Celebrating Feeding Children - Celebrating Life with Paula Blog at Allrecipes.com - 271304

Celebrating Life with Paula

Celebrating Feeding Children 
Mar. 27, 2012 10:56 am 
Updated: Apr. 3, 2012 6:30 pm

Here recently, my daughter left town for a week and left her FOUR children in my charge. I raised only two, so four can be quite a handful to me. To make it easier on me, I asked her to write out menus of foods the children would eat before she left. Frankly, that was a lifesaver to me. I didn't have to guess at what they would eat. And the day I handed them back to her, safe and sound and well-fed, I received my son's two children for a couple of days.

I want to share with you a few of these kid friendly recipes. Perhaps they are new to you and your children will like them too.

Baked Spaghetti, along with garlic bread and whole kernel corn, is a favorite with my grands. My original recipe calls for fat-free cottage cheese and only 1 cup of the mozzarella. I've also successfully frozen this, making it an easy meal to double and freeze for a later time.

                                                                  photo by kimiko611

Another kid-friendly entree is Betsy's Poppy Seed Chicken. I make sure I cook the chicken until very tender, and then I shred it into very tiny pieces. For some reason, if big pieces of meat make their way into a child's mouth, they just get bigger and bigger. This meal, with a side of green beans, is always a winner.

                                                                    photo by aleasa

I had made some slider-style hamburgers in February and thought they might go over well with children. Super Bowl Bites are child-sized and small enough for little hands to hold. I did decrease the onion soup mix by half, though, just because I was afraid the onion flavor would be too strong for my onion-hating grandchildren. (On a side note, I made this exactly by the recipe for a group of 10 adults recently, and they loved it!)

As I said earlier, I left the house of my 4 grands and immediately got 2 others at my house. I hadn't been home in a week and had no food prepared. So I took some Kay's Spaghetti and Lasagna Sauce out of my freezer, thawed it, and served it over noodles.  It was just as good, maybe even better, than the night I had cooked it.

I served my granddaughter a smoothie that, frankly, I was surprised she would drink no matter how much I oohed and aahed over it.  I just assumed the color would be a put-off to her, but she drank it with gusto! It was the Green Smoothie, made with spinach instead of kale.

And if she liked that one, boy have I got another one to try out on her next time, Sarah-May's Nectarine Sunshine Smoothie

Please feel free to leave the links of foods your kids like!

