Friday, February 11, 2011

Easy, Kid-Friendly Side Dishes

These are really a no brainer, but sometimes it's nice to be reminded of the simple side dishes that help round out a meal. I've seen many meals advertised as "one dish dinners," but, in our family, folks seem to want something else on that plate. Simple side dishes like these need very little adornment, are quick to prepare, and often inexpensive. So, here are the things that make regular appearances at our table:

Super Participants (2+ times/week)
  • Fresh, raw veggies with or without dip (cucumbers and carrots always, celery and grape tomatoes frequently, bell peppers occasionally; when there's an assortment, we tell the kids to take 2 kinds. They LOVE cucumbers, and my hubby loves carrots, so those are guarantees. A good amount for a preschooler is 3 slices/sticks of something--more if they'll eat it!)
  • Fresh fruit (sometimes one option, sometimes an arrangement of what's left in the crisper; orange wedges, grapes, and apple slices are all good palate cleansers and help remove the "need" for something sweet after a meal. Serve the fruit plate near the end of the meal.)
Regular Participants (1+ time/week)
  • Baked sweet potatoes (topped with some butter)
  • Baked white potatoes (topped with butter, salt, and pepper) OR steamed/boiled new potatoes
  • Steamed broccoli or frozen green beans
  • Boiled/simmered frozen green peas or frozen baby lima beans
  • Salad
And, when I'm feeling a touch more exotic and/or have had time to go to the Asian grocery store, we'll eat these: (none of which are hard, just require more exotic veggies)

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