Most often, I just make classic beef tacos and set up a taco bar. The kids help prepare the fixings, and everybody gets to serve themselves.
This is a perfect dinner for picky eaters. Not only can they pick and choose what they want, but it's also a great way to introduce them to new foods. For example, sometimes I'll include chopped avocado or green salsa along with the taco fixings. The kids may not try it the first (or fifth) time they see it, but just having those new foods there and seeing them on a regular basis helps the kids become familiar with them. I know the kids may never eat avocado at home. But if they are used to seeing it on the table, they may just try it at a friend's house or at college or when they're at a business meeting later in life. You never know!
These are some of the kids' favorite recipes:
- Ground Beef Tacos - These are the classic tacos, but instead of using one of those store-bought seasoning packets (why spend the money and who knows what's in it?), these tacos are made with a mix of seasonings you likely already have in your spice cabinet. Try experimenting with different types of cheese. Monterey Jack works well in tacos. And if you have a Mexican market nearby, try queso fresco.
- Fish Taco Recipe - Who doesn't like fish tacos? This recipe is topped with a cilantro cream sauce that rivals the best restaurant sauces. Don't like making fried foods? No problem - you can make this recipe with grilled fish instead. Any kind of firm fish works.
- Taco Salad Recipe - This easy taco salad is made with lean ground beef, black beans, tortilla chips, cheese and a simple homemade dressing that is so easy and tasty, you will wonder why you ever bought salad dressing before. Kids can help make this recipe, too.
- Taco Dip Recipe - I like to serve this dip for football parties (or any party, really) and as a before-dinner snack. Even though it seems like junk food, this dip is actually filled with protein, calcium, fiber and vitamins, thanks to the vegetarian black beans, tomato salsa and cheese. So if the kids end up filling up on this dip, at least I know they've gotten some good nutrients. Try serving this dip with blue corn tortilla chips or black bean tortilla chips (look for them in the natural foods section of your local grocery store).
- Taco Ring Recipe - This is a classic kid-friendly dinner recipe, made with refrigerated crescent dough, ground beef and cheese. The taco fixings - lettuce, salsa, sour cream, etc. are mounded in the middle of the taco ring, so everybody can assemble their own "tacos." Try adding guacamole or chopped avocado to the fixings.
- Crockpot Taco Casserole - This creamy taco casserole is ideal for busy weeknights, because you can do most of the work in advance, thanks to the slow cooker. And kids just love this recipe.