Janis founded The Dinner Spin in 2008 and her recipes, tips and time-saving tricks are tried and true. Life is a lot easier when the “what’s for dinner” panic is averted.

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Little hands will love to help prepare this easy-to-make, kid-friendly fare. While the menu is all about the kids, grown-ups won’t have a hard time eating it too! Take some time on a weekend to really get the kids involved, check the recipe tips for suggested steps that children can do to make this meal a family affair!

 

Fruit & Bagel Kabobs

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Makes 6-8 Kabobs

 

2 Natural Ovens blueberry bagels, cut into wedges

1 cup watermelon, cubed

1/2 cup pineapple, cubed

1/2 cup strawberries, halved

1/2 cup green grapes

 

Cut fruit and bagels into chunks or wedges, about 1 inch. Skewer using bamboo sticks.  Serve.

 

Recipe Tips

I recommend using the Natural Ovens brand of bagel, they have the most fiber and least sugar of any bagel I have found, plus they taste great without adding butter or cream cheese!

 

Mini-Cheddar Meatloaf

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35-40 minutes

Servings: 4-6

 

1 pound 95% lean ground beef

1 cup quick oats

1/2 cup zucchini, grated

1/2 cup carrots, grated

8 ounces no-salt added tomato sauce

2 egg whites, beaten

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/2 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

 

Combine all ingredients until well mixed. Grease 6 spaces of a muffin pan, fill generously with meat mixture (almost to the top). Press an indent and sprinkle cheddar cheese inside.

 

Bake for 35-40 minutes.

 

Let stand at least 5 minutes before removing from muffin pan. Serve with ketchup or steak sauce for the kiddies. For more of an adult version, top with salsa verde, sour cream, crushed whole-grain or baked tortilla chips.  

 

Recipe Tips

Let kids help measure and pour the ingredients.

 

Baking this kid friendly entree in the muffin pan not only creates the perfect individual serving size, it cuts bake time as well. The oats and shredded veggies add a secret dose of nutrition!

 

This recipe freezes well. Double it up, bake and freeze in a resealable freezer bag for up to 3 months. You can let thaw and reheat in the microwave for about 45 seconds to 1 minute per mini-loaf.

 

 

Speedy Stuffed Potato Cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 min/microwave + 20 min/oven

1 pound new potatoes, (about 6-8 med/small)

1/4 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

2 tablespoons dried chives

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 paprika, for garnish

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

 

Wash and pierce potatoes with a fork. Microwave on high for 10 minutes in a micro steamer with enough water to cover potatoes. If you don’t have a steamer, use a microwave safe bowl partially covered with wax paper.

 

Remove from microwave, if potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, drain water, let cool slightly. (Because microwaves vary, if potatoes don’t pierce easily, place back in for 1 minute and test again.)

 

Halve the potatoes; using a melon-baller or teaspoon, scoop out most of the flesh in a bowl. Place potato skins on a greased baking sheet. Coarsely mash the potato flesh, add in sour cream, cheese, chives, salt and pepper. Stuff each of the skins with the potato mixture and sprinkle paprika on top for garnish.

 

Bake until golden-brown, about 15-20 minutes.

 

Recipe Tips

Using the microwave, speeds this side dish along. Get kids get involved by letting them wash the potatoes and help with the mashing and filling.

 

Sweet & Crunchy Kid Mix

Prep Time: 10 minutes

3 cups Strawberry Chex Mix

2 cups Yogurt Burst Cheerios

1 can mixed nuts

1 package dried tropical fruit

 

Combine all ingredients and serve or store in an air-tight container.

 

Recipe Tips

Let kids put stickers on a paper cup or color on the outside of a paper bowl before serving this treat. Kids are more apt to eat if it is on their terms; they love to have their own individual bowl or serving cup.

 

 

For more recipes, tips and time-saving kitchen strategies, visit www.TheDinnerSpin.com.

 

 

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