Mott's

teachable
TASTES

Teach your family the fundamentals of healthy eating, by cooking together. Get started here with the recipes and tips that will help tackle four common barriers to kids eating healthy.

1. Texture Recipes
2. Appearance Recipes
3. Flavor Recipes
4. Aroma Recipes
Expert Tips
1. Texture Recipes

Beef and Mac Casserole

Beef and Mac Casserole

Texture: Beef and Mac Casserole

Beef and Mac Casserole

Explore multiple textures, from crunchy bell peppers and soft macaroni to chewy beef and smooth mushrooms. Guaranteed to tickle the tongue.

Level: Intermediate

Makes: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked large elbow macaroni
  • 1½ lbs. 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ green pepper, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 4-oz. can mushroom pieces, drained
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 270
Calories from Fat 70
Total Fat 8 g12%
Saturated Fat 4 g20%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 70 mg23%
Sodium 720 mg30%
Carbohydrates 22 g7%
Total Sugar 6 g
Fiber 2 g8%
Protein 26 g52%
Calcium 10%
Iron 15%
Vitamin A 8%
Vitamin C 20%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Contains gluten, milk, wheat, and soy. Allergens may vary based on the brands of ingredients used.

Step 1 (adults)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°.

Tip: Have an über-picky eater? Try this.

Most kids love beef and mac; however, the picky eater may feel overwhelmed with so many textures in one dish. Quick fix: Separate the meat/sauce from the mac and let your child combine them himself or herself or eat them side by side. If you have an über-picky eater, you can also try easing into this recipe by adding onion first, then pepper.

Step 2 (adults)

While the macaroni is cooking, brown the meat in a large skillet with the onion and green pepper. Drain the meat of excess juice. Use a food thermometer to check that the meat is cooked to a temperature of 160°.

Tip: Ground chicken or turkey can be substituted, but keep this in mind…

Lean ground beef is one of America’s favorite proteins and has nine essential nutrients, including B vitamins that help give the energy to tackle your busy life. Lean ground beef is also rich in iron and zinc, important nutrients for the growth and development of children. It can be challenging for the picky eater to get enough iron and zinc.

Step 3 (kid-friendly)

Have kids take charge by adding the salt, pepper, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms, tomato soup, tomatoes, and cooked macaroni to the beef and mixing well.

Tip: Involving your kids in food preparation can really pay off!

When your kids are involved in preparing the food, they’re more likely to try – and enjoy – eating it.

Step 4 (adults)

Pour the beef casserole into a greased 2½-quart baking dish. Place the casserole in the oven and bake covered for 35-40 minutes. Remove cover and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes uncovered.

Tip: Praising your little chef for trying this new meal can really pay off.

All of these delicious ingredients provide a lot of texture. When kids try a food with a lot of texture, it’s important to praise them. Praising reinforces the behavior, and eventually eating more foods with texture will become a habit.

Instructions

STEP 1 (adults)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°.

Tip: Have an über-picky eater? Try this.

Most kids love beef and mac; however, the picky eater may feel overwhelmed with so many textures in one dish. Quick fix: Separate the meat/sauce from the mac and let your child combine them himself or herself or eat them side by side. If you have an über-picky eater, you can also try easing into this recipe by adding onion first, then pepper.

Instructions

STEP 2 (adults)

While the macaroni is cooking, brown the meat in a large skillet with the onion and green pepper. Drain the meat of excess juice. Use a food thermometer to check that the meat is cooked to a temperature of 160°.

Tip: Ground chicken or turkey can be substituted, but keep this in mind…

Lean ground beef is one of America’s favorite proteins and has nine essential nutrients, including B vitamins that help give the energy to tackle your busy life. Lean ground beef is also rich in iron and zinc, important nutrients for the growth and development of children. It can be challenging for the picky eater to get enough iron and zinc.

Instructions

STEP 3 (kid-friendly)

Have kids take charge by adding the salt, pepper, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms, tomato soup, tomatoes, and cooked macaroni to the beef and mixing well.

Tip: Involving your kids in food preparation can really pay off!

When your kids are involved in preparing the food, they’re more likely to try – and enjoy – eating it.

Instructions

STEP 4 (adults)

Pour the beef casserole into a greased 2½-quart baking dish. Place the casserole in the oven and bake covered for 35-40 minutes. Remove cover and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes uncovered.

Tip: Praising your little chef for trying this new meal can really pay off.

All of these delicious ingredients provide a lot of texture. When kids try a food with a lot of texture, it’s important to praise them. Praising reinforces the behavior, and eventually eating more foods with texture will become a habit.

Good Enough to Boast Stuffed French Toast

Good Enough to Boast Stuffed French Toast

Texture: Good Enough to Boast Stuffed French Toast

Good Enough to Boast Stuffed French Toast

The crunch of French toast mixes with the smooth cream cheese filling for a tempting taste bud challenge.

Level: Intermediate

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup unsweetened crushed pineapple, drain well to remove moisture
  • ½ cup pecan pieces, toasted
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 firm, ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1 1-lb. unsliced baguette loaf
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pure maple syrup, if desired'

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 490
Calories from Fat 200
Total Fat 22 g34%
Saturated Fat 8 g40%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 150 mg50%
Sodium 600 mg25%
Carbohydrates 59 g20%
Total Sugar 12 g
Fiber 4 g16%
Protein 17 g34%
Calcium 10%
Iron 20%
Vitamin A 10%
Vitamin C 8%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Contains gluten, wheat, milk, egg, and tree nuts. Allergens may vary based on the brands of ingredients used.

Step 1 (adults)

Toast the pecans in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove.

Step 2 (kid-friendly)

Encourage your kids to mix together the pineapple, pecan pieces, and cream cheese using a wooden spoon and glass bowl.

Tip: Involving your kids in meal preparation is as fun as it is important.

When your kids are involved in preparing the food, they’re more likely to try – and enjoy – eating it.

Step 3 (adults)

While the kids mix the stuffing, peel and slice the bananas in ¼-inch thick rounds. Set aside.

Step 4 (adults)

Cut the bread into 12 1½-inch thick slices; cut through the top crust of each bread slice, making a deep pocket, and leave one edge intact.

Step 5 (kid-friendly)

Stuff each pocket with one generous tablespoon of pineapple-pecan mixture and several small banana slices. Place the stuffed bread in a single layer on a baking pan.

Step 6 (kid-friendly)

In a bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour the mixture over the stuffed bread, flipping once to allow the bread to absorb all of the egg mixture.

Step 7 (adults)

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, spray cooking spray and add stuffed bread pockets and cook until golden, about 5 minutes on each side. Serve with warm maple syrup.

Tip: Skip the syrup on top and eat the French toast as a finger food!

Serve maple syrup on the side as a dip. Young children are naturally interested in dipping their food. Dipping allows a child to be more independent at mealtime and may encourage more eating at meals. Or try your French toast with pancake syrup, powdered sugar, jelly, preserves, or fresh fruit.

Instructions

STEP 1 (adults)

Toast the pecans in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove.

Instructions

STEP 2 (kid-friendly)

Encourage your kids to mix together the pineapple, pecan pieces, and cream cheese using a wooden spoon and glass bowl.

Tip: Involving your kids in meal preparation is as fun as it is important.

When your kids are involved in preparing the food, they’re more likely to try – and enjoy – eating it.

Instructions

STEP 3 (adults)

While the kids mix the stuffing, peel and slice the bananas in ¼-inch thick rounds. Set aside.

Instructions

STEP 4 (adults)

Cut the bread into 12 1½-inch thick slices; cut through the top crust of each bread slice, making a deep pocket, and leave one edge intact.

Instructions

STEP 5 (kid-friendly)

Stuff each pocket with one generous tablespoon of pineapple-pecan mixture and several small banana slices. Place the stuffed bread in a single layer on a baking pan.

Instructions

STEP 6 (kid-friendly)

In a bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour the mixture over the stuffed bread, flipping once to allow the bread to absorb all of the egg mixture.

Instructions

STEP 7 (adults)

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, spray cooking spray and add stuffed bread pockets and cook until golden, about 5 minutes on each side. Serve with warm maple syrup.

Tip: Skip the syrup on top and eat the French toast as a finger food!

Serve maple syrup on the side as a dip. Young children are naturally interested in dipping their food. Dipping allows a child to be more independent at mealtime and may encourage more eating at meals. Or try your French toast with pancake syrup, powdered sugar, jelly, preserves, or fresh fruit.

Mango Frosty

Mango Frosty

Texture: Mango Frosty

Mango Frosty

With a whip of the blender, icy-cold mango transforms into a silky smooth frozen delight, demonstrating how the texture of one food can transform into another.

Level: Easy

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ripe mangoes, peeled and cut into chunks

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 45
Calories from Fat 5
Total Fat 0 g0%
Saturated Fat 0 g0%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0%
Sodium 0 mg0%
Carbohydrates 11 g4%
Total Sugar 10 g
Fiber 1 g4%
Protein 1 g2%
Calcium 0%
Iron 0%
Vitamin A 15%
Vitamin C 45%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Does not contain any major allergens.

Step 1 (adults)

Freeze fruit on a baking sheet overnight, or at least 8 hours.

Food Fact: Mangoes are a great source of vitamins A and C.

Although not as common as other fruits in the U.S., mangoes are one of the most popular fruits worldwide!

Step 2 (kid-friendly)

Let the kids add the fruit to the container of the blender and press the button. Let it run long enough to completely thaw the fruit. It magically shifts from frozen mango to a mango frosty, an ice-cream-like smooth texture.

Tip: How you blend this frosty could open up kids to other recipes.

To encourage kids to try food with more texture, process the fruit but leave some small chunks. Or save some of the whole fruit and add it to the processed mixture. You can also add chia seeds or wheat germ, which will give the frosty a uniform, more-textured mouthfeel.

Step 3 (adults)

Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and freeze until solid.

Activity: For a similar texture challenge, see these steps.

Add a bit of sparkling or plain water to the mixture to thin it out, or pour into ice-pop molds and freeze.

Instructions

STEP 1 (adults)

Freeze fruit on a baking sheet overnight, or at least 8 hours.

Food Fact: Mangoes are a great source of vitamins A and C.

Although not as common as other fruits in the U.S., mangoes are one of the most popular fruits worldwide!

