Over the last few months I have been experimenting with family style meals at dinner time. During the weekend, I try to do it over lunch time if we aren’t eating out. I have a 6yr old and a 18mos old and you would think it’s much easier if I put their meal on a plate and placed it in front of them. I used to do that and it worked well but when I started presenting my meals family style, it not only brought excitement around meal times, but it also encouraged my kids (particularly the oldest) to try different textures of food and even green veggies (she hates green veggies and her brother is just the opposite). Since my 18mos old can’t talk yet, he gets a bowl of food placed in front of him but I also let him see what’s on the table. Once he’s done eating he often points and says more to get more of what he just ate or to try something he didn’t get served.
The picture below is from our recent weekend dinner. I made some teriyaki chicken. There are many ways to make it; you can make it from scratch over the stove top or even in a slow cooker. Wattie’s Wok Creations Teriyaki Sauce is something I buy for busy week nights.
For the accompanying veg, I make a Sauteed Ginger Bok Choy and also added an asian slaw. I don’t have a lot of time to grate veg for the slaw, so I opt for the slaw packet that our supermarket sells. To make things exciting, I don’t just have rice but also noodles… in the picture, I used organic soba noodles that I tossed in some sesame oil. I also had peanuts in a little bowl to add on top of the slaw.
My daughter had a little of everything, she still sometimes strikes on the green veg but if she tastes a little bit to start with, that’s always a huge achievement!
So! If you want to make this kid friendly family style meal that’s really easy to put together, here is what you need:
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Sauteed Ginger Bok Choy
- Asian Slaw
- Rice and/or Noodles
- Peanuts to add an extra crunch