Bringing family back to feast

Fresh cut slices of sweet potatoes with oil and herb, made into fries, ready for cooking, soft selective focus

While families frequently gather over the eating of a holiday meal, food preparation can be just as fun for bringing relatives together. With tablets and TVs out of the way, the kitchen provides a place where loved ones of all ages can practice collaboration and conversation.

Whether you’re prepping a big meal or serving a simple breakfast, consider inviting kids, grandparents, and even your cousin who swears she has no culinary skills into the kitchen to lend a hand. These simple and healthy recipes make it easy to bring family back to feast.

  1. Brain Booster Pancakes 

These pancakes are a triple threat: quick, healthy and delicious. High in protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, they’re the perfect start to your day. Research shows  that omega-3s can improve mental skills like thinking, remembering and learning. You can enlist even the most novice of family cooks to throw all the ingredients into a blender and cook on a griddle.

2. Crispy baked sweet potato fries 

Want your family to munch on a nutritious snack without thinking twice? Swap French fries for these crispy baked sweet potato fries. While you’ll need to enlist an adult to do the chopping, kids will love shaking a plastic bag to season these treats. Not only do they taste great, but sweet potato fries pack a nutritional punch, too. One baked sweet potato contains over twice the amount of vitamin A  you need for the day.

3. Brown-sugar barbecue chicken drumettes 

It doesn’t get much easier than stir-together barbecue sauce. Just combine ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar and Worcestershire for a quick homemade concoction. Drumettes and wings are just the right size for kids and taste so good you won’t be able to keep them away from adults. Feeling adventurous? Add cayenne pepper to taste for a touch of heat.Refrigerate the brown-sugar barbecue sauce up to two weeks for an easy chicken dinner any night of the week.

4. PB, banana and oat cookies 

Headed to a holiday cookie exchange? Invite fruit and whole grains to the party with these PB, banana and oat cookies. Kids love measuring and mixing, and are usually the first ones to volunteer when cookies are the outcome. Need more help in the kitchen? Let your family know it’s “hands off” unless they lend a hand.

Author: Stephanie Sample

December 6, 2016