christmas-leftover-turkey-casseroleLeftover recipes aren’t just for Thanksgiving. With all those yummy leftovers from Christmas, you and your children can cook up a storm together. Here are some cooking recipes for kids.

Tomato Wrap Sandwich

Using either chicken, ham, turkey, or whatever leftover meat you have, you can create a delicious wrap. You’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup honey Dijon salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast (or whichever meat you have)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 4 slices Muenster or Swiss cheese

Combine the salad dressing and mayo in a bowl and then stir in the meat, green pepper, and tomatoes. Line the tortillas with lettuce and cheese. Add in the mixture and roll up tightly.

Turkey Casserole

You’ll need:

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2 cups chopped leftover turkey
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs – well beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup grated cheese

Simply mix all the ingredients together and place in a casserole dish. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour on 350 degrees.

Candy Canes

I’m sure you probably have a lot of candy canes floating around, so make good use of them. Use them as stirrers for hot drinks, crush them into vanilla frosting for desserts, sprinkle crushed candy canes onto sundaes, or dip them into a chocolate coating.

These cooking ideas for kids are a great way to put those leftovers to good use!

V lasagna - vegetable layerWith child obesity seeing no real end in sight, it’s important to learn about healthycooking recipes for kids. If you’re raising your child as a vegetarian, or just want a healthier alternative, here’s a delicious recipe for vegetable lasagna.

You’ll need:

  • 1 lb. zucchini
  • 1 lb. squash
  • ¼ tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 c. tomato pasta sauce
  • 16 oz. low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 c. seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 c. mozzarella, part-skim
  • 3 c. spinach
  • 1 c. fresh basil
  • nonstick cooking spray

Heat the oven to 425 degrees and coat two small baking pans with nonstick spray. Cut zucchini and squash lengthwise into strips about 1/4 inches thick. Spread them on the pans in a single layer and season with Italian dressing. Bake for 25 minutes, turning them over halfway through cooking. When done, reduce the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat the pasta sauce over medium heat and then mix in the spinach. Then in a food processor blend the cottage cheese, basil, egg yolks, and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese until smooth.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs on the bottom of a baking dish. Then layer about half of the zucchini and squash. Next, spread the cottage cheese mixture over the vegetables. Sprinkle with more bread crumbs and layer the remaining vegetables. Then sprinkle the rest of the breadcrumbs over the top. Pour the sauce evenly on the top and sprinkle both the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 35 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and brown.

fda-logoWe here at Playing Kitchen are always talking about cooking ideas for kids and new recipes to try, but since we’re all about food, I think this new FDA law is worth mentioning. Last week President Obama signed a new bill that will spend $1.4 billion ensuring the safety of our food. The FDA will have the power to increase inspections at facilities and recall food that has been contaminated. The bill was passed in response to all the outbreaks suffered last year. Remember all those eggs recalled in August and the peanut butter scare?

President Obama said that his own daughter eats peanut butter at least three times a week and he doesn’t want to worry if she’s going to get sick from eating her lunch. Every year, about 1 in 6 people get sick from food-borne illnesses. The goal of this new bill is to significantly decrease these numbers. Training will be provided to facilities so that they can easily comply with new requirements. Beforecooking for kids or yourself, be aware of the products you are buying. You can check the FDA’s website for updates and notices about any food recalls. We’re all hoping this bill will help improve the quality of the foods we eat.

healthy-eating-familyThe month of January seems to be flying by and people across the country are trying their best to keep their New Year’s resolutions, at least for the remainder of the month. Many people make resolutions to better improve themselves, but what about parents? Did any of your resolutions include your children? With child obesity continually on the rise, maybe some of them need to include improving the health of children. Here are changes you can make in your life that will  impact the lives of your children:

  • Be an example. Many parents of overweight children are overweight themselves. Show your kids that you are health-conscious. Even if you aren’t overweight, still set health goals for yourself to show them you are still concerned about your diet.
  • Get them involved in cooking. Browse the rest of our site and blog for cooking recipes for kids. Teach them how to prepare healthy meals for themselves. Also get them involved in family exercise time.
  • Be understanding, but stick to your goals. Resistance will most likely occur, but don’t give in. Don’t use food as a reward or punishment. Show your kids that you firmly stand behind your decision to eat better.
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