Instructions

STEP 2 (kid-friendly)

Let the kids add the fruit to the container of the blender and press the button. Let it run long enough to completely thaw the fruit. It magically shifts from frozen mango to a mango frosty, an ice-cream-like smooth texture.

Tip: How you blend this frosty could open up kids to other recipes.

To encourage kids to try food with more texture, process the fruit but leave some small chunks. Or save some of the whole fruit and add it to the processed mixture. You can also add chia seeds or wheat germ, which will give the frosty a uniform, more-textured mouthfeel.

Instructions

STEP 3 (adults)

Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and freeze until solid.

Activity: For a similar texture challenge, see these steps.

Add a bit of sparkling or plain water to the mixture to thin it out, or pour into ice-pop molds and freeze.

Confetti Quinoa Salad

Confetti Quinoa Salad

Texture: Confetti Quinoa Salad

Confetti Quinoa Salad

Chewy, crunchy, and veggie-friendly, this dish is bursting with fresh textures that beg your child’s molars to grind away.

Level: Easy

Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tricolor quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 small cucumber, seeded and small dice
  • 1 cup small cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro or basil
  • 2-3 tbsp Italian vinaigrette dressing

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 170
Calories from Fat 30
Total Fat 3.5 g5%
Saturated Fat 0 g0%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0%
Sodium 500 mg21%
Carbohydrates 30 g10%
Total Sugar 3 g
Fiber 4 g16%
Protein 6 g12%
Calcium 4%
Iron 10%
Vitamin A 60%
Vitamin C 120%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Allergens may vary based on the brands of ingredients used.

Step 1 (kid-friendly)

Let the kids rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer under cold running water. Quinoa has a bitter residue on it that a thorough rinsing will wash right off.

Food Fact: Quinoa is an ancient grain that packs a huge nutritional punch.

Quinoa is considered a good source of protein because of its complete amino acid profile and anti-inflammatory properties.

Step 2 (adults)

Add the rinsed quinoa and vegetable broth to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl and cool in the refrigerator.

Food Fact: Take a closer look at quinoa while it cooks.

Cooking quinoa is similar to cooking rice or any other grain. Quinoa starts out looking like a very small seed, and when it cooks, the bran layer spirals out, forming a tail (if you look closely), providing the slightly crunchy texture. It is the perfect example of how a food changes from a seed-like product to taking on a crunchy, chewy texture when cooked.

Step 3 (kid-friendly)

While the quinoa is cooling, have the kids rinse the veggies.

Step 4 (adults)

Dice the bell pepper and cucumber in small pieces, peel and grate the carrot, and cut the tomatoes in half.

Step 5 (kid-friendly)

Add the bell pepper, carrot, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro to the quinoa. Add the vinaigrette and toss well, adding more if needed. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Food Fact: Different colors of quinoa have subtle flavor differences.

Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and comes in red, black, white, or tricolored. Each has subtle flavor differences. The red and black have an earthier flavor than the white. Each can be substituted for one another in recipes. Quinoa also takes on the flavor of dressings and sauces quite well.

Instructions

STEP 1 (kid-friendly)

Let the kids rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer under cold running water. Quinoa has a bitter residue on it that a thorough rinsing will wash right off.

Food Fact: Quinoa is an ancient grain that packs a huge nutritional punch.

Quinoa is considered a good source of protein because of its complete amino acid profile and anti-inflammatory properties.

Instructions

STEP 2 (adults)

Add the rinsed quinoa and vegetable broth to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl and cool in the refrigerator.

Food Fact: Take a closer look at quinoa while it cooks.

Cooking quinoa is similar to cooking rice or any other grain. Quinoa starts out looking like a very small seed, and when it cooks, the bran layer spirals out, forming a tail (if you look closely), providing the slightly crunchy texture. It is the perfect example of how a food changes from a seed-like product to taking on a crunchy, chewy texture when cooked.

Instructions

STEP 3 (kid-friendly)

While the quinoa is cooling, have the kids rinse the veggies.

Instructions

STEP 4 (adults)

Dice the bell pepper and cucumber in small pieces, peel and grate the carrot, and cut the tomatoes in half.

Instructions

STEP 5 (kid-friendly)

Add the bell pepper, carrot, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro to the quinoa. Add the vinaigrette and toss well, adding more if needed. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Food Fact: Different colors of quinoa have subtle flavor differences.

Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and comes in red, black, white, or tricolored. Each has subtle flavor differences. The red and black have an earthier flavor than the white. Each can be substituted for one another in recipes. Quinoa also takes on the flavor of dressings and sauces quite well.

Maple Walnut Apple Topping

Maple Walnut Apple Topping

Texture: Maple Walnut Apple Topping

Maple Walnut Apple Topping

Filled with the challenging textures of sticky, gooey goodness, crunchy nuts, and firm apples, this versatile topping is a perfect addition to softer textures such as oatmeal or frozen yogurt.

Level: Easy

Makes: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Mott’s® Unsweetened Applesauce Granny Smith
  • 1½ tbsp butter
  • 2 small Red Delicious apples, sliced
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup walnut pieces

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 2 tbsp

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 50
Calories from Fat 35
Total Fat 3.5 g5%
Saturated Fat 1 g5%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 5 mg2%
Sodium 10 mg0%
Carbohydrates 5 g2%
Total Sugar 4 g
Fiber 1 g4%
Protein 1 g2%
Calcium 0%
Iron 0%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 2%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Contains milk and tree nuts. Allergens may vary based on the brands of ingredients used.

Step 1 (kid-friendly)

Ask your kids to help you spread the walnut pieces on a cookie sheet.

Food Fact: Nutrients in walnuts have many benefits.

Walnuts are a delicious source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial in helping your child focus, concentrate, and learn. They are also beneficial in preventing heart disease.

Step 2 (adults)

Toast walnut pieces in a 300° oven for 3-4 minutes. Slice the apples.

Step 3 (adults)

Preheat skillet and add butter. Sauté the sliced apples until softened, about 4 minutes.

Step 4 (kid-friendly)

It’s mixing time for the kids. Ask them to add the walnuts, applesauce, maple syrup, and cinnamon to the skillet.

Tip: Your little chef having a hard time here? Try this!

Sometimes children have a hard time with a food containing a combination of smooth and crunchy textures. If this is the case with your child, pull out the walnuts and let your child sprinkle one or two pieces into his or her serving separately. Allowing your child to have a say in whether an ingredient stays in the recipe or is excluded until a later time will show him or her that you respect his or her wishes and are willing to go at his or her pace.

Step 5 (adults)

Then simmer 2-3 minutes until aromatic spice is blended. Remove from heat and serve warm with oatmeal, waffles, and pancakes. Or serve cold over ice cream and frozen yogurt. And praise your little ice cream scoopers.

Step 6 (adults)

If you plan to store for future use, leave out the walnuts and add them as a topping.

Instructions

STEP 1 (kid-friendly)

Ask your kids to help you spread the walnut pieces on a cookie sheet.

Food Fact: Nutrients in walnuts have many benefits.

Walnuts are a delicious source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial in helping your child focus, concentrate, and learn. They are also beneficial in preventing heart disease.

Instructions

STEP 2 (adults)

Toast walnut pieces in a 300° oven for 3-4 minutes. Slice the apples.

Instructions

STEP 3 (adults)

Preheat skillet and add butter. Sauté the sliced apples until softened, about 4 minutes.

Instructions

STEP 4 (kid-friendly)

It’s mixing time for the kids. Ask them to add the walnuts, applesauce, maple syrup, and cinnamon to the skillet.

Tip: Your little chef having a hard time here? Try this!

Sometimes children have a hard time with a food containing a combination of smooth and crunchy textures. If this is the case with your child, pull out the walnuts and let your child sprinkle one or two pieces into his or her serving separately. Allowing your child to have a say in whether an ingredient stays in the recipe or is excluded until a later time will show him or her that you respect his or her wishes and are willing to go at his or her pace.

Instructions

STEP 5 (adults)

Then simmer 2-3 minutes until aromatic spice is blended. Remove from heat and serve warm with oatmeal, waffles, and pancakes. Or serve cold over ice cream and frozen yogurt. And praise your little ice cream scoopers.

Instructions

STEP 6 (adults)

If you plan to store for future use, leave out the walnuts and add them as a topping.

2. Appearance Recipes

Favorite Rainbow Veggie Kabobs

Favorite Rainbow Veggie Kabobs

Appearance: Favorite Rainbow Veggie Kabobs

Favorite Rainbow Veggie Kabobs

Drawing rainbows is one of the first things kids learn in school; this recipe entices the eye with its beautiful display of colors that helps kids understand how important appearance is.

Level: Easy

Makes: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 12-inch wooden skewers
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Favorite veggies such as zucchini, summer squash, red onions, okra, multicolored mini sweet peppers, button mushrooms

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 80
Calories from Fat 60
Total Fat 6 g9%
Saturated Fat 1 g5%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0%
Sodium 20 mg1%
Carbohydrates 6 g2%
Total Sugar 3 g
Fiber 1 g4%
Protein 1 g2%
Calcium 2%
Iron 2%
Vitamin A 10%
Vitamin C 80%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Allergens may vary based on the brands of ingredients used.

Step 1 (kid-friendly)

Let the kids pour water into a rectangular dish and float the skewers in the water. The skewers should soak for one hour to prevent them from burning on the grill. Alternatively, use metal skewers and skip the soaking.

Food Fact: Kabobs are a surprisingly beneficial way to cook and eat food.

Kabobs are so much fun to eat. They’re literally a snack on a stick. They also help promote portion control, which aids your child in getting just the right amount of food to help him or her be satisfied after eating.

Step 2 (adults)

Slice the zucchini and squash in ¾-inch rounds. Cut red onions into wedges. Remove the okra stems. And leave the mini peppers and the button mushrooms whole. Be sure to cut the veggies to about the same size for even grilling, but remember to vary their shapes, which can really add to the visual appeal.

Tip: Don’t leave out the okra!

Kids who don’t like okra say they love okra kabobs that are grilled.

Step 3 (kid-friendly)

Place veggies in a large bowl or plastic resealable bag.

Tip: A plate full of colors means a plate full of nutrients.

A rainbow of colorful foods – and the more color you can bring to a dish – means your child is more likely to get a broader variety of nutrients.

Step 4 (adults)

Preheat grill to medium-high, 350°.

