Have your kids reached the “I’m bored” stage of summer yet? If so, why not spend some quality time together in the kitchen? Our family is challenged with one vegetarian and one GF (gluten-free) dieters, but we have found multiple menus that still please everyone. Today’s meal (pictured above) was made by our younger teenage daughter, proving that 14 year-olds can definitely do more than order pizza!
Nutrition studies have found that kids are far more willing to expand their palate when they are involved in preparing the food. Fruit smoothies are probably the easiest and most delicious way to engage your child in the kitchen. Grab some frozen fruit, a banana, and some plain or vanilla yogurt. Toss the ingredients together in a blender and voila- healthy breakfast you can drink on the run as you dash off to dance camp!
My next favorite is today’s dish-stir fry. This meal is simple to make vegetarian by adding your beans of choice, but can also be protein-enhanced with chicken, fish or other meats. Supervise your kids as they learn to chop up squash, zucchini, mushrooms, onions and carrots, then toss them in a large wok or pan and stir fry with olive oil. You can also add some garlic and other seasonings as they expand their palate. We serve this over rice (using the” toss in the microwave for one minute” super-fast option) or pasta or even simply over lettuce for an extra veggie load.
BOTTOM LINE: Break the pizza/burger/nachos summer habit, and substitute some healthy dishes and family fun in the kitchen!