Get Creative with Dinner

The Art of Pasta
Jonny Valiant
Unleash your kids' culinary imagination with fun, healthy, mix-and-match meals.
Jonny Valiant
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!

Jonny Valiant
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.

Jonny Valiant
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.

Here are three healthy ways to please a picky eater.

Jonny Valiant
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.

Jonny Valiant
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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