Step 5 (kid-friendly)

In a small bowl, kids can pour the oil, vinegar, garlic, pepper, honey, and mustard, and whisk away until well blended. Pour the marinade over the veggies, seal the bag or cover the bowl, and place in the refrigerator.

Step 6 (adults)

Let the veggies rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Step 7 (kid-friendly)

Thread a variety of veggies onto the skewers. This is the fun part for kids, since they can use their creativity to add one of each veggie on a skewer or create a pattern of colors. The key is to teach them how to thread so that the cut sides of the veggies lie flat on the grill.

Tip: Most important, have fun teaching kids the true art of being culinary.

Making kabobs is like assembling a puzzle – it is prep-heavy work, but putting colorful combinations together is the true art of being culinary. Your child will most likely take pride in his or her creations.

Step 8 (adults)

Place the skewers on the preheated grill. The grill time will vary depending on how lightly cooked or charred you prefer, about 3-5 minutes per side.

Food Fact: Mushrooms are a unique source of vitamin D.

Did you know? Mushrooms are the only produce items that contain naturally occurring vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for bone health and a healthy immune system. Most people, including kids, do not get enough vitamin D in their diets.

Instructions

STEP 1 (kid-friendly)

Let the kids pour water into a rectangular dish and float the skewers in the water. The skewers should soak for one hour to prevent them from burning on the grill. Alternatively, use metal skewers and skip the soaking.

Food Fact: Kabobs are a surprisingly beneficial way to cook and eat food.

Kabobs are so much fun to eat. They’re literally a snack on a stick. They also help promote portion control, which aids your child in getting just the right amount of food to help him or her be satisfied after eating.

Instructions

STEP 2 (adults)

Slice the zucchini and squash in ¾-inch rounds. Cut red onions into wedges. Remove the okra stems. And leave the mini peppers and the button mushrooms whole. Be sure to cut the veggies to about the same size for even grilling, but remember to vary their shapes, which can really add to the visual appeal.

Tip: Don’t leave out the okra!

Kids who don’t like okra say they love okra kabobs that are grilled.

Instructions

STEP 3 (kid-friendly)

Place veggies in a large bowl or plastic resealable bag.

Tip: A plate full of colors means a plate full of nutrients.

A rainbow of colorful foods – and the more color you can bring to a dish – means your child is more likely to get a broader variety of nutrients.

Instructions

STEP 4 (adults)

Preheat grill to medium-high, 350°.

Instructions

STEP 5 (kid-friendly)

In a small bowl, kids can pour the oil, vinegar, garlic, pepper, honey, and mustard, and whisk away until well blended. Pour the marinade over the veggies, seal the bag or cover the bowl, and place in the refrigerator.

Instructions

STEP 6 (adults)

Let the veggies rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Instructions

STEP 7 (kid-friendly)

Thread a variety of veggies onto the skewers. This is the fun part for kids, since they can use their creativity to add one of each veggie on a skewer or create a pattern of colors. The key is to teach them how to thread so that the cut sides of the veggies lie flat on the grill.

Tip: Most important, have fun teaching kids the true art of being culinary.

Making kabobs is like assembling a puzzle – it is prep-heavy work, but putting colorful combinations together is the true art of being culinary. Your child will most likely take pride in his or her creations.

Instructions

STEP 8 (adults)

Place the skewers on the preheated grill. The grill time will vary depending on how lightly cooked or charred you prefer, about 3-5 minutes per side.

Food Fact: Mushrooms are a unique source of vitamin D.

Did you know? Mushrooms are the only produce items that contain naturally occurring vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for bone health and a healthy immune system. Most people, including kids, do not get enough vitamin D in their diets.

Tri-Color Orzo Pastabilities

Tri-Color Orzo Pastabilities

Appearance: Tri-Color Orzo Pastabilities

Tri-Color Orzo Pastabilities

So many shapes and sizes! Together, the colors and various shapes and sizes in this dish help pique your child’s curiosity. As colorful as it is flavorful, this dish is a feast for the eyes, too.

Level: Easy

Makes: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. orzo pasta
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach (about 3 oz.), rough chop
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted, chopped
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • ½ cup feta cheese crumbles
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 330
Calories from Fat 90
Total Fat 10 g15%
Saturated Fat 2.5 g13%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 10 mg3%
Sodium 150 mg6%
Carbohydrates 50 g17%
Total Sugar 2 g
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 10 g20%
Calcium 8%
Iron 15%
Vitamin A 20%
Vitamin C 8%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Contains gluten, wheat, and milk. Allergens may vary based on the brands of ingredients used.

Step 1 (adults)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Tip: Don’t have some of these ingredients on hand? Substitute!

Don’t have feta? Use goat cheese crumbles. Don’t have fresh basil? Use fresh mint. Don’t have Kalamata olives? Use black olives.

Step 2 (kid-friendly)

While the water is boiling, have your child gently tear the fresh basil leaves.

Step 3 (adults)

Meanwhile, chop the spinach and olives and cut the cherry tomatoes in half.

Step 4 (adults)

Drain pasta in a colander and pour into a large glass bowl.

Step 5 (adults)

Let the kids drizzle the pasta with the olive oil and red wine vinegar and stir with a wooden spoon. Set aside to cool.

Food Fact: Colors make our food come alive!

Bright and varied colors add enjoyment and mouthwatering appeal to your meals. In this dish, the bright green spinach and basil plus the pop of red tomatoes add a level of freshness that screams springtime.

Step 6 (kid-friendly)

Once the pasta is at room temperature, it’s a game of toss! Add the remaining ingredients in the bowl and gently stir the mixture to evenly distribute the color. Serve at room temperature or refrigerated.

Tip: We “eat with our eyes” as well as our taste buds.

Tri means three – there are three colors in this recipe. Eating with our eyes changes what our tongue may taste.

Instructions

STEP 1 (adults)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Tip: Don’t have some of these ingredients on hand? Substitute!

Don’t have feta? Use goat cheese crumbles. Don’t have fresh basil? Use fresh mint. Don’t have Kalamata olives? Use black olives.

Instructions

STEP 2 (kid-friendly)

While the water is boiling, have your child gently tear the fresh basil leaves.

Instructions

STEP 3 (adults)

Meanwhile, chop the spinach and olives and cut the cherry tomatoes in half.

Instructions

STEP 4 (adults)

Drain pasta in a colander and pour into a large glass bowl.

Instructions

STEP 5 (adults)

Let the kids drizzle the pasta with the olive oil and red wine vinegar and stir with a wooden spoon. Set aside to cool.

Food Fact: Colors make our food come alive!

Bright and varied colors add enjoyment and mouthwatering appeal to your meals. In this dish, the bright green spinach and basil plus the pop of red tomatoes add a level of freshness that screams springtime.

Instructions

STEP 6 (kid-friendly)

Once the pasta is at room temperature, it’s a game of toss! Add the remaining ingredients in the bowl and gently stir the mixture to evenly distribute the color. Serve at room temperature or refrigerated.

Tip: We “eat with our eyes” as well as our taste buds.

Tri means three – there are three colors in this recipe. Eating with our eyes changes what our tongue may taste.

Double-Decker Chicken and Guacamole Tostada

Double-Decker Chicken and Guacamole Tostada

Appearance: Double-Decker Chicken and Guacamole Tostada

Double-Decker Chicken and Guacamole Tostada

Green, lean, and healthy in between, this layered and stacked dish prompts the imagination while colors, shapes, and textures stir your child’s curiosity.

Level: Easy

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe peeled avocado, seed removed
  • 1 cup shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken
  • ¼ cup purchased salsa
  • ½ cup purchased spicy black bean dip
  • 8 6-inch corn tostada shells
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 330
Calories from Fat 170
Total Fat 18 g28%
Saturated Fat 5 g25%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 45 mg15%
Sodium 680 mg28%
Carbohydrates 26 g9%
Total Sugar 2 g
Fiber 6 g24%
Protein 17 g34%
Calcium 25%
Iron 10%
Vitamin A 6%
Vitamin C 4%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Contains milk. Allergens may vary based on the brands of ingredients used.

Step 1 (kid-friendly)

Place avocado in a small bowl. Mash with a fork until the avocado reaches a smooth consistency. Set aside.

Tip: It’s fun for kids to understand where food comes from.

Many people buy avocado already mashed in the form of packaged guacamole. Showing kids the original state of food and its transformation gives your child a better understanding of how food changes.

Step 2 (kid-friendly)

If you purchased a whole rotisserie chicken, let the kids tear it apart. Make sure they wash their hands first!

Tip: Structured choices can get your kids trying new things.

Kids have the habit of choosing the same thing every time because it’s the only choice they’re used to, or because they become overwhelmed by too many possibilities. Instead of offering an unstructured choice – such as “What do you want to put on your tostada?” – offer a structured choice such as “Would you like chicken and cheese or beans and cheese on your tostada?” You’re in control of the food quality (in this case, giving the protein your child needs to keep them strong without a fight), which will set him or her up for future healthy behaviors.

Step 3 (kid-friendly)

Combine the chicken and salsa in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Tip: Familiar ingredients can help kids with trying new foods.

Foods often taste the same but look different. A taco and a tostada taste the same but look different. Another example: cheddar cheese slice vs. shredded cheddar cheese. Reassure your child by comparing the tastes of similar foods (this tastes just like a…) and preparing him or her for the flavor. Kids do better when they are prepared for what a food might taste like or how it compares to something they already like.

Step 4 (kid-friendly)

To make the double-decker tostada, spread 1 tablespoon of the black bean dip on a tostada shell, then spread 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on top. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cheese over the chicken. Place a second tostada shell on top, then repeat the ingredients in order.

Tip: With kids in the kitchen, you don’t have to be exact.

Cooking and assembling should be fun, so the important thing to remember is to evenly space out the ingredients over the four servings. Exact amounts can be beneficial if you wish to teach measuring skills to older kids.

Instructions

STEP 1 (kid-friendly)

Place avocado in a small bowl. Mash with a fork until the avocado reaches a smooth consistency. Set aside.

Tip: It’s fun for kids to understand where food comes from.

Many people buy avocado already mashed in the form of packaged guacamole. Showing kids the original state of food and its transformation gives your child a better understanding of how food changes.

Instructions

STEP 2 (kid-friendly)

If you purchased a whole rotisserie chicken, let the kids tear it apart. Make sure they wash their hands first!