Mar. 27, 2012 11:23 am
I'm just thinking what a BRAVE & Smart woman are! Good thinking getting menus and brave for taking on 4 at a time. I'm getting older and I wonder if I'll have enough stamina for the grandkids I so want to have :) someday the DS is only 19.
Mar. 27, 2012 11:28 am
I wish I were close enough to my grandkids to be able to keep them for a week but we are on opposite coasts, *sigh* I do have a great niece who spends a fair amount of time with me and is a budding foodie. Her mother was floored when she was asked to buy blue cheese. I never had any particularly kid oriented food when I was raising my brood. I always felt that exposure to a wide range would be good for them as adults. (I know too many adults who still only eat nursery food.) I'm sure all six of the kiddies had a ball and you earned a good rest!
Mar. 27, 2012 12:12 pm
You are a very good grandmother, you son and daughter are so lucky to have you as their mom.
Mar. 27, 2012 12:50 pm
Hi Paula. I have a three y/o granddaughter that lives with us and while she does enjoy a pretty good variety of foods, it can be challenging at times to prepare food for her. Here are some things I've had success with, starting with this baked chicken http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Famous-Butter-Chicken/Detail.aspx?prop31=3
Mar. 27, 2012 12:52 pm
Turkey Breast in the slowcooker is one of everyone's favorites: 
Mar. 27, 2012 12:54 pm
She usually eats her meatball sub without the bread:
Mar. 27, 2012 12:56 pm
Last one for now!
Thanks for posting this blog. I can't wait to see what others will post!
Mar. 27, 2012 1:39 pm
thanks for sharing! great tips.
Mar. 27, 2012 2:14 pm
Wow Paula, That is an awesome story. I can tell all of your grandkids have fun when they are with you. Here is a link to a healthy chocolate banana smoothie that our little one really enjoys. (We only use 2 TBS almond butter.) http://www.draxe.com/video/chocolate-banana-nut-smoothie-transform-your-kitchen-ep-37/
Mar. 27, 2012 3:48 pm
Hi Paula, I'm link-impaired except where I can click from recently viewed so I left links on your post. My grandson has Aspergers & can be tricky. Except for beef veggie soup, spaghetti & pizza, it has to be straight-forward with no sauces, gravy, or condiments but ketchup. Grilled, broiled or (rarely) fried meat, mash potatoes or fries, approved veggie. No mixing. We are working on it & I did get him to eat meatloaf when I explained it was just like (okay I fibbed a tiny bit) the meatballs he likes in spaghetti. I left the sauce off one end when cooking, no gravy on his potatoes. He loves baby limas but one time DH was helping make plates & asked if he wanted butter beans. He wouldn't eat them again until he was with me at the store & I showed him a bag of the GREEN baby limas & a bag of speckled butter beans & told him Grandpa had just called them the wrong thing.
Mar. 27, 2012 3:49 pm
Awwww! My kids are grown, but no kids of their own yet. I'm looking forward to the day I have grandkids, but frankly, I'm hoping it's still several years away. AND I hope they live closer than my children do now, or I'll rarely see them!!
Mar. 27, 2012 4:15 pm
When all the babies were little, I would use different shaped cookie cutters to cut the bread, cheese, ham to make a teddy bear or butterfly sandwich or grilled cheese. Would sometimes use food writer pens to make the faces. The DGDs have a much broader range of tastes like shrimp or crawfish pasta so suppers with them are always different & easy. Summer lunches are often a cold plate with chicken salad or leftover roasted chicken, cheese, maybe a piece of hard boiled egg, a few crackers, green beans & a couple of orange wedges. For our lunches, I buy cans of cut green beans, no salt added. I don't heat or season them. Drain them & divide between the plates.
Mar. 27, 2012 4:38 pm
On weekends when everyone is here, we get up at different times & with different desires to eat. I make a big platter of fruit & little wedges of toasted bagels. A quick fruit dip & have the little tub of light strawberry cream cheese for the bagels. Around 11, we have breaskfast/brunch. One of the kids' favorites is chocolate chip pancakes.
Mar. 27, 2012 6:49 pm
Mi Being Mi, I've seen that butter chicken recipe and have wanted to try it. You've made me really plan to do it now! I've also wanted to try the mini meatball subs. Thanks for the reminder!
Mar. 27, 2012 6:55 pm
Thanks for the smoothie recipe,stick a fork in me. It looks really good!
Mar. 27, 2012 7:01 pm
Thanks for all your ideas, HotGrandma. I do some of those same things, especially cutting their sandwiches with different cookie cutters. They love that! I loved your story about your husband and the butter beans. Too funny!
Mar. 28, 2012 5:27 am
Paula- my granddaughter loves chicken nuggets and spaghetti.
Mar. 28, 2012 9:21 am
Wow, what a hand full! I used to have my neice and nephews over when they were little but they grew too fast for me. Its just my daughter and neice that I entertain ... this quesadilla one of their faves (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-pizza-wraps/detail.aspx)
Mar. 28, 2012 11:40 am
I have not tried this but looks good..http://www.plainchicken.com/2012/02/french-dip-crescents.html#more
Mar. 28, 2012 12:26 pm
Moaa, I saved the grilled pizza wraps. I bet my grands would love those! Thanks!
Mar. 28, 2012 12:28 pm
Jayashiangel, those french dip crescents are a great springboard for just about anything, aren't they? That's a great idea! Thanks for sharing!
Mar. 29, 2012 10:33 am
Good blog, sharing your time and meals with family is heartwarming.
Mar. 29, 2012 10:36 am
I usually make meals for the Grands from scratch but as a treat they love Rice-A-Roni so I keep it on hand. Then I found this recipe from redamber: http://allrecipes.com/personalrecipe/63079667/meatballs-gravy/detail.aspx They loved it and request it often. For a quick snack during the days that they stay with us they like Nana's WW Smart Ones Artisan Creations Pepperoni Pizzas. Just pop in the microwave for 2 1/2 minutes and you have a tasty pizza that even I like.
Mar. 29, 2012 10:55 am
http://myplumpudding.blogspot.com/2009/05/spaghetti-dogs.html Here's another that will have them scratching their head in wonder. These go over well too http://allrecipes.com/recipe/jans-pretzel-dogs/detail.aspx
Mar. 29, 2012 12:11 pm
You already have a slider recipe but in case you want another, here's our favorite: http://allrecipes.com/weblink/63099024/white-castle-hurley-burgers-recipe-key-ingredient/detail.aspx
Mar. 29, 2012 7:29 pm
Oh bd.weld! Those spaghetti dogs are hilarious and disgusting all at the same time! I've got to try them just to see what the kids say!
Mar. 29, 2012 8:52 pm
lol. I told the Grands I boiled spaghetti and hot dog together and that's how it turned out. Another one to make with the Grands is sushi http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/recipes/candy-sushi/?emc=lm&m=3102004&l=20&v=388906
Mar. 31, 2012 7:46 pm
Paula, wonderful!! I loved the ideas and thanks for sharing the recipes. I have two little ones and sometimes I don't know what to make. Thank you so much!!
Apr. 1, 2012 10:44 am
I have 6 of my own and to find food they all will eat and enjoy is definetely a challenge. I've noticed aswell it all depends on how hungry they are, one day they'll eat something and the next they won't. I do however pass around the food, so if one won't eat it the other will, and often with just the threat that another will eat it, it's enough to get them to eat it. Also, 3 meals a day, everyday for such a large group means large quantities of food being eaten in our home every day, also a challenge to keep up with. Great pictures and that is a great idea, I know when I visit my home (which was once in 3 years due to distance) my family are always wondering what to make so everyone will eat it. It sure is a challenge.
J. Dub 
Apr. 2, 2012 8:43 am
Paula, I love your blogs. You remind me so much of my wonderful mother. She's just great and I wouldn't trade her for the world. I'm sure your kids and grandkids feel the same way. My little guy (2 years old) will try everything and eat most things. His favorites are macaroni and cheese, chicken and cheese quesadillas, and spaghetti with sauce. Oh, and his all time favorite is soup. Any kind. He loves soup.
Apr. 3, 2012 6:30 pm
I just saw this in a magazine & it reminded me of Rabbit Holes. We put a small amount of ranch or honey mustard in the bottom of a custard dish then stand barely steamed green beans & carrot sticks in it. The first time we did this, DH said Hey rabbit food! Next morning, the kids saw a cartoon rabbit pulling carrots down the hole so that name has stuck. Also try those taco shell bowls with chicken salad or anything. Kids love that they can eat the bowl. Also the waffle cups for ice cream but could put fresh fruit with yogurt.
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About Me
I'm a wife, mother of 2, and grandmother of 6. I love to cook. I especially like to cook new and different recipes. I don't like to have the same meals week after week. My husband has decided it really doesn't matter whether he likes a new recipe or not because he won't see it again for a very long time anyway!
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook entrees and desserts. I like preparing good, down-to-earth cooking. I also decorate cakes, mostly for the grandchildren now.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Holidays bring out the traditions: chocolate chip cheese ball; crockpot chicken and dressing; and broccoli salad, sweet potatoes and butterscotch pie handed down from past generations. Another thing that must be tradition in my family: we all make new recipes when we have company! My mother, sister, daughter, and I all do this. My daddy never understood why we would risk making something we had never made before. Actually, none of us has ever served company a new recipe that didn't taste good.
My cooking triumphs
Cake decorating: wedding cakes, bridal and baby shower cakes, birthday cakes: Little Pirate, Cinderella, Elmo, Strawberry Shortcake. My friends call me Betty Crocker. When my daughter got married, she had a bridal shower where the guests were asked to write something on an apron. My best friend told her if she needed a recipe or help in the kitchen to ask her mother. If she needed a good place to eat out, ask her.
My cooking tragedies
A 4 tier huge wedding cake that fell apart at 2:00am. Thankfully, I still had time to salvage the cake.
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