Eat Well: Fun Family Dinner

By Jenny Steadman May 16, 2014
We are told over and over again how important it is to sit down together, as a family, for one meal a day. That meal is usually dinner. I love it when my kids plan dinner and help me cook. It is true that it makes them more excited to eat when they help!

That doesn't mean it needs to be a fancy meal made up of fancy ingredients. Whenever my husband is out for the evening, I let the girls choose what we will have for dinner. Recently, without a doubt, they have requested rainbow pancakes. 

Now, I know you are asking, "what do rainbow pancakes have to do with family fitness?" My answer is, "everything!" 

With the right recipe and the right coloring, rainbow pancakes can be part of a great meal that is incredibly fun to make with even the littlest ones. I have so much fun with my 4- and 6-year-old creating different colors, patterns and shapes. They get to do all of the pancake batter mixing, the color creating and the pancake flipping. 

While they are helping, I cut up fruit and pile it on their plates so they have more fruit than pancakes. With a glass of milk or water, it's a nice healthy meal! To limit their syrup intake, I give them each a small cup that I have poured syrup into. It is up to them how long they can make it last. Other great pancake toppers are nut butters, applesauce and Greek yogurt.

Recipes: It is important to choose a recipe that is simple and full of whole grains. I have found a few different ones here, here and here. Pick one that suits your needs and what is in your pantry. Equally important is the food coloring you choose. Here at Macaroni Kid Family Fitness we avoid all artificial food coloring. I really like India Tree Natural Baking Colors. I buy it on Amazon and at Whole Foods Market around Easter-time. I am sure they are available at other health food stores as well.

Mix the batter together. Separate into as many bowls as colors you want to make. Create colors and create pancakes! Have fun being creative!