My toddler loves Mac & Cheese. No surprise right? But I hate giving it to him all the time. (He is starting to ask for it for breakfast.)
I need something else. Like, now.
When I try to give him, say, steak, this is his reaction…..
Holy Moly, right?
So I found this recipe for Grilled Chicken and Veggie Macaroni Salad from Lawrys.com. I love it for two reasons. One – because it takes about 30 minutes to make, so it can be on the table fast. Two – because it is a blend between his desire for Macaroni & Cheese and my need for him to eat some protein and veggies. And it is something all of us can eat, so I’m not having to make separate meals. (Seriously, who has time for that?)
Bonus is that this recipe makes 12 servings so you can store some for later in the week for a quick meal when you don’t have time to cook.
What you need:
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup Lawry’s® Herb & Garlic Marinade With Lemon Juice, divided
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 medium red bell pepper, quartered
2 ribs celery
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1 cup mayonnaise
How to Make It:
1. Place chicken and vegetables in 2 separate large resealable plastic bags. Pour 1/4 cup of the marinade into each bag; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes. (Though you can short cut this step if you are pressed for time.)
2. Meanwhile, cook macaroni as directed on package. Drain and rinse under cool water. Set aside. Remove chicken and vegetables from marinade. Discard chicken marinade; reserve vegetable marinade.
3. Grill chicken and vegetables over medium heat 6 to 7 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, brushing with reserved vegetable marinade. Cool slightly. Cut into bite-size pieces.
4. Mix mayonnaise and remaining 1/4 cup marinade in large bowl. Add macaroni, chicken and vegetables; mix until well blended. Serve immediately. Or, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
(I also sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on top…..obviously.)
So how did that go over?
So if you have a similar problem getting your kids to eat, definitely check out the Lawrys website for some inspirational ideas. A lot of the time, with the right seasonings & some Houdini-like actions (e.g. hiding veggies), it definitely is worth re-introduction to see if that may do the trick. But another fun way to spice things up is to try out this new way to create an advertisement about dinner. It was featured on the Rachel Ray show last month. Here is the one I did for my toddler so you can see what I’m talking about.
You just pick a recipe (8 to choose from), a theme (Boy or Girl) and then upload a photo. In about three minutes, you have your Dinnertisement. You can share it on Facebook, Twitter, or email to the grandparents! It is a cute way to “sell” yummy dinner ideas to the family. If your child is old enough, have them pick out a recipe, theme and make a Dinnertisement themselves. They may actually eat the meal if they have involvement in the process.
In fact, if you or your child creates a Dinnertisement, leave a comment here with the link, and show us how you rock it. Or leave a quick comment about your biggest kid/meal frustration. (I think we will all be able to relate.) One of you will win a Dinnertisement Kit! It includes a Rachael Ray Lasagna Lover Stoneware, two Zak Design Serving Spoons, and five different Lawry’s Marinades and Spice Blends. (About a $60 value!)
I hope you check it out. It is a lot of fun and see who the lucky winner was!!
To see the contest rules, click here.