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Part recipe, part feeding strategy, this meal is so easy to make, your children make it themselves (yes, even a 2 year old can make their own dinner!) And, when you serve it this way, your children are more likely to try new things and enjoy themselves at the dinner table. Finally, it's a low-cook meal, so you don't have much to do. 

 

Select a few items (5-7) from the below list and put each item on the table in different bowls with spoons your children can use. (You can, of course, add in other items. The list is endless!). If you want an Asian dinner, use fish and seaweed; or more of a Mexican taste, use black beans and guacamole.

 

Grains: cooked whole grain rice or quinoa

Proteins: black beans, chickpeas, fish (however you like to prepare it or pan fried), tempeh (cubed, steamed and then lightly fried), chicken, beef (however you like to prepare it)

Toppings: corn, avocado (or guacamole), cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, sweet potato (baked and then cubed or sliced), corn, seaweed (with a scissors, cut it into little strips), broccoli and cauliflower (oven roasted with some olive oil and salt at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes), carrots (grated and raw, or oven roasted), cabbage (sliced), grated cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc. 

 

Once everything is on the table, tell your children what is in each bowl. Then give them a clean bowl and let them make their own bowl with whatever they want. Really let them pick whatever they want and try not to push them towards something specific. Let them serve themselves (help if they need it) and mix it together in their own bowl.  They might mix things that you wouldn't normally mix together, but that's great. They are taking charge of their own meal and by selecting what they want, they are more invested in what they are eating. 

 

In our house, we serve dessert (normally fruit) at the same time as the main course. For more on that, read here. In the picture, you can see the sliced fruit on the table with the rice, beans and veggies. 

 

This is also a great way to use up random leftovers. We do this about once a week, as part of our "clean the fridge" strategy!