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Kid Friendly Recipes

We all want our kids to eat a healthy diet, but must at the same time deal with the typical pickiness of children's palates. It can be a challenge to find kid friendly recipes that you feel good about. This page contains kid friendly recipes.
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Recipes

Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these recipes. If you have made this recipe please submit a photo and let us know how it worked. Or, add your own recipe variation.

By 2 found this helpful
July 22, 2009

Grandkids gobble them up and don't complain that they want something else.

Ingredients:

Directions:

Cut each hot dog in 1/2. Slice each hot dog in 1/2 again long wise leaving a small bulb at the top (this is the head). Turn the hot dog and slice long wise again you should have 4 legs now continue doing this until you have 8 legs.

Pour the baked beans into a shallow baking dish. Arrange the "octopus". Bake in the oven until warmed through or you can cook in the crock pot.

Source: Years ago saw it in a kids cook book.

By Notwrong

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
January 29, 2008

I have the opposite problem of most parents. My four year old son loves fruits and vegetables, so it can be hard to get him to eat proteins sometimes! We're on a limited budget, and I know beans are both nutritious and inexpensive. I'm wondering if anyone has any healthy recipes or ideas for bean-related dishes. Of course there's chili, etc. but I'm looking for some more unique ideas.

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We had chili last week and my son picked the beans out, saying he didn't like them! I was thinking that a bean dip might be something I could use to have him dip veggies into (and that way he won't see that it's actually made with beans, since they're not whole!). So any recipes or ideas like that would be great! Thanks for any help you can give me!

Lisa from Kenosha, WI

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
January 30, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Make a dip with Garbanzos. Drain Garbanzos, put in food processor, add 1/4 cup Miracle Whip, 1/4 cup Green Goddess dressing. Process until creamy. We like this spread on a tortilla topped with grated cheese, lettuce and chopped tomatoes and rolled up, burrito style.
I also make Mexican pizzas with refried beans on a tortilla topped with salsa and cheese and heated under the broiler in the oven.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 30, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Yep. Mash the beans or use refried beans mixed in with the ground meat. They will never know it and it gives it great texture.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 30, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Puree the beans in your food processor or blender, then add to chili. How about bean and cheese burritos, tacos with beans instead of meat. I wouldn't however, allow hime to refuse all meats. This is a power issue. Serv him small serving of meat, whatever your family is eating, as well as small servings of preferred foods like fruits and vegies. Make sure there aren't enough fruits and vegies for him to be filled up. If he asks for more, tell him when he has eaten what is on his plate, he can have more of his favs. If he is hungry, he will eat! Also, eggs and pnut butter are good protein sources, as are cheese and yogurt, but these can be high in fat so choose low fat or non-fat products. There are also high pro low carb pastas available on the regular grocery shelves (Barilla Plus is my fav).

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 31, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

I make bean/rice burgers. Mash the drained cooked beans and use 2C beans and 2C drained cooked rice. Add some fine chopped onion and some veggies that are not as finely chopped, that way it may be more appealing to him. Use some spices/herbs he likes and a egg or two. Mix and make patties, then fry them like you would hamburger. Also I make it up into "meat loaf".

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February 1, 20080 found this helpful
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Hummus makes a great sandwich spread instead of mayo or mustard - it's ground up chick peas which are very high in protein.

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January 30, 20110 found this helpful
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Yesterday, I made Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bean Cookies from a recipe at www.food.com. They were so good that today they aren't around anymore. What kid wouldn't eat a cookie, right?

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Answer this Question...

By 0 found this helpful
October 24, 2008

I have a five year old that will not eat hamburger meat whatsoever! Does anyone have any ideas for some recipes on a strict budget?

Answers

October 24, 20080 found this helpful

You're not going to like this for a couple of reasons but I'm going to say it anyway. At my house it was always, "Ok, you don't like what I fixed for dinner. Fine. Next meal is breakfast. You may be excused." One time for each of my 3 boys was all it took. They now eat anything put before them. That's helped with a stint in Afghanistan and basic training for the Air Force. It's not a good idea to allow children to be picky. I am now off the soap box.

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October 24, 20080 found this helpful

Are you cooking it to well done? Some people just can't eat rare, bloody beef. Or try switching to ground turkey or chicken.

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October 24, 20080 found this helpful

As a child I would NOT eat any type of fish or seafood. It didn't matter how long my mom made me sit at the dinner table after dinner was over! I hated seafood THEN & I still hate it NOW! And I've ALWAYS hated meat, ANY kind! I was forced to eat meat as a child, so I would cover it with A-1 sauce just to barely be able to handle it (the sauce hid the flavor, but couldn't hide the texture). But everybody told me I couldn't live without eating meat. "You need the protein!" they'd say... (This was the 1960's). But now that I've been a Vegetarian for the last 29 years, I've proved them all wrong! I'm happy & healthy without any meat in my diet. (I DO eat dairy & eggs).

