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How to Get Family Time AND Healthy Eats The Kids LoveI don’t know what it is about finger food and blankets that will get children of virtually ANY eating personality (picky or adventurous) to eat good, healthy, nutritious foods.

Let me explain!

I can spend time in the kitchen, cooking a “normal” dinner. Put it on plates. Sit it on the table and the kids will sit down and look at the food with the biggest expression of boredom. I’ll have to call their names several times before they actually decided to come to the table. At least one of them will complain that what’s on the plate is NOT what they were expecting or would like to eat. And at least one of them will not eat much of what’s on their plate.

Sound like a pretty typical situation for a house with youngish kids – right?

BUT, if I take that same meal, get creative enough to turn what would have been eaten with a fork, into something that can be eaten with no utensils at all, roll a blanket out on the floor and serve dinner picnic style, the kids are practically pushing each other over to come get dinner!

So I’m encouraging you to try a little experiment this week. If you are looking for a way to spend some extra quality time with your kids AND you want to make sure they get a good healthy meal in their bellies, try having a picnic!

You don’ t have to pack a picnic basket, load the car and travel to a park (if you don’t want to). Having a picnic can be as simple as rolling out a blanket in your living room like we often do!

The best part about having a picnic (and using the picnic menu below) is that there is NO cooking necessary and it only takes about 20 minutes to prepare. If your kids are old enough, you can get more quality family time with them by allowing them to help you prep it!

So here it is…

Super Simple Family Picnic Menu

Tortilla Chips and Homemade Guacamole

Cheese Cubes

Sliced Cucumbers and Bell Peppers

Homemade Container Lemonade

Cut up Fruit for Dessert

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. 8-12 oz block of cheese (cubed)
  2. 1 cucumber (sliced)
  3. 2 bell peppers any color (sliced)
  4. 1 bag of tortilla chips
  5. Seasonal fruit (cut up)
  6. 4 ripe avocados
  7. 5 lemons
  8. ½ Spanish onion (diced fine)
  9. 1-2 jalapeños (diced fine)
  10. ¼ cup sour cream
  11. Salt and pepper
  12. 1 cup sugar

Here’s what to do:

Take the cheese and cut up vegetables and place them on a family style serving plate. Pour the bag of tortilla chips into a shared bowel and place the fruit in a separate shared bowel. Set all of that aside. Or if you’re taking this picnic on the road pack all those things up in lidded bowels and put them in your cooler or picnic basket.

Now to make the guacamole!

In a large bowel, put the “meat” of all 4 avocados, the juice of 1 whole lemon, the onion and your jalapenos (leave in the ribs and seeds if you want it spicier). Use a fork or potato masher to smash all of those ingredients together. Now add the sour cream and salt and pepper to your taste. Guac DONE!   Set that aside or pack it up into your “to-go” bowel.

Now to make the container lemonade!

Get a half gallon jar or pitcher THAT HAS A LID. It must have a tight fitting lid. Now cut your 4 remaining lemons in half and squeeze out all the juice into that jar or pitcher. You may want to squeeze them through your fingers or strainer to catch the seeds. Once the juice is out put the rinds in the pitcher as well. You can pick them out later, but for now it gives the lemonade a more “lemony” flavor.

Now add your sugar and fill half of the container up with ice. Top the ice off with cool water. Put the lid on and shake what cha mama gave ya!….. I mean shake the lemonade until all the sugar has dissolved.   Lemonade DONE!

Now all you need to do is find a blanket, some paper plates, cups and napkins and you are set to have your picnic!

Your kids will think you’re the BEST mom ever and you’ll get to spend some time with your kids eating great food that didn’t take you long to make! Its winner, winner (not really) chicken dinner!

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