just in time for the last few weeks of summer, FN Dish has rounded up even more kid-friendly eats and drinks to help parents make the most of this fleeting carefree season. Read on below to find savory and sweet picks to try out with your kids at home.

It’s no secret that kids have a penchant for chicken fingers, and in her recipe for Parmigiano and Herb Chicken Breast Tenders (pictured above), Rachael dresses up the kid-approved classic in a flash. Ready to eat in only 35 minutes, her chicken dinner features chicken breasts dunked in a mixture of crunchy panko breadcrumbs and nutty Parmesan cheese, which helps achieve a crispy coating on the outside. Round out the plate with spaghetti topped with a tomato-garlic sauce to complete the meal.

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The Family Cooks — Off the Shelf

by in Books, August 1st, 2014

The Family Cooks CookbookIf you have a family to feed, I have the cookbook for you. Laurie David’s The Family Cooks was written with the goal of assembling delicious, nutritious meals that will keep everyone at your table full and happy, and I’m not exaggerating when I say I think it knocked it right out of the park.

Overall, the most-enjoyable thing about the book is its empowering message and tone. It encourages readers to take their family’s food choices into their own hands. It gives you all the information you need to make delicious snacks, meals and treats at home. The recipes are sympathetic to both the time and budget constraints many families face today without shortchanging flavor. It has a fail-safe guide to get you in and out of the grocery store in one piece, an ingredient rundown that’ll have you cooking with more flavors in no time, and a buy-and-store guide that’ll help you cut down the amount of food you purchase and then discard because it’s past its prime. The recipes in the book are broken down by course, starting with breakfast and working through lunch, soups and salads, dinner, snacks and drinks, sides, condiments, and sweets.

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Beyond Ketchup: 5 Transforming Toppers Kids Can’t Resist

by in Family, July 31st, 2014

Beyond Ketchup: 5 Transforming Toppers Kids Can't ResistEver 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.

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Dinner on a Stick: 10 Skewers No Kid Can Resist

by in Family, July 14th, 2014

Dinner on a Stick: 10 Skewers No Kid Can ResistTired 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.

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