Eating out when you're eating in!

Image Source: Kids Cook Monday http://www.thekidscookmonday.org/recipe-items/sesame-spinach-dumplings/

These days, there's a lot of discussion, particularly south of the border, around excessive calorie consumption and the health perils of eating out too often. In fact, eating out can be beneficial as a way to explore new tastes, or simply as a way to have a pleasant time and a night off from routine. It isn't problematical, nutritionally, if it isn't an everyday occurrence.

Yet, when it comes down to it, the meals prepared and eaten at home are most strongly associated with the health, academic and social benefits of eating together. Most families do eat out regularly and kids will often eat out on their own at fast food restaurants. But rather than become distressed at research reports about how alarming these meals might be, take a look at some of Ellyn Satter's advice about how to manage fast food meals.

One fun idea from our friends at The Kids Cook Monday is to make your own 'fast food' style recipes at home. The Kids Cook has recently posted a blog on the topic of eating out at home, saying that:

“By starting out the week cooking and eating together, parents and kids can gain more kitchen confidence, catch up after the weekend and enjoy a well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet. Get started with one of these great ideas for healthier “restaurant-style” meals.”

Here are four great recipes we thought you’d enjoy. Let us know if you try one at home, join the conversation here.

Brie Apple Cinnamon Quesadillas with Fig Salad
http://www.thekidscookmonday.org/2011/10/10/brie-apple-cinnamon-quesadillas-with-fig-salad/

Sesame Spinach Dumplings
http://www.thekidscookmonday.org/2010/12/11/sesame-spinach-dumplings/

Veggie Medley Pizza
http://www.thekidscookmonday.org/2012/04/23/veggie-medley-pizza/

Sweet Potato Fries
http://www.thekidscookmonday.org/2011/03/09/sweet-potato-fries/

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