Picky eating is a normal part of development, according to Dr. Leann Birch, Professor and Head of the Human Development and Family Studies Department at Penn State University. Dr. Birch explains, “Most children who are perceived as picky eaters probably have adequate diets. What parents often perceive as picky eating simply reflects their children’s normal response to new foods.” Learning and accepting that pickiness is a healthy phase could help you minimize stress when whipping up kid friendly recipes. So what recipes should we make that our little ones will devour without hesitation?
The fewer ingredients the better: Meals should be prepared with six ingredients or less to avoid overcomplicating the dish or confusing children’s palates. The perfect ingredients for children’s meals are those commonly found in your pantry, like salt, onions, canola oil, sugar, and pepper. Try preparing a simple chicken dish, like Creamy Chicken Dijon served with a side of crispy carrot fries. Just keep it nice and simple and your child will love the meal you put on the table.
Quick prep: Kid friendly recipes are typically prepared in around 10-20 minutes. Again, there’s no need to overcomplicate things with intricate, hard-to-prepare recipes. Dishes like zucchini cakes or turkey paninis with sun-dried tomatoes take under 20 minutes to prepare (and they’re delicious too!).
Easy kid friendly recipes meal planning will benefit the cook in the household in preparing an easy, organized, healthy, and delicious dinner. Having recipes handy will save time, energy, and food, while allowing mom or dad to plan ahead. Trust us, kid friendly recipes for dinner will make dinnertime much less hectic. Spend a little time making a meal plan with kid friendly recipes in mind. We’re sure you’ll be glad that you did!
The sandwich: a majestic, lunchtime meal that America certainly loves. The numbers don’t lie, either. Hellmann’s State of the Sandwich Survey reported that sandwich lovers believe they could survive a longer period of time not talking on their cell phone (about 29 days) than going without a sandwich (20 days). However, not all sandwiches are created equal. Eighty-four percent of sandwich lovers revealed that how a sandwich is made is just as important as the ingredients used to make it.
If you have a picky kid, you may have found that this statistic is not shocking in the least. A diagonal versus straight-across cut of a sandwich could deter a child from even looking at the darn thing. Celebrate the wonderful, culinary invention that is the sandwich and make fun sandwiches with your kids. They’ll be gobbling up every last bite of these fun meals:
”Ice Cream” Sandwich: Made with pumpernickel, whole wheat bread, and carrot shavings, this is a lot healthier than the original ice cream sandwich. Cut wheat bread into a triangle shape to make the “cone” of an ice cream cone. Then, make the two-dimensional ice cream scoop out of pumpernickel bread and assemble it on the plate on top of the “cone” to make a full, ice cream cone. You can achieve the waffle-cone appearance by assembling carrot shavings in a diagonal, grid pattern onto the wheat bread cone after filling the sandwich with your desired ingredients.
PB&J Blossoms: These sandwiches, made to look like little flowers with a whole in the middle for a dainty bit of jam color, are the perfect sandwich for a little girl. Cut sandwiches into flowers with a knife or cookie cutter. You can cut a hole in one of the slices using a water bottle cap then assemble your sandwich accordingly. The jelly will peek out of the hole, making a colorful flower center.
Peanut Butter, Choco, Apple-Sandwiches: This is a slightly messy, yet delectable after-school snack that every child will adore. Take an apple and remove the core, then slice the apples horizontally so that they make mini, apple “bagels.” Smooth peanut butter onto apple slices and combine with chocolate chips for an added treat. Dark chocolate works well and tastes great.
Manwiches: Use your gingerbread man cookie cutters to make little manwiches. You can toast the bread, assemble the sandwich, then paint a little face on the completed sandwich with mustard. Your little man will just love manwiches after a long day at school.
Breakfast Waffle Sandwich: All it takes is some mini waffles to make the perfect morning breakfast. Eggs, turkey bacon or sausage, and cheese go great on this sandwich. If you’re working with bigger waffles, make sure to cut the sandwich in half and only give a portion to your little boy or girl. Two, full waffles is a bit much!
Making sandwiches look fun and pretty will inspire even the pickiest eaters to devour their lunch with delight. Start a family tradition of manwiches or PB&J blossoms for fond memories that will last a lifetime.