It’s tough, getting your kids to eat healthy, good food on a regular basis. At least, that’s been my experience. One of the things we’ve done in our family, in an effort to model good behavior and foster a sense of inclusion, is to institute a Family Dinner Night. On Family Dinner Night the kids get to pick what we eat (we have a pretty large array of cookbooks, some of which are pretty kid friendly) and help us cook it. There really is no better way to encourage children to eat than to make them part of the process.
Much has been made recently about the ‘Tyranny of the Chicken Tender.’ There’s definitely a tendency to appeal to juvenile tastes on the part of the food industry. Kid friendly foods like chicken tenders don’t have to be unhealthy or prefab, though. Recently we cooked these delightful DIY homemade chicken tenders with our kids (Ginny got the idea from a really neat Disney kids cookbook, the Disney Princess Cookbook).
They enjoyed helping crack open the eggs. Ginny started out the egg mixing process, and then my wife finished the process.
Next we dipped the chicken breast strips into the egg wash, then shook them up in a bag filled with the coating (mostly crunched up crackers, flour, a little cornmeal, paprika, parmesan cheese, pepper and garlic powder).
One spray coated pan later and all of the chicken tenders were ready to bake (much healthier than frying them, and they still end up crispy).
Ten minutes later they were ready to flip and go back in the oven.
Ginny wanted a dipping sauce for the chicken tenders, so we made this easy Sweet and Sour Sauce recipe.
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- a little grated ginger
- a little bit of fresh cracked pepper
Just add everything to a pot and mix.
Heat up the sauce until it just starts to bubble, mixing the whole time. Ginny loved helping with that part. Then take it off the heat and let it cool down before serving.
Ginny loved helping her mommy cook.
Jack wanted to help too, so he made his famous salad dressing.
What’s your experience? Does instituting a Family Dinner Night where the kids help to cook help encourage them to eat? What do they like to help cook?
(And yes, the prodigal has returned to blogging. I apologize for my extended absence. I’ll be blogging more again soon.)