How to make a dinner your whole family will eat!

My kids are great eaters – I really shouldn’t complain about their eating habits at all.

However, there are days that I feel like making a dish that I just know they won’t like.  Luckily I’ve found that many recipes can be “customized” for different tastes without any additional work.  For example, here is a dish that I make once in a while that my husband and I love, but the kids don’t really enjoy.   It’s not that they don’t like the ingredients, they just don’t like them mixed together.  So, I make the meal, but pull out some of the ingredients before it’s complete.  We are all eating the same food, it just looks a little different for each of us!

Here’s how it goes:

Peppers, Sausage & Pasta

2 cups uncooked pasta (penne or rotini is nice)

1 t olive oil

1/2 to 3/4 pound sausage (we’ve use brats, sweet italian, bulk or links – whatever sounds good – or omit completely and add portabella mushrooms!)

1 large onion, sliced

2-3 peppers (green, red, orange, yellow – doesn’t matter), sliced

2 tomatoes, diced

2 to 3 cups spinach

1 T honey

1 T balsamic vinegar

couple of bay leaves

dried basil

sea salt

black pepper

1.  Prepare the pasta.

2.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet and brown the sausage.  Add the onion.

3.  Once the sausage is almost done, add the peppers (leave some out if your kids don’t like cooked peppers).

4.  Remove sausage for kids who don’t like their food mixed together.

5.  Add tomatoes, honey, vinegar and bay leaves.  Warm tomatoes.

6.  Drain pasta.  Remove portion for those picky kids and dump the rest in the skillet.

7.  Add spinach (remove some if needed) and saute until wilted.

Enjoy with fresh parmesan cheese.

Now, for those kids who don’t like their food mixed up, they have a yummy little plate with pasta and parmesan, sausage, sliced peppers, and spinach.  Two different meals, with no additional work.

Next time you are fixing dinner, take a look at your recipe and see if there is a way to pull out the ingredients for your pickier eaters.  I think you’ll find it astonishing how often this can be done with no extra work on your part.

How do you deal with picky eaters?  Share your ideas in the comments!

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