Tip: Structured choices can get your kids trying new things.

Kids have the habit of choosing the same thing every time because it’s the only choice they’re used to, or because they become overwhelmed by too many possibilities. Instead of offering an unstructured choice – such as “What do you want to put on your tostada?” – offer a structured choice such as “Would you like chicken and cheese or beans and cheese on your tostada?” You’re in control of the food quality (in this case, giving the protein your child needs to keep them strong without a fight), which will set him or her up for future healthy behaviors.

Instructions

STEP 3 (kid-friendly)

Combine the chicken and salsa in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Tip: Familiar ingredients can help kids with trying new foods.

Foods often taste the same but look different. A taco and a tostada taste the same but look different. Another example: cheddar cheese slice vs. shredded cheddar cheese. Reassure your child by comparing the tastes of similar foods (this tastes just like a…) and preparing him or her for the flavor. Kids do better when they are prepared for what a food might taste like or how it compares to something they already like.

Instructions

STEP 4 (kid-friendly)

To make the double-decker tostada, spread 1 tablespoon of the black bean dip on a tostada shell, then spread 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on top. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cheese over the chicken. Place a second tostada shell on top, then repeat the ingredients in order.

Tip: With kids in the kitchen, you don’t have to be exact.

Cooking and assembling should be fun, so the important thing to remember is to evenly space out the ingredients over the four servings. Exact amounts can be beneficial if you wish to teach measuring skills to older kids.

Strawberry Banana Ice Pops

Strawberry Banana Ice Pops

Appearance: Strawberry Banana Ice Pops

Strawberry Banana Ice Pops

Share the magic of transforming fruit into dessert with your little ones. Flecks, seeds, and color pop in these icy treats.

Level: Easy

Makes: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Mott’s® for Tots Fruit Punch
  • 1½ cups strawberries, hulled and cut in half
  • 1 small banana, peeled
  • ¼-½ cup baby spinach, chopped (optional)
  • 8 6-oz. paper cups or ice-pop molds
  • 8 craft sticks (if using paper cups)

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 25
Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0 g0%
Saturated Fat 0 g0%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0%
Sodium 0 mg0%
Carbohydrates 7 g2%
Total Sugar 4 g
Fiber 1 g4%
Protein 1 g2%
Calcium 0%
Iron 2%
Vitamin A 8%
Vitamin C 40%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Does not contain any major allergens.

Step 1 (kid-friendly)

Help kids pull the stems off the strawberries and wash. Peel the banana and cut it into slices (a plastic knife can be used).

Tip: Kids are more likely to eat these pops than individual fruits and veggies.

This ice-pop recipe blends three different foods into one consistent texture, increasing the likelihood of eating.

Step 2 (kid-friendly)

Combine all of the ingredients into the container of a blender. Put the lid on tight to prevent a spewing volcanic mess. Pulse until pureed. If you choose to have more texture, pulse the ingredients, leaving some of the fruit in chunks.

Tip: The fruit in these pops reminds kids of their health benefits.

The appearance of the fruit reminds kids that these ice pops are part of their fruit serving for the day.

Step 3 (kid-friendly)

Add chopped spinach if desired.

Step 4 (kid-friendly)

Pour the puree into ice-pop molds or small cups, and place in the freezer for 4-6 hours. This is the perfect opportunity for young kids to see the magic of how liquid turns to ice. When completely frozen, unmold and serve. If using small cups, add a stick before popping them into the freezer, or serve with a spoon and enjoy.

Food Fact: Packed with vitamins and minerals, these pops are a powerhouse treat.

Strawberries are full of vitamin C and spinach is full of iron. Together, vitamin C helps a child’s body better absorb iron.

Instructions

STEP 1 (kid-friendly)

Help kids pull the stems off the strawberries and wash. Peel the banana and cut it into slices (a plastic knife can be used).

Tip: Kids are more likely to eat these pops than individual fruits and veggies.

This ice-pop recipe blends three different foods into one consistent texture, increasing the likelihood of eating.

Instructions

STEP 2 (kid-friendly)

Combine all of the ingredients into the container of a blender. Put the lid on tight to prevent a spewing volcanic mess. Pulse until pureed. If you choose to have more texture, pulse the ingredients, leaving some of the fruit in chunks.

Tip: The fruit in these pops reminds kids of their health benefits.

The appearance of the fruit reminds kids that these ice pops are part of their fruit serving for the day.

Instructions

STEP 3 (kid-friendly)

Add chopped spinach if desired.

Instructions

STEP 4 (kid-friendly)

Pour the puree into ice-pop molds or small cups, and place in the freezer for 4-6 hours. This is the perfect opportunity for young kids to see the magic of how liquid turns to ice. When completely frozen, unmold and serve. If using small cups, add a stick before popping them into the freezer, or serve with a spoon and enjoy.

Food Fact: Packed with vitamins and minerals, these pops are a powerhouse treat.

Strawberries are full of vitamin C and spinach is full of iron. Together, vitamin C helps a child’s body better absorb iron.

Sizzling Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

Sizzling Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

Appearance: Sizzling Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

Sizzling Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

A flavorful symphony of bright colors, chewy textures, and small bites to please your little ones’ eyes and palates.

Level: Intermediate

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp peanut oil or sesame oil
  • 1 lb. flank steak, trimmed and sliced thin against the grain
  • 6 oz. broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
  • Purchased stir-fry sauce
  • Cooked brown rice

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 380
Calories from Fat 150
Total Fat 16 g25%
Saturated Fat 5 g25%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 75 mg25%
Sodium 600 mg25%
Carbohydrates 30 g10%
Total Sugar 3 g
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 30 g60%
Calcium 4%
Iron 15%
Vitamin A 15%
Vitamin C 100%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Contains peanut oil. Allergens may vary based on the brands of ingredients used.

Step 1 (kid-friendly)

Rinse and break the broccoli into bite-sized pieces.

Tip: Prepping is the key to successful wok cookery.

Stir-frying is fast-paced and takes attention. The total cooking time may only take 5-8 minutes, so it’s best to get everything ready before you begin.

Step 2 (adults)

Cut the red pepper into matchsticks. The pieces should be of similar size so they cook evenly.

Step 3 (adults)

Preheat a carbon steel wok or 12-inch skillet with sloped sides on high heat. The curve of the pan makes it easy to toss the food and move it closer to the high heat or slide it up the side away from the direct heat.

Tip: Using a wok is one of the healthiest and most versatile cooking methods.

Wok cookery is easy, fast, preserves the nutrients of the ingredients, and helps control portions. It is a handy technique that you can use every day with a variety of ingredients.

Step 4 (adults)

Add 1 tablespoon oil and stir-fry the broccoli and red bell pepper until vegetables are crisp tender, about 2 minutes. When the food hits the pan, toss it around quickly to prevent burning. Beware of bits of oil popping when the food hits the wok. Once you’re finished, transfer the veggies to a bowl.

Tip: Proper oil selection is important for wok cookery.

Choose an oil that can tolerate high heat, such as a neutral-flavored canola oil or peanut oil. Use a more fragrant sesame oil at the end of cooking to add flavor.

Step 5 (adults)

With wok or skillet on high heat, add ½ tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add half the beef and cook until lightly seared on all sides and liquid has evaporated, about 6 minutes. Push cooked beef to the side (or put in bowl) and cook remaining beef, adding oil if needed. Try not to overcrowd the pan so meat doesn't become soggy.

Tip: Always keep meat separate from other ingredients.

After handling raw animal products, be sure to also wash hands with hot, soapy water while singing “Happy Birthday.” This will help avoid rushed hand washing.

Step 6 (kid-friendly)

Add cooked vegetables back to the meat mixture in the wok. Kids can pour in the sauce and coat all of the ingredients, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. At this point, the food looks vibrant and fresh. Serve immediately to retain color and texture of the vegetables. Serve with cooked brown rice.

Tip: Here are a few tips to help encourage your little chef to try the wok!

Let your child deconstruct the stir-fry if it bothers him or her that everything is mixed together. It all goes down the same hatch! Also, try soy sauce as a dip. It’s OK for your child to pick up a stir-fry veggie and dip it! Stir-fry veggies tend to be a bit crisper than steamed or roasted, so they may be willingly accepted by your child.

Instructions

STEP 1 (kid-friendly)

Rinse and break the broccoli into bite-sized pieces.

Tip: Prepping is the key to successful wok cookery.

Stir-frying is fast-paced and takes attention. The total cooking time may only take 5-8 minutes, so it’s best to get everything ready before you begin.

Instructions

STEP 2 (adults)

Cut the red pepper into matchsticks. The pieces should be of similar size so they cook evenly.

Instructions

STEP 3 (adults)

Preheat a carbon steel wok or 12-inch skillet with sloped sides on high heat. The curve of the pan makes it easy to toss the food and move it closer to the high heat or slide it up the side away from the direct heat.

Tip: Using a wok is one of the healthiest and most versatile cooking methods.

Wok cookery is easy, fast, preserves the nutrients of the ingredients, and helps control portions. It is a handy technique that you can use every day with a variety of ingredients.

Instructions

STEP 4 (adults)

Add 1 tablespoon oil and stir-fry the broccoli and red bell pepper until vegetables are crisp tender, about 2 minutes. When the food hits the pan, toss it around quickly to prevent burning. Beware of bits of oil popping when the food hits the wok. Once you’re finished, transfer the veggies to a bowl.

Tip: Proper oil selection is important for wok cookery.

Choose an oil that can tolerate high heat, such as a neutral-flavored canola oil or peanut oil. Use a more fragrant sesame oil at the end of cooking to add flavor.

Instructions

STEP 5 (adults)

With wok or skillet on high heat, add ½ tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add half the beef and cook until lightly seared on all sides and liquid has evaporated, about 6 minutes. Push cooked beef to the side (or put in bowl) and cook remaining beef, adding oil if needed. Try not to overcrowd the pan so meat doesn't become soggy.

Tip: Always keep meat separate from other ingredients.

After handling raw animal products, be sure to also wash hands with hot, soapy water while singing “Happy Birthday.” This will help avoid rushed hand washing.

Instructions

STEP 6 (kid-friendly)

Add cooked vegetables back to the meat mixture in the wok. Kids can pour in the sauce and coat all of the ingredients, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. At this point, the food looks vibrant and fresh. Serve immediately to retain color and texture of the vegetables. Serve with cooked brown rice.

