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One of the chief pleasures of traveling abroad is “tasting” another culture through its cuisine. But I hear from many frustrated parents who say their picky eaters resist adding new dishes and foods to their plate. What’s the best way to encourage the whole family to try new flavors and menu items whether you’re at home or traveling? By getting them invested in meals featuring family-friendly recipes with an international flair.
Palate pleasing adventures prove plentiful when you host international food nights. There are countless amazing recipes out there that channel exotic flavors and tastes in kid-friendly recipes your little ones can help you create.
We’ve compiled a go-to list of kid-friendly recipes and fun dinner ideas for family so that you can bring world exploration via your five senses home.
When children help out in the kitchen by crafting new dishes, they become invested in the process. This investment, in turn, makes them more likely to go out on a limb and try unfamiliar things. The cooking process will demystify ingredients and recipes for them. It will also help them gain familiarity with exotic ingredients while encouraging them to appreciate different flavors and spices.
This kid-friendly version of Mexican Breakfast Pizza from the Wanderlust Kitchen lets you incorporate new flavors into your family’s breakfast menu. Although this twist on breakfast pizzas isn’t the most authentic, your kids will get behind this delectable finger food while being introduced to a new world of Mexican ingredients and flavors. Since these are customizable, you can negotiate about how many new ingredients each kid will try. When dealing with the pickiest eaters, it’s all about choosing your battles.
Another international food that doesn’t require much convincing, even when it comes to the pickiest eaters, is empanadas. Your kids will love making these in the kitchen with you. Not only does this Cheesy Ground Beef Empanadas recipe by Neighbor Food provide a hands-on experience in the kitchen, but it’s also highly adaptable. After all, your kids can try adding different ingredients to the filling, resulting in new flavors and taste experiences.
Whip together Korean Beef Tacos with Spicy Mayo from Midwest Foodie. Tacos are a regular staple of many families’ dinner routines. But why not shake things up with some uniquely Korean flavors? Your kids won’t hesitate diving into these delish eats because they’ll recognize a familiar food, yet they’ll still benefit from an introduction to new flavors and food combinations. And the pickiest eaters can skip the spicy mayo and deconstruct them, resulting in an equally yummy meal.
Do you need an easy meal with global appeal? Turn to your Instant Pot for a quick fix. Your kids can help you create the ultimate Lentil Dal by Cookin’ Canuck, chock full of the wide variety of flavors and spices characteristic of Indian cuisine. Lentils are the showstopper in this recipe, and they pack a healthy punch in the form of folate, iron, protein, and fiber. Let’s face it, though, getting kids to try lentils isn’t always the easiest endeavor. But with this slow-simmered masterpiece, they’ll be asking for seconds.
Finger foods are always a winner when it comes to kids. When you work with your little ones to create these savory Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Kabobs from the Mediterranean Dish, you can introduce them to a variety of new ingredients such as cucumber yogurt dip, tahini, and hummus. Served in a pita or over rice, your family will love this filling meal, which channels the laid back yet yummy cuisine of sunny Greece and Turkey. And if you’ve got kids that are less-than-convinced? Present these kabobs as grilled chicken nuggets.
Are you looking for more international inspiration? Or maybe you’d like a sweet treat to add to your upcoming dinner night? We’ve partnered with Eat2Explore to let families visit the world through food. Eat2Explore is the only family cooking kit that delivers a cