Get Creative with Dinner

Unleash your kids' culinary imagination with fun, healthy, mix-and-match meals.

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Jonny Valiant

Present new ingredients alongside foods your kids already love to nudge them to try different things. Here's the strategy: Set out a bevy of toppings for pizza, tacos, salad, or pasta. Then sit back and let your children design dinner!

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Pizza Picassos

Jonny Valiant

Pizza Picassos

The Blank Canvas
Start with circles of raw dough, either homemade or store-bought, and spread with tomato sauce or white sauce. (Click below for our Speedy Blender White Sauce recipe!)

Make your masterpiece. Try a combination of:
- grilled chicken
- meatballs, quartered if large
- cooked shrimp
- cooked broccoli florets
- sauteed spinach
- cooked sweet potatoes, thinly sliced
- corn
- zucchini half-moons
- black beans
- pesto

Don't forget the classics like pepperoni, sliced mushrooms, bell-pepper strips, olives, and shredded mozzarella.

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Tricked Out Tacos

Jonny Valiant

Tricked Out Tacos

The Blank Canvas
Start off with whole-wheat flour tortillas.

Make your masterpiece. Try a combination of:
- scrambled eggs
- diced mango
- diced pineapple
- diced avocado
- diced peaches
- pinto beans
- crushed tortilla chips
- corn
- roasted sweet-potato chunks
- radish coins
- lime wedges

Don't forget the classics like ground-beef filling (click below for our Easy Taco Filling recipe), salsa, shredded cheddar, shredded lettuce, cilantro, and sour cream.

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Picky Eaters: 3 Ways To Encourage Healthy Eating

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Sculpt Your Salad

Jonny Valiant

Sculpt Your Salad

The Blank Canvas
Start with a plate of your family's favorite salad greens.

Make your masterpiece. Try a combination of:
- hard-boiled eggs
- shredded rotisserie chicken
- sliced deli ham
- sunflower seeds
- orange slices
- blueberries
- pomegranate seeds
- crumbled feta or goat cheese
- diced avocado
- cooked green beans
- chickpeas

Don't forget the classics like salad dressing (click below for our Jam-Jar Honey Mustard Dressing recipe), sliced cucumber, chopped carrots, cherry tomatoes, sliced celery, and croutons.

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The Art of Pasta

Jonny Valiant

The Art of Pasta

The Blank Canvas
Start with a plate of cooked whole-wheat penne. (Click below for our Rainbow Roasted Veggies recipe.)

Make your masterpiece. Try a combination of:
- sliced turkey sausage
- crumbled bacon
- fried eggs
- steamed broccoli
- peas
- sliced bell peppers
- roasted vegetables
- raisins
- lemon wedges
- white beans
- basil leaves

Don't forget the classics like olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese, and marinara sauce.

Originally published in the October 2013 issue of Parents magazine.

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