Tip: Here are a few tips to help encourage your little chef to try the wok!

Let your child deconstruct the stir-fry if it bothers him or her that everything is mixed together. It all goes down the same hatch! Also, try soy sauce as a dip. It’s OK for your child to pick up a stir-fry veggie and dip it! Stir-fry veggies tend to be a bit crisper than steamed or roasted, so they may be willingly accepted by your child.

3. Flavor Recipes

Lemon Tartlets

Lemon Tartlets

Flavor: Lemon Tartlets

Lemon Tartlets

Mouthwateringly tart and sweetly refreshing, this citrus dessert is a tasty way to introduce your child to rich and diverse flavors.

Level: Easy

Makes: 15 tarts

Ingredients

  • 1 package (15 count) mini phyllo shells
  • 1 3.4-oz. package lemon-flavored instant pudding
  • 1 cup COLD reduced-fat milk
  • 1 6-oz. container lemon-flavored Greek yogurt
  • Lemon zest for garnish

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1 tartlet

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 50
Calories from Fat 5
Total Fat 0.5 g1%
Saturated Fat 0 g0%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0%
Sodium 110 mg5%
Carbohydrates 10 g3%
Total Sugar 7 g
Fiber 0 g0%
Protein 2 g4%
Calcium 4%
Iron 0%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 2%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Contains gluten, wheat, and milk. Allergens may vary based on the brands of ingredients used.

Step 1 (adults)

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Tip: Don’t fear trying a new food because it has a strong flavor.

Some children who are picky actually prefer stronger flavors such as lemon, lime, or even spicy foods.

Step 2 (kid-friendly)

Help the kids place the frozen phyllo shells on a lined baking sheet.

Tip: Can’t find phyllo shells? Try this!

If you don’t have phyllo shells, put the pudding mix in small bowls to make pudding cups.

Step 3 (adults)

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Food Fact: Flavor is the ultimate expression of the deliciousness of food.

Tart flavor is like a sharp, pungent sour taste...think of it as tartalicious.

Step 4 (kid-friendly)

While the phyllo shells are in the oven, the kids can make the pudding by placing the pudding mix and cold milk in a glass bowl and whisking until blended.

Step 5 (adults)

When the phyllo shells are cool, take turns adding a dollop of lemon pudding and dollop of Greek yogurt on each shell. Grate the lemon using a microplane, top each shell with lemon zest, and serve immediately.

Tip: Greek yogurt packs a very healthy punch in this dessert.

Greek yogurt adds the additional calcium needed for building strong bones and teeth. Flavor can be enhanced by eating slowly and mindfully. Swishing food to coat the inside of the mouth increases our exposure to flavors.

Instructions

STEP 1 (adults)

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Tip: Don’t fear trying a new food because it has a strong flavor.

Some children who are picky actually prefer stronger flavors such as lemon, lime, or even spicy foods.

Instructions

STEP 2 (kid-friendly)

Help the kids place the frozen phyllo shells on a lined baking sheet.

Tip: Can’t find phyllo shells? Try this!

If you don’t have phyllo shells, put the pudding mix in small bowls to make pudding cups.

Instructions

STEP 3 (adults)

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Food Fact: Flavor is the ultimate expression of the deliciousness of food.

Tart flavor is like a sharp, pungent sour taste...think of it as tartalicious.

Instructions

STEP 4 (kid-friendly)

While the phyllo shells are in the oven, the kids can make the pudding by placing the pudding mix and cold milk in a glass bowl and whisking until blended.

Instructions

STEP 5 (adults)

When the phyllo shells are cool, take turns adding a dollop of lemon pudding and dollop of Greek yogurt on each shell. Grate the lemon using a microplane, top each shell with lemon zest, and serve immediately.

Tip: Greek yogurt packs a very healthy punch in this dessert.

Greek yogurt adds the additional calcium needed for building strong bones and teeth. Flavor can be enhanced by eating slowly and mindfully. Swishing food to coat the inside of the mouth increases our exposure to flavors.

Looney Tuna Melts

Looney Tuna Melts

Flavor: Looney Tuna Melts

Looney Tuna Melts

Fish can be a challenging flavor for kids. Inspire them to give it a try with mild tuna mellowed with yummy cheese.

Level: Easy

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • Two 2.6-oz. chunk light tuna pouches, packed in water, drained
  • 1 large celery stalk, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped onion
  • ½ medium Honey Crisp apple, chopped fine
  • 2-3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 whole-wheat English muffins
  • 1 large Roma tomato, cut into 6 slices
  • 6 slices American cheese

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1 melt

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 210
Calories from Fat 90
Total Fat 10 g15%
Saturated Fat 4 g20%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 30 mg10%
Sodium 610 mg25%
Carbohydrates 16 g5%
Total Sugar 4 g
Fiber 2 g8%
Protein 13 g26%
Calcium 15%
Iron 4%
Vitamin A 15%
Vitamin C 4%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Contains gluten, wheat, milk, egg, soy, and fish. Allergens may vary based on the brands of ingredients used.

Step 1 (adults)

Preheat oven to 200°.

Step 2 (kid-friendly)

While the oven is preheating, help kids open the tuna pouches and place tuna into a bowl. The kid-friendly pouches are perfect for all ages, convenient, and easy on the fingers.

Tip: Tuna pouches come in a variety of flavors that can be substituted.

Different flavors of tuna pouches allow you to mix up the recipe to match the mood of the day. Thai-style, Mexican-style, or Mediterranean-style pouches need little or no other ingredients to make.

Step 3 (adults)

Finely chop celery, onion, and apple, and slice the tomato.

Step 4 (kid-friendly)

Add the celery, onion, apple, and mayonnaise to the bowl and mix well.

Step 5 (adults)

Split open the English muffins.

Step 6 (kid-friendly)

Spoon the tuna mixture onto each muffin half and top with one slice of tomato. Unwrap the cheese slice.

Step 7 (adults)

Using your favorite cookie-cutter shape, cut the slice of American cheese and place on top of the tomato.

Step 8 (adults)

Place each of the English muffin halves onto a lined baking pan and place in the oven until the cheese has melted, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven, cut each half into 4 pieces, and serve immediately.

Tip: When kids eat a repetitious diet of familiar foods, they won’t change.

Generally, kids choose the same food every single time because that’s the only choice they can think of. Kids become more adventurous with eating when they are offered a variety of foods and flavors.

Instructions

STEP 1 (adults)

Preheat oven to 200°.

Instructions

STEP 2 (kid-friendly)

While the oven is preheating, help kids open the tuna pouches and place tuna into a bowl. The kid-friendly pouches are perfect for all ages, convenient, and easy on the fingers.

Tip: Tuna pouches come in a variety of flavors that can be substituted.

Different flavors of tuna pouches allow you to mix up the recipe to match the mood of the day. Thai-style, Mexican-style, or Mediterranean-style pouches need little or no other ingredients to make.

Instructions

STEP 3 (adults)

Finely chop celery, onion, and apple, and slice the tomato.

Instructions

STEP 4 (kid-friendly)

Add the celery, onion, apple, and mayonnaise to the bowl and mix well.

Instructions

STEP 5 (adults)

Split open the English muffins.

Instructions

STEP 6 (kid-friendly)

Spoon the tuna mixture onto each muffin half and top with one slice of tomato. Unwrap the cheese slice.

Instructions

STEP 7 (adults)

Using your favorite cookie-cutter shape, cut the slice of American cheese and place on top of the tomato.

Instructions

STEP 8 (adults)

Place each of the English muffin halves onto a lined baking pan and place in the oven until the cheese has melted, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven, cut each half into 4 pieces, and serve immediately.

Tip: When kids eat a repetitious diet of familiar foods, they won’t change.

Generally, kids choose the same food every single time because that’s the only choice they can think of. Kids become more adventurous with eating when they are offered a variety of foods and flavors.

Very Berry Frozen Yogurt

Very Berry Frozen Yogurt

Flavor: Very Berry Frozen Yogurt

Very Berry Frozen Yogurt

Bursting with tart and sweet berries, this healthy twist on fro-yo makes unfamiliar flavors fun and inviting to little taste buds.

Level: Easy

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups frozen unsweetened berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • ⅓ cup vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Fresh mint

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 110
Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0 g0%
Saturated Fat 0 g0%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0%
Sodium 0 mg0%
Carbohydrates 27 g9%
Total Sugar 22 g
Fiber 4 g16%
Protein 2 g4%
Calcium 4%
Iron 2%
Vitamin A 4%
Vitamin C 15%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Contains milk.

Step 1 (kid-friendly)

Help the kids place all of the ingredients except the mint into the container of a food processor or blender and process until smooth and creamy.

Food Fact: Remember to keep your plate colorful!

Every color of produce provides a different kind of protection and power for your body.

Step 2 (kid-friendly)

While the food processor or blender is churning the frozen yogurt, tear the mint leaves off the stem.

Tip: This frozen yogurt contains a medley of different flavors.

Kids love frozen treats, especially when they’re made from berries. This one is frozen, fruity, and a bit tart at the same time.

Step 3 (adults)

Remove the frozen treat from the container into small dessert bowls.

Tip: This recipe can help supply a nutritious treat for the whole year!

When berries are in season, you can freeze them individually on a baking sheet to use all year-round.

Step 4 (kid-friendly)

Garnish the frozen yogurt with mint leaves.

Tip: Remind your kids that surprises can be fun, especially when it’s a treat!

Kids love surprises, and this is a fun way to encourage them to try a new flavor. Things don’t always taste the way we think they will.

Step 5 (adults)

If you have extra, transfer unused frozen yogurt to an airtight container and store in the freezer.

Tip: Pressuring your child to eat can be counterproductive for picky eaters.

Too much pressure, and their interest and appetite can turn off, literally. Take care to keep the cooking and meal table (eating) environment positive and pressure-free.

Instructions

STEP 1 (kid-friendly)

Help the kids place all of the ingredients except the mint into the container of a food processor or blender and process until smooth and creamy.

Food Fact: Remember to keep your plate colorful!

Every color of produce provides a different kind of protection and power for your body.

Instructions

STEP 2 (kid-friendly)

While the food processor or blender is churning the frozen yogurt, tear the mint leaves off the stem.

