Now that some cooler weather is here, it is a great time to have some fun in the kitchen with your kids. There are a lot of healthy, yet fun dishes to try while incorporating some fresh produce. Even if you have picky eaters, you can usually get your kids to at least try something new if they help you make it. Everyone in the family can help when it comes to cooking. Little ones can get the ingredients for you and wash the vegetables, while older kids can slice and peel fruit. It may take a little longer or become a little messier when you have kids helping, but the time spent together will be well worth it. The following recipes are all easy to make with kids and will incorporate seasonal produce as well.
Apples are great when you need a quick, healthy snack. The following recipe incorporates apples while making eating them fun for kids.
– 1 apple
– ½ cup peanut butter
– 24 mini marshmallows
Cut the apple into 8 slices. Remove the seeds and the core. Place ½ a teaspoon of peanut butter on the apple, but don’t get any on the skin. Place 6 mini marshmallows next to each other onto the peanut butter so that they look like teeth. Put ½ a teaspoon of peanut butter on another apple slice and put that slice on top of the marshmallows. Both slices of the apple and the marshmallows should now look like a mouth. Repeat this process with the remaining apple slices.
In the photo we adjusted them for Halloween. You can use yogurt covered raisins or chocolate.
Zucchini is inexpensive and easy to find this time of year. Zucchini pizzas are a tasty way to introduce kids to it.
– 1 zucchini
– cooking spray
– ½ cup marinara sauce
– ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Cut the zucchini into round slices that are about 1/2 an inch thick. Spray a skillet with cooking spray and let it heat up. Place the sliced zucchini in to the skillet and cook it for 2-3 minutes. Remove it from the skillet and place the slices on a plate. Put one tablespoon of marinara sauce onto each zucchini slice. Pour a tablespoon of shredded cheese onto each zucchini slice as well. Warm up the zucchini slices in the microwave for about 30 seconds. When you remove them they should look like small pizzas.
– 1/2 box spaghetti
– 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
– 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
– sprinkle of salt
– 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
– 2 tablespoons milk
– 3/4 cup kosher salt
– 1 large egg
– 2 cups marina sauce
– 12 small fresh mozzarella balls
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Use butter or non-stick cooking spray on muffin tins or use silicone tins which are naturally non-sticks. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender, but still firm to the bite (8 to 10 minutes). Drain paste and place in a large bowl. Mix with parmesan cheese and olive oil. Toss and set aside to cool.
To assembly cups – mix together the 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, milk, salt and egg. Pour the sauce over the spaghetti mixtures and toss. Twirl spaghetti around a large fork and place in the individual muffin cups. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before removing. Place a small ball of mozzarella on each with a basil leaf – or use your imagination and top with your children’s favorite veggies or a mini-meatball. For adults add olives, capers, spinach, sundried tomatoes or any other topping of your choice.
Pumpkins are everywhere this time of year. Sautéed pumpkin is hearty and a tad bit sweet, which most kids love.
– 3 tablespoons butter
– 1 pound pie pumpkin
– 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
Peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds and cut it into chunks that are about ½ an inch wide. Melt the butter in a skillet over low heat. Put the pumpkins into the skillet and stir. Cover the skillet and let the pumpkin cook for about 20 minutes and stir it occasionally. You will know it’s ready when the pumpkin is soft. Remove the lid and turn the heat up to medium. Let cook for an additional 15 minutes. Pour the maple syrup over the pumpkin, stir it, remove it from the heat and serve.
You can also take the seeds from inside of the pumpkin and make roasted pumpkin seeds.