I can remember as a child of 3 while living in Florida, seeing a red-tide where the whole beach was covered in dead fish, so this may have made me hate fish, who knows? Also, I remember seeing my mother clean a chicken when I was about 5. This also grossed me out, seeing the chicken's guts. Is it the texture of the ground meat in your child's mouth that they hate? or is it the "Cow" they feel like they may be hurting? Or does your 5 year old just hate the taste? You'll have to address the REAL reason before you can really solve it.

When My daughter wouldn't drink the free, fresh goats milk we were given when she was a child, we put it into a used "regular" milk carton & she drank it & loved it, thinking it was regular, store-bought cows milk. One time you can buy TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) & make your dish with THAT. While your child watches you, then the next time you can maybe say you used the TVP & really use hamburger instead? This sounds a bit deceptive & it is. MY grandmother made me a "Chicken Salad" sandwich which I loved as a child, & I wanted seconds until she told me it was really "Chicken of the Sea" (Tuna Fish). I not only felt deceived, but felt tricked. So, you may want to REALLY use the TVP in his or her dishes. I's actually better for them as there's no fat, it costs less & it still has protein. You can buy TVP in the large bins in may grocery stores & also in Health Food Stores by the pound. There's lots of recipes for TVP online.

I like "Perfume & Powder's" idea: Ground Turkey cost's less & is better for you than ground beef. Just spray the pan with Pam first because there's less fat in ground Turkey & Chicken.

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October 24, 20080 found this helpful

I have a 4 year old who doesn't really like hamburger either. I DO NOT fret that. It isn't really that great for us anyway. I don't use it much anymore since my husband was told by the doctor that he has high blood pressure and needed to lose a few pounds.

My son does like chicken, fruit, yogurt, low fat crackers. What I'm trying to say is that as long as he likes something whether it's a peanut butter sandwich or such. Have him help you prepare his dinner, and enjoy your child. Chances are he'll change his mind when he gets older and then you'll just worry if he is forever going to eat those fast food burgers. God Bless You!

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October 24, 20080 found this helpful

TVP is also quite inexpensive, and a good protein source. You can pair beans with grain (rice, corn, etc.) for a good and inexpensive protein source. Eggs, cheeses, milk, yogurt are good sources as well, and not as expensive as meat. Dried beans can be cooked ahead and frozen, for quick use.

I had one child who went through a period where she did not want most meats. Our policy was: I did not want to hear about it, if she did not like what was on the table, she could go to the fridge and get herself some cottage cheese and fruit (I kept canned fruit in a resealable container for the purpose). End of discussion. It worked well, and then her tastes changed and she was back to eating meat.

As a pediatric Occupational Therapist I am aware that some kids have honest-to-goodness issues with food textures; and you have to admit ground beef is not the most pleasant....

Chances are it is just a phase with your daughter. Keep ONE alternative that she will willingly eat on hand, and tell her if she doesn't like what you put on the table, there it is.

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Anonymous
October 24, 20080 found this helpful

Whether to make the child eat hamburger or not is not the question. We all have our opinions as how to raise children, but the lady asked for ideas for recipes on a strict budget. What difference does it make whether she chooses to let her child get away with making a statement about the meat?

Chances are, you don't know this parent, you will never meet this parent, you will never be affected by this parent's decision whether or not to let this child make an issue about the meat, you raised your children the way you wanted to, let her do the same. After raising seven children (and many extras), I have found that what works for one may not work for the other.

Let's stay on track with the responses to the questions folks. Be a good neighbor and stop criticizing; if you really want to respond, then look through your cook books and send her some suggestions. That's what I am going to do.

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October 24, 20080 found this helpful

There might be some visual changes you can make when you cook hamburger meat. Put it on a grill, and they won't see the grease in the skillet.

Make hamburgers in different shapes. Square ones or oblong ones that will fit a hot dog bun. Meatballs can easily be made, and if you make them and add some grape jelly and Chili Sauce, they taste almost like a desert.

And, if you just want something 'good' that the kid will eat, make some macaroni and cheese for them. Inexpensive and good.

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October 25, 20080 found this helpful

Do you know if it's the texture your child doesn't like, or the flavor? If it's the flavor you could try switching to ground turkey, or maybe using half-and-half beef and turkey. Ground turkey is around 50-75 cents cheaper per pound than beef where I shop.

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October 25, 20080 found this helpful

I agree she did ask for recipes. It would have been more helpful to know what her child did like; pasta is cheap, and chicken can be stretched. Most of the cooking sites give child friendly recipes. I've even made a "Mexican Pizza" taken whole wheat/low fat tortilla rounds and put some cheese inside and heat.

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October 25, 20080 found this helpful

The rule in our house was, you don't have to eat it if you don't like it, but you have to try it. There were always lots of extra veggies and salad. Not eating beef is not all that bad anyway.

I have a group of friends that get together every week for dinner. The people that I appreciate the most are the ones that quietly try a little, and then eat extra of the other foods. The ones that I don't appreciate are the ones that let me know how they've always hated whatever I made that they didn't like. I made sure that whatever my kids did, they were polite and quiet about their choices.

Good luck to you!

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Read More Answers

June 16, 20090 found this helpful

What are some good foods an 11 year old would like to eat that don't cost too much?

By lolzhahahachicki from Brick, NJ

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