Fall Family Challenge: D is for Delicious Dinners the Whole Family Can Make

 A lot of parents out there think that the kitchen is not a place for little hands. On the contrary! I've gotta say, I used to be one of those people, long before my parenting days, that just thought kids had no business in the kitchen. Well, I was wrong! During my time in New York City, I got to assist a cooking class for three year olds. That's right... I said three years old. And you know what? We taught those kids how to make sushi (sans raw fish). It was incredible! The kitchen is a wonderful place to discover the science of making dinner. Let your little one help out by adding pre-measured ingredients to a mixing bowl and seeing what happens when they are mixed together. What happens when you mix an egg or water with a whole bunch of dry ingredients? How do things change shape and color as their temperatures and textures change?

There are a ton of resources out there for making family friendly meals with your family. Here are just a few. Have fun and bon appetite!

Mom's Menu is a great site for the busy mom trying to make dinner delicious, easy and fast! Check out this recipe for Cheesy Pizza Fondue! Yummy!

Cheesy Pizza Fondue
Courtesy of Mealtime.org

2 tablespoons toasted breadcrumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
2 slices pepperoni, finely chopped (optional)
2 ounces (1/2 cup) finely shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese (optional)
2 whole-wheat pita breads (each cut in 6 triangles), warm

Preparation Time: Approximately 5 minutes

Cook Time: Approximately 5 minutes


Mix breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl until fully moistened; set aside.
Combine tomato sauce and pepperoni (if using) in a small saucepan and heat to simmering. Stir in breadcrumb-milk mixture and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in cheeses until melted. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with warm pita triangles for dipping.


And who says you can't play with your food sometimes? As you well know, I am a huge fan of Disney's Family Fun. Their magazine is fun, but their website is jammed pack with thousands of ideas that will never leave a mom hanging! Check out this recipe I found for a Halloween party treat - Black Bean Cat Crudités.



Black Bean Dip
Cherry tomatoes
Green beans
Arrange vegetables in the shape of a cat, as shown. Serve with Black Bean Dip.

Keeping with the Halloween theme, Pillsbury always has something fun up their sleeves for the holidays, like these Crescent Mummy Dogs. The more fun it is to make, the more fun it is to eat, after all! 
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
2 1/2slices American cheese, quartered (2.5 oz)
10large hot dogs
Cooking spray
Mustard or ketchup
1. Heat oven to 375°F.
2. If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate at perforations, creating 4 rectangles. Press perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut into 4 rectangles.
3.With knife or kitchen scissors, cut each rectangle lengthwise into 10 pieces, making a total of 40 pieces of dough. Slice cheese slices into quarters (1/2 slice cheese, cut in half).
4. Wrap 4 pieces of dough around each hot dog and 1/4 slice of cheese to look like "bandages," stretching dough slightly to completely cover hot dog. About 1/2 inch from one end of each hot dog, separate "bandages" so hot dog shows through for "face." On ungreased large cookie sheet, place wrapped hot dogs (cheese side down); spray dough lightly with cooking spray.
5. Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until dough is light golden brown and hot dogs are hot. With mustard, draw features on "face."

Eating together as a family is important! It is a healthy way to spend time together sharing your days, and it encourages kids to talk about their challenges and accomplishments. According to a study at Columbia University:

The report also found that compared to teens who have five to seven family dinners per week, those who have fewer than three family dinners per week are:

•Twice as likely to have friends who use marijuana and ecstasy
•More than one and a half times likelier to have friends who drink, abuse prescription drugs, and use methamphetamine; and
•Almost one and a half times likelier to have friends who use illegal drugs like cocaine, acid and heroin.
Research has  shown that families who eat dinner together are also less likely to suffer from obesity and eating disorders. Make time for your family. When it comes down to it, nothing is more important.

The Fall Family Challenge by Holly at Nap Time is designed to encourage families to do activities together and learn at the same time. There are no rules, no wrongs, no rights - just family fun!


  1. You know, I still have that "three year-old cooking class" cookbook! It's in a safe place on my bookcase because I can't wait to teach my kids from it someday.

    Thanks for the great ideas, and for the resources. I love your Fall Family Challenge!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Sponsor Spotlight: BabyLegs! {Review & Giveaway}

Elf on the Shelf Book + Plush Set Review & Giveaway {Ends 11/23}

Giveaway: $35 to CSN Stores