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Saturday, August 13, 2022

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Put It On a Stick!

I’m no statistician, but I’d say you probably increase the chances that your kids are going to eat something by at least 50% if you put the food on skewers! After all, who doesn’t love “food on a stick?” It’s fun, easy to assemble, portable, interesting, and it somehow makes everything seem entertaining, even veggies. It’s sort of like kitchen magic! Food served on sticks or skewers seems to automatically suggest that it’s time to party and relax, so this concept might just work on your picky eaters to try some items they normally wouldn’t on a traditional plate.

You may have already tried (and succeeded!) with the “food on a stick” concept during your kids’ toddler and lunch box years. But as everyone gets older, it doesn’t mean the fun has to end. And fun food isn’t just for kids, either! As I continue to be the meal provider for my family year after year, I need to keep changing things up not just for everyone else’s satisfaction, but also for my own sense of creativity to avoid getting into ruts. Cooking ruts can cause burn out, which can ultimately lead to a family spending more money than they should on take out, or the home cook simply resenting the responsibility. I urge you to push through those feelings by always thinking about how you can spin common meals and do something a little out of the box. “Dinner on a stick” is certainly one way!

The “food on a stick” concept is one that has endless possibilities. You can do pancake, waffle, or French toast bites with fruit for breakfast, dessert “pops,” mini burger skewers, salad or sushi sticks, meatballs, kabobs, even chicken nuggets and fries! The goal is to think of how you can take typical meals and “deconstruct” them into bite-size elements to be loaded onto a stick or skewer. It’s also a great way to sneak in some healthy items. For instance, you could do bite-size grilled cheese pieces on sticks and add some grape tomatoes to represent the “tomato soup.” Just maybe, it’ll entice your kids to give them a try!

For something a bit more “grown up” yet still fun, here is my “food on a stick” take on a classic club sandwich. It’s all the elements of the sandwich plus a few extras, as well as some fun condiments for dipping. Best of all, there’s barely any cooking involved. What else can you think to put on a stick? Get skewering and have fun!

 

Club Sandwich on a Stick Elements:

  • bite-size bread chunks
  • cheese cubes
  • deli meats of your choice
  • cornichons
  • grape tomatoes
  • red onion
  • iceberg lettuce
  • bacon pieces and avocado (these don’t skewer well, so put in a bowl)!

 

On the Side:

  • Ranch dressing
  • garlic mayo
  • mustard
  • potato chips
Debra Caffrey
Debra Caffrey
Debra Caffrey is the writer/editor of the Education and Infant & Pregnancy e-newsletters for Fredericksburg Parent and Family. She also writes the monthly Practical Pantry column, sharing her recipes and tips on being a home cook, grocery shopping, and smart meal planning. Debra is the proud mother of an almost-teenage son. When she's not writing, cooking, or parenting, Debra enjoys working out, yoga, running, hiking, traveling, and reading.

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