Tip: This frozen yogurt contains a medley of different flavors.

Kids love frozen treats, especially when they’re made from berries. This one is frozen, fruity, and a bit tart at the same time.

Instructions

STEP 3 (adults)

Remove the frozen treat from the container into small dessert bowls.

Tip: This recipe can help supply a nutritious treat for the whole year!

When berries are in season, you can freeze them individually on a baking sheet to use all year-round.

Instructions

STEP 4 (kid-friendly)

Garnish the frozen yogurt with mint leaves.

Tip: Remind your kids that surprises can be fun, especially when it’s a treat!

Kids love surprises, and this is a fun way to encourage them to try a new flavor. Things don’t always taste the way we think they will.

Instructions

STEP 5 (adults)

If you have extra, transfer unused frozen yogurt to an airtight container and store in the freezer.

Tip: Pressuring your child to eat can be counterproductive for picky eaters.

Too much pressure, and their interest and appetite can turn off, literally. Take care to keep the cooking and meal table (eating) environment positive and pressure-free.

Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry

Flavor: Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry

Open your kids’ minds to a kaleidoscope of deep, earthy, savory, and sweet flavors they might not ordinarily want to try. And turn picky palates into worldly palates.

Level: Intermediate

Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
  • 2½ tsp mild curry powder
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 medium carrots, scrubbed and cut into coins
  • 2 baby Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 14-oz. can light coconut milk
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • Cooked brown rice

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 390
Calories from Fat 100
Total Fat 11 g17%
Saturated Fat 5 g25%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 80 mg27%
Sodium 470 mg20%
Carbohydrates 38 g13%
Total Sugar 3 g
Fiber 5 g20%
Protein 36 g72%
Calcium 4%
Iron 15%
Vitamin A 80%
Vitamin C 15%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Contains tree nuts. Allergens may vary based on the brands of ingredients used

Step 1 (adults)

Chop onion. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Scrub, peel, and slice carrots into coins. Wash, peel, and dice potatoes.

Tip: The best way to learn about a culture is to dive in mouth first!

If your kids are curious about other cultures, this dish is the perfect opportunity to introduce Indian cuisine. Learning to be comfortable exploring new foods is a skill that kids of all ages can learn.

Step 2 (adults)

Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat and sauté onions until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.

Tip: For extra flavor, leave mixed ingredients overnight at the marination station!

This dish can be made a day ahead, and the taste actually improves as the flavors have a chance to blend.

Step 3 (adults)

While the onions are cooking, grate the ginger on a fine-mesh grater.

Activity: Kids can help prep this dish with a garlic zoom.

The garlic can be minced using a garlic zoom, which is like a toy car that has a compartment to load the fresh garlic cloves. When moved back and forth, the blades on the interior of the gadget process the garlic to a fine mince.

Step 4 (adults)

Add the minced garlic and ginger to the skillet and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Step 5 (kid-friendly)

While the aromatics are sautéing, sprinkle the chicken tenders with half of the curry powder, kosher salt, and pepper.

Tip: Be selective and creative about the type of curry powder used.

The taste and spice of Indian-inspired curry dishes vary depending on the type of curry powder used. The flavors are very complex and the aroma is very distinct.

Step 6 (adults)

Add the chicken tenders to the onion mixture and sauté in a single layer until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Check the internal chicken temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches 165°.

Tip: Sometimes, chicken breast tenders are better than chicken breasts.

Choosing chicken breast tenders is an easy way to promote portion control and makes cooking easier than cutting up chicken breasts.

Step 7 (kid-friendly)

Add the carrots and potatoes to the chicken.

Food Fact: Potatoes have more potassium than bananas!

Potassium is a nutrient of concern for all ages. Potatoes are great for you; just cook them in healthy ways.

Step 8 (kid-friendly)

Pour the coconut milk over the chicken mixture and stir to combine.

Step 9 (adults)

Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Step 10 (kid-friendly)

Remove the lid, add the peas, and simmer an additional 15 minutes.

Tip: The odor of food enhances the sensory experience of taste.

Odor and flavor are connected intimately through the brain. In other words, the aroma of food contributes to the overall experience of flavor. The fragrance of this dish fills the air as well as your child’s nostrils, adding to the overall sensory experience.

Step 11 (adults)

Serve over cooked brown rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Tip: Rewarding kids with desserts for trying new food can be detrimental.

It’s tempting to offer your child a dessert in exchange for trying a new dish or even eating the whole thing. Research shows, however, that kids, especially picky ones, end up placing higher value on the dessert rather than the healthy food you’re trying to get them to eat. That means in the long run, your child may like desserts more and healthy food (veggies) less.

Instructions

STEP 1 (adults)

Chop onion. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Scrub, peel, and slice carrots into coins. Wash, peel, and dice potatoes.

Tip: The best way to learn about a culture is to dive in mouth first!

If your kids are curious about other cultures, this dish is the perfect opportunity to introduce Indian cuisine. Learning to be comfortable exploring new foods is a skill that kids of all ages can learn.

Instructions

STEP 2 (adults)

Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat and sauté onions until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.

Tip: For extra flavor, leave mixed ingredients overnight at the marination station!

This dish can be made a day ahead, and the taste actually improves as the flavors have a chance to blend.

Instructions

STEP 3 (adults)

While the onions are cooking, grate the ginger on a fine-mesh grater.

Activity: Kids can help prep this dish with a garlic zoom.

The garlic can be minced using a garlic zoom, which is like a toy car that has a compartment to load the fresh garlic cloves. When moved back and forth, the blades on the interior of the gadget process the garlic to a fine mince.

Instructions

STEP 4 (adults)

Add the minced garlic and ginger to the skillet and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Instructions

STEP 5 (kid-friendly)

While the aromatics are sautéing, sprinkle the chicken tenders with half of the curry powder, kosher salt, and pepper.

Tip: Be selective and creative about the type of curry powder used.

The taste and spice of Indian-inspired curry dishes vary depending on the type of curry powder used. The flavors are very complex and the aroma is very distinct.

Instructions

STEP 6 (adults)

Add the chicken tenders to the onion mixture and sauté in a single layer until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Check the internal chicken temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches 165°.

Tip: Sometimes, chicken breast tenders are better than chicken breasts.

Choosing chicken breast tenders is an easy way to promote portion control and makes cooking easier than cutting up chicken breasts.

Instructions

STEP 7 (kid-friendly)

Add the carrots and potatoes to the chicken.

Food Fact: Potatoes have more potassium than bananas!

Potassium is a nutrient of concern for all ages. Potatoes are great for you; just cook them in healthy ways.

Instructions

STEP 8 (kid-friendly)

Pour the coconut milk over the chicken mixture and stir to combine.

Instructions

STEP 9 (adults)

Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Instructions

STEP 10 (kid-friendly)

Remove the lid, add the peas, and simmer an additional 15 minutes.

Tip: The odor of food enhances the sensory experience of taste.

Odor and flavor are connected intimately through the brain. In other words, the aroma of food contributes to the overall experience of flavor. The fragrance of this dish fills the air as well as your child’s nostrils, adding to the overall sensory experience.

Instructions

STEP 11 (adults)

Serve over cooked brown rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Tip: Rewarding kids with desserts for trying new food can be detrimental.

It’s tempting to offer your child a dessert in exchange for trying a new dish or even eating the whole thing. Research shows, however, that kids, especially picky ones, end up placing higher value on the dessert rather than the healthy food you’re trying to get them to eat. That means in the long run, your child may like desserts more and healthy food (veggies) less.

Sweet-and-Sour Mini Meatballs

Sweet-and-Sour Mini Meatballs

Flavor: Sweet-and-Sour Mini Meatballs

Sweet-and-Sour Mini Meatballs

Small but packed with flavor, these bite-sized snacks expand your child’s taste with a fun, familiar recipe.

Level: Intermediate

Makes: 5½ dozen meatballs

Ingredients

  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup minced flat leaf parsley
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground dark turkey or chicken thighs
  • Sweet-and-Sour Sauce
  • 1 cup Mott’s® for Tots Apple White Grape
  • ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1 mini meatball

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 35
Calories from Fat 20
Total Fat 2 g3%
Saturated Fat 0.5 g3%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 15 mg5%
Sodium 55 mg2%
Carbohydrates 1 g0%
Total Sugar 1 g
Fiber 0 g0%
Protein 3 g6%
Calcium 0%
Iron 2%
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 2%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Contains gluten, wheat, soy, and egg. Allergens will vary based on toppings used.

Step 1 (adults)

Preheat oven to 400˚.

Step 2 (kid-friendly)

Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Measure panko breadcrumbs and place in a bowl.

Step 3 (adults)

Mince garlic and parsley.

Step 4 (kid-friendly)

Help kids crack eggs into the bowl with breadcrumbs. Add the soy sauce.

Step 5 (kid-friendly)

Use a fork to stir the panko breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, eggs, and soy sauce together in a large mixing bowl until the eggs are blended.

Step 6 (kid-friendly)

Add the ground beef and turkey or chicken, and mix with hands until combined.

Step 7 (kid-friendly)

Roll small pieces of the meatball mixture into 1-inch balls and space evenly on the baking sheets.

Step 8 (adults)

Bake for 15 minutes until browned and fully cooked through.

Step 9 (kid-friendly)

While the meatballs bake, add sauce ingredients to a saucepan. Whisk together the juice, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and ketchup.

Step 10 (adults)

Bring sauce to a simmer over medium heat.

Step 11 (kid-friendly)

Whisk the water and cornstarch together in a small bowl until the cornstarch is dissolved. Pour the dissolved cornstarch into the simmering sauce and whisk for a minute more until the sauce thickens.

Step 12 (adults)

Toss the cooked meatballs with the sauce to serve, or serve the sauce on the side for dipping.

Food Fact: A child’s preference for sweet and savory foods is natural!

Children are born with a natural preference for sweet and savory flavors, and a dislike of bitter tastes. Experts believe that long ago this ensured that nourishing foods were eaten and potentially poisonous ones were avoided.

Instructions

STEP 1 (adults)

Preheat oven to 400˚.

Instructions

STEP 2 (kid-friendly)

Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Measure panko breadcrumbs and place in a bowl.

Instructions

STEP 3 (adults)

Mince garlic and parsley.

Instructions

STEP 4 (kid-friendly)

Help kids crack eggs into the bowl with breadcrumbs. Add the soy sauce.

Instructions

STEP 5 (kid-friendly)

Use a fork to stir the panko breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, eggs, and soy sauce together in a large mixing bowl until the eggs are blended.

Instructions

STEP 6 (kid-friendly)

Add the ground beef and turkey or chicken, and mix with hands until combined.

Instructions

STEP 7 (kid-friendly)

Roll small pieces of the meatball mixture into 1-inch balls and space evenly on the baking sheets.

Instructions

STEP 8 (adults)

Bake for 15 minutes until browned and fully cooked through.

Instructions

STEP 9 (kid-friendly)

While the meatballs bake, add sauce ingredients to a saucepan. Whisk together the juice, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and ketchup.

Instructions

STEP 10 (adults)

Bring sauce to a simmer over medium heat.

Instructions

STEP 11 (kid-friendly)

Whisk the water and cornstarch together in a small bowl until the cornstarch is dissolved. Pour the dissolved cornstarch into the simmering sauce and whisk for a minute more until the sauce thickens.

Instructions

STEP 12 (adults)

Toss the cooked meatballs with the sauce to serve, or serve the sauce on the side for dipping.

Food Fact: A child’s preference for sweet and savory foods is natural!

Children are born with a natural preference for sweet and savory flavors, and a dislike of bitter tastes. Experts believe that long ago this ensured that nourishing foods were eaten and potentially poisonous ones were avoided.

4. Aroma Recipes

Oodles of Sesame Ginger Noodles

Oodles of Sesame Ginger Noodles

Aroma: Oodles of Sesame Ginger Noodles

Oodles of Sesame Ginger Noodles

Asian spices unite to tantalize the nose and to help kids break out of their plain-pasta rut.

Level: Easy

Makes: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. thin, flat noodles, such as linguine pasta
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • ½-1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup grated carrots

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 400
Calories from Fat 140
Total Fat 15 g23%
Saturated Fat 2.5 g13%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0%
Sodium 650 mg27%
Carbohydrates 54 g18%
Total Sugar 5 g
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 12 g24%
Calcium 2%
Iron 15%
Vitamin A 20%
Vitamin C 2%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Contains gluten, wheat, soy, and peanuts.

Step 1 (adults)

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8-10 minutes. Save ¼ cup of the hot water. Drain and transfer noodles to a serving bowl.

Tip: Let your kids have fun choosing the noodles for the dish.

Kids love noodles, and there are oodles of noodles to pick, from spaghetti to soba to angel hair.

Step 2 (kid-friendly)

Help kids whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, peanut oil, minced garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. If the sauce is too thick, use a tablespoon of hot water to thin the consistency.

Tip: Got a peanut allergy? Substitute!

Skip the peanut butter and peanut oil, and use nut-free sunflower butter and canola oil instead.

Step 3 (kid-friendly)

Pour the sauce over the warm noodles and toss until well coated.

Step 4 (kid-friendly)

Kids can garnish the noodles with green onions and grated carrots. Serve in a bowl with chopsticks for oodles of good fortune.

Instructions

STEP 1 (adults)

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8-10 minutes. Save ¼ cup of the hot water. Drain and transfer noodles to a serving bowl.

Tip: Let your kids have fun choosing the noodles for the dish.

Kids love noodles, and there are oodles of noodles to pick, from spaghetti to soba to angel hair.

Instructions

STEP 2 (kid-friendly)

Help kids whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, peanut oil, minced garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. If the sauce is too thick, use a tablespoon of hot water to thin the consistency.

Tip: Got a peanut allergy? Substitute!

Skip the peanut butter and peanut oil, and use nut-free sunflower butter and canola oil instead.

Instructions

STEP 3 (kid-friendly)

Pour the sauce over the warm noodles and toss until well coated.

Instructions

STEP 4 (kid-friendly)

Kids can garnish the noodles with green onions and grated carrots. Serve in a bowl with chopsticks for oodles of good fortune.

Make Your Own Pizza Pizzazz

Make Your Own Pizza Pizzazz

Aroma: Make Your Own Pizza Pizzazz

Make Your Own Pizza Pizzazz

Challenge your kids to think outside the pizza box and make creations as flavorful as their imaginations. Different toppings create various aromas in your kitchen, but the baked crust and cheesy topping will release familiar smells.

Level: Easy

Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • One 12-oz. thin pizza crust or whole wheat or four 8-inch cheese-flavored ready-made crusts
  • Favorite meat or seafood
  • Favorite veggies
  • Favorite cheese
  • Easy Cheesy Pizza
  • ½ cup marinara pizza sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded provolone
  • Ham and Pineapple Pizza
  • 1½ cups chopped lean ham
  • ½ cup marinara pizza sauce
  • 1 cup canned pineapple tidbits packed in juice, drained
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • BBQ Chicken Pizza
  • ⅓ cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup cooked, diced chicken
  • 2 tbsp diced red onion
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Taco Pizza
  • 4 oz. cooked lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup chunky salsa
  • ¼ tsp chili pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese
  • Garnish with avocado slices, sour cream, and chopped tomatoes, if desired

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1/8 of pizza

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 140
Calories from Fat 50
Total Fat 5 g8%
Saturated Fat 2.5 g13%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 10 mg3%
Sodium 320 mg13%
Carbohydrates 18 g6%
Total Sugar 2 g
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 8 g16%
Calcium 15%
Iron 6%
Vitamin A 4%
Vitamin C 2%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Contains gluten, wheat, and milk. Allergens will vary based on toppings selected.

Step 1 (adults)

Preheat oven to 450°. Place ready-made pizza crust on rack in oven while preheating and heat 5 minutes.

Tip: Don’t judge a pizza by its crust!

Pizza sounds like a decadent, naughty food, but it can be part of a healthy, wholesome eating plan based on the toppings you choose. Encourage picking ingredients from all of the food groups.

Step 2 (adults)

Remove pizza crust from oven and place on an ungreased baking sheet or pizza stone.

Food Fact: Plain cheese pizza is surprisingly popular.

Kids love pizza. And guess what? Plain ol’ cheese pizza accounts for nearly 80% of the pizza sold in the U.S. Pepperoni is the most popular topping.

Step 3 (kid-friendly)

Spread ingredients over crust.

Tip: Sneaking food into other foods can be harmful in the long run.

Sneaking food into other foods can erode the trust your child has in you. Keep food transparent, and when your child asks what is in a certain dish, be honest. In the long run, your child’s confidence with food and eating will flourish within a trust-filled relationship.

Step 4 (adults)

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve with favorite garnishes.

Tip: It can take some time for a child to warm up to new food.

Keep the food variety coming, even when your child rejects it. There are thousands of foods to try! Studies show it may take a child up to 15 different exposures (or even more) before he or she will warm up to new food and try it. Parents tend to give up after four rejections! Close that gap by being patient and steadfast in offering a variety of foods.

Step 5 (adults)

Make your own pizza! Check out the ingredients for a few options to get you and your little chef started.

Instructions

STEP 1 (adults)

Preheat oven to 450°. Place ready-made pizza crust on rack in oven while preheating and heat 5 minutes.

Tip: Don’t judge a pizza by its crust!

Pizza sounds like a decadent, naughty food, but it can be part of a healthy, wholesome eating plan based on the toppings you choose. Encourage picking ingredients from all of the food groups.

Instructions

STEP 2 (adults)

Remove pizza crust from oven and place on an ungreased baking sheet or pizza stone.

Food Fact: Plain cheese pizza is surprisingly popular.

Kids love pizza. And guess what? Plain ol’ cheese pizza accounts for nearly 80% of the pizza sold in the U.S. Pepperoni is the most popular topping.

Instructions

STEP 3 (kid-friendly)

Spread ingredients over crust.

Tip: Sneaking food into other foods can be harmful in the long run.

Sneaking food into other foods can erode the trust your child has in you. Keep food transparent, and when your child asks what is in a certain dish, be honest. In the long run, your child’s confidence with food and eating will flourish within a trust-filled relationship.

Instructions

STEP 4 (adults)

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve with favorite garnishes.

Tip: It can take some time for a child to warm up to new food.

Keep the food variety coming, even when your child rejects it. There are thousands of foods to try! Studies show it may take a child up to 15 different exposures (or even more) before he or she will warm up to new food and try it. Parents tend to give up after four rejections! Close that gap by being patient and steadfast in offering a variety of foods.

Instructions

STEP 5 (adults)

Make your own pizza! Check out the ingredients for a few options to get you and your little chef started.

Apple Blueberry Cream Pops

Apple Blueberry Cream Pops

Aroma: Apple Blueberry Cream Pops

Apple Blueberry Cream Pops

With a mellow, pleasing aroma, this ice cream pop offers a swirl of blueberry-apple goodness for a tasty treat.

Level: Easy

Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Mott’s® 100% Original Apple Juice
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 8 6-oz. paper cups or ice-pop molds
  • 8 craft sticks (if using paper cups)

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1 popsicle

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 70
Calories from Fat 15
Total Fat 2 g3%
Saturated Fat 1 g5%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 5 mg2%
Sodium 15 mg1%
Carbohydrates 14 g5%
Total Sugar 12 g
Fiber 1 g4%
Protein 1 g2%
Calcium 2%
Iron 2%
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 35%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Contains milk. Allergens may vary based on the brands of ingredients used.

Step 1 (kid-friendly)

With a spoon, help kids blend together the apple juice and ice cream.

Tip: Feeding kids every 3 or 4 hours helps them get all the nutrients they need.

Keep your child on a routine meal and snack schedule, offering food about every 3 hours. This routine will help your child build an appetite for eating at meals while minimizing those “you have to eat” moments. When kids are fed every 3 or 4 hours, there will be plenty of opportunities to meet their nutritional requirements throughout the day.

Step 2 (kid-friendly)

Divide the blueberries into the cups or molds.

Step 3 (adults)

Pour the liquid over the berries.

Step 4 (kid-friendly)

Place cups or molds on a baking pan.

Step 5 (adults)

Place in freezer until partially frozen, about 1 hour. If using cups, have your child insert a craft stick into the center of each cream pop and return to the freezer until firm and solid, about 4-6 hours.

Tip: There’s no end to the combination of flavors you can create with your kids.

Once you try these at home, you’ll never purchase another store-bought frozen treat!

Instructions

STEP 1 (kid-friendly)

With a spoon, help kids blend together the apple juice and ice cream.

Tip: Feeding kids every 3 or 4 hours helps them get all the nutrients they need.

Keep your child on a routine meal and snack schedule, offering food about every 3 hours. This routine will help your child build an appetite for eating at meals while minimizing those “you have to eat” moments. When kids are fed every 3 or 4 hours, there will be plenty of opportunities to meet their nutritional requirements throughout the day.

Instructions

STEP 2 (kid-friendly)

Divide the blueberries into the cups or molds.

Instructions

STEP 3 (adults)

Pour the liquid over the berries.

Instructions

STEP 4 (kid-friendly)

Place cups or molds on a baking pan.

Instructions

STEP 5 (adults)

Place in freezer until partially frozen, about 1 hour. If using cups, have your child insert a craft stick into the center of each cream pop and return to the freezer until firm and solid, about 4-6 hours.

Tip: There’s no end to the combination of flavors you can create with your kids.

Once you try these at home, you’ll never purchase another store-bought frozen treat!

Cinnamon Stuffed Sweet Potato Mash

Cinnamon Stuffed Sweet Potato Mash

Aroma: Cinnamon Stuffed Sweet Potato Mash

Cinnamon Stuffed Sweet Potato Mash

The warm scent of cinnamon and cloves mixed with the peppery, sweet, and lemony scent of ginger turns this superfood into a super-yummy side dish.

Level: Easy

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 6-oz. sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 190
Calories from Fat 60
Total Fat 6 g9%
Saturated Fat 3.5 g18%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 15 mg5%
Sodium 140 mg6%
Carbohydrates 31 g10%
Total Sugar 17 g
Fiber 5 g20%
Protein 3 g6%
Calcium 6%
Iron 6%
Vitamin A 4%
Vitamin C 50%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: : Contains milk. Allergens may vary based on the brands of ingredients used.

Step 1 (adults)

Preheat oven to 400°.

Step 2 (kid-friendly)

While the oven is heating up, let kids scrub the sweet potatoes under running water and blot dry with a paper towel.

Food Fact: Your kids may ask, “If it’s sweet, is it healthy?” Yes and yes.

Kids enjoy sweet treats, and they’re in for a real treat with sweet potatoes, which have a natural sweetness.

Step 3 (adults)

Place the potatoes in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until potato is soft to touch when poked with a knife.

Step 4 (adults)

While potatoes are baking, zest an orange using a very fine grater.

Step 5 (adults)

Measure butter, orange zest, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together.

Step 6 (kid-friendly)

Help kids combine the butter, orange zest, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in a small bowl.

Food Fact: Exotic spices can be just as beneficial as they are tasty.

Cinnamon, ginger, and cloves are sweet aromatic spices from the tropics and give an additional hint of sweetness to any dish. These ingredients excite the palate, provide maximum flavor, and prevent having to use a lot of unnecessary sugar.

Step 7 (adults)

When potatoes are done baking, slice through the skin and scrape out the flesh, making sure to keep the rest of the skin intact. Place the flesh in a bowl.

Tip: Don’t ignore those sweet potato skins!

Sweet potato skins are actually edible and provide much-needed fiber.

Step 8 (kid-friendly)

Fluff the flesh with a fork, add the aromatic butter mixture, and stir. A perfectly baked potato will mash almost instantly with a fork.

Step 9 (kid-friendly)

Divide the mixture among four potato skins. Sprinkle with a dusting of cinnamon, if desired.

Tip: Offer kid-sized portions.

Large portions can overwhelm a picky eater, yet studies have shown that parents tend to offer adult-sized portions to their kids. Start small and know that your child can always have more/seconds.

Instructions

STEP 1 (adults)

Preheat oven to 400°.

Instructions

STEP 2 (kid-friendly)

While the oven is heating up, let kids scrub the sweet potatoes under running water and blot dry with a paper towel.

Food Fact: Your kids may ask, “If it’s sweet, is it healthy?” Yes and yes.

Kids enjoy sweet treats, and they’re in for a real treat with sweet potatoes, which have a natural sweetness.

Instructions

STEP 3 (adults)

Place the potatoes in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until potato is soft to touch when poked with a knife.

Instructions

STEP 4 (adults)

While potatoes are baking, zest an orange using a very fine grater.

Instructions

STEP 5 (adults)

Measure butter, orange zest, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together.

Instructions

STEP 6 (kid-friendly)

Help kids combine the butter, orange zest, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in a small bowl.

Food Fact: Exotic spices can be just as beneficial as they are tasty.

Cinnamon, ginger, and cloves are sweet aromatic spices from the tropics and give an additional hint of sweetness to any dish. These ingredients excite the palate, provide maximum flavor, and prevent having to use a lot of unnecessary sugar.

Instructions

STEP 7 (adults)

When potatoes are done baking, slice through the skin and scrape out the flesh, making sure to keep the rest of the skin intact. Place the flesh in a bowl.

Tip: Don’t ignore those sweet potato skins!

Sweet potato skins are actually edible and provide much-needed fiber.

Instructions

STEP 8 (kid-friendly)

Fluff the flesh with a fork, add the aromatic butter mixture, and stir. A perfectly baked potato will mash almost instantly with a fork.

Instructions

STEP 9 (kid-friendly)

Divide the mixture among four potato skins. Sprinkle with a dusting of cinnamon, if desired.

Tip: Offer kid-sized portions.

Large portions can overwhelm a picky eater, yet studies have shown that parents tend to offer adult-sized portions to their kids. Start small and know that your child can always have more/seconds.

Killer Deviled Eggs

Killer Deviled Eggs

Aroma: Killer Deviled Eggs

Killer Deviled Eggs

The sweet smell of pickles meets the distinctive aroma of hard-boiled eggs. Bite-sized fun for your pint-sized kitchen helpers.

Level: Easy

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1½ tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tsp prepared mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Smoked paprika, for garnish

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 2 halves

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 110
Calories from Fat 80
Total Fat 9 g14%
Saturated Fat 2 g10%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 165 mg55%
Sodium 230 mg10%
Carbohydrates 1 g0%
Total Sugar 1 g
Fiber 0 g0%
Protein 6 g12%
Calcium 2%
Iron 4%
Vitamin A 6%
Vitamin C 0%
*Based on a 2,000-calorie diet

Allergy warning: Contains egg. Allergens may vary based on the brands of ingredients used.

Step 1 (adults)

Place whole eggs in muffin tins or directly on the oven rack in a preheated 325° oven for 30 minutes.

Step 2 (adults)

Remove eggs from the oven, and plunge them in cold water for 10 minutes.

Tip: Deviled eggs aren’t quite as mobile as they are tasty.

If you’re taking your deviled eggs to a gathering, it’s best to prepare the components ahead of time and assemble the eggs on-site to make it easier to transport.

Step 3 (kid-friendly)

Help kids crack the eggshells and peel them under cold water. Gently place them on a paper towel to blot the water.

Step 4 (adults)

With a small paring knife, slice the eggs in half lengthwise, removing the yolk to a small bowl and putting the whites on a serving dish.

Step 5 (kid-friendly)

Help the kids mash the yolks with a fork.

Step 6 (adults)

Add the mayonnaise, mustard, pickle relish, and salt and pepper to taste.

Step 7 (kid-friendly)

Mix well.

Step 8 (adults)

Dollop teaspoons of the mixture into the egg whites. Sprinkle with a dusting of smoked paprika.

Instructions

STEP 1 (adults)

Place whole eggs in muffin tins or directly on the oven rack in a preheated 325° oven for 30 minutes.

Instructions

STEP 2 (adults)

Remove eggs from the oven, and plunge them in cold water for 10 minutes.

Tip: Deviled eggs aren’t quite as mobile as they are tasty.

If you’re taking your deviled eggs to a gathering, it’s best to prepare the components ahead of time and assemble the eggs on-site to make it easier to transport.

Instructions

STEP 3 (kid-friendly)

Help kids crack the eggshells and peel them under cold water. Gently place them on a paper towel to blot the water.

Instructions

STEP 4 (adults)

With a small paring knife, slice the eggs in half lengthwise, removing the yolk to a small bowl and putting the whites on a serving dish.

Instructions

STEP 5 (kid-friendly)

Help the kids mash the yolks with a fork.

Instructions

STEP 6 (adults)

Add the mayonnaise, mustard, pickle relish, and salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions

STEP 7 (kid-friendly)

Mix well.

Instructions

STEP 8 (adults)

Dollop teaspoons of the mixture into the egg whites. Sprinkle with a dusting of smoked paprika.

5. Expert Tips

expert
TIPS

15 Tries

15 Tries

Keep the food variety coming, even when your child rejects it. There are thousands of foods to try! Studies show it may take a child up to 15 different exposures (or even more) before he or she will warm up to new food and try it. Parents tend to give up after four rejections! Close that gap by being patient and steadfast in offering a variety of foods.


For a familiar dish that can help introduce your little chef to a variety of new tastes, Make Your Own Pizza!

See Recipe
Backup Meals

Backup Meals

Avoid offering a backup meal or snack to the child who refuses to eat at mealtime. It can become a habit, fast, and it interferes with food exposure and helping your child accept new foods. Instead, place one or two familiar foods on the plate during mealtime to increase his or her comfort, and reassure your child that there will be another snack or meal scheduled shortly.


Need a tasty and nutritious snack to serve between meals? Check out this Apple Blueberry Cream Pop recipe.

See Recipe

Encourage > Bribe

Don’t bribe with dessert. It’s tempting to offer your child a dessert in exchange for trying a new dish or even eating the whole thing. Research shows, however, that kids, especially picky ones, end up placing higher value on the dessert than the healthy food you’re trying to get them to eat. That means, in the long run, your child may like desserts more and healthy food (veggies) less.


This savory Chicken Curry recipe might pique more interest than your little one’s plain ol’ dessert.

See Recipe

Structured Choices

Kids may choose the same food because it’s what they’re used to or because they’re overwhelmed by too many possibilities. Instead of offering unstructured choices such as “What do you want on your tostada?” offer structured choices such as “Would you like chicken and cheese or beans and cheese on your tostada?” This puts you in charge of the food quality, and sets them up for future healthy behaviors.


Practice offering structured choices with this yummy Chicken and Guacamole Tostada.

See Recipe