Just because life is fast-paced and hectic does not mean you should allow nutrition to slide. Kids need the routine of family meals and the benefits of healthy menus. Put together some savory side dishes for smoked beef dinner. Keep it basic to appeal to the simple tastes of children and you'll have a winning menu.
Try an antipasto platter to encourage culinary experimentation. Although antipasto ingredients can seem fancy and far-out to some children, placing these foods in front of them invites them to try new food items. Include artichoke hearts, olives, crusty bread, grape tomatoes and zucchini slices. Pull kids in with a generous heap of cheese chunks -- they'll love spearing cheese with toothpicks and popping them into their mouths. Assemble a vegetable platter with standard raw vegetables and creamy dip for children less willing to try new foods.
Make a summer squash casserole using sliced zucchini and yellow squash swimming in a creamy sauce. Top the casserole with savory breadcrumbs blended with dry salad dressing and seasoning mix for a burst of flavor, and bake it until it looks bubbly. Try a baked bean casserole with savory beans in a molasses sauce. Marry steamed broccoli and cauliflower with a rich cheddar sauce for a vegetable casserole most kids will love.
Throw together homemade macaroni and cheese using white cheddar cheese sauce clinging thickly to baby shell pasta. A cheesy rice casserole with green onions, raisins and pine nuts has a variety of textures and flavors that will appeal to little ones and the older crowd, too. Potato salad is a traditional side that goes well with beef. Replace mayo with creamy salad dressing for a flavor boost.
Pair cantaloupe and cucumber chunks for a sweet and savory combination everyone will enjoy. Squeeze a little fresh orange juice over the salad to add a little zip. Combine cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices and balls of seedless watermelon in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over the salad and add a dash of dry dressing and dip mix to make the flavors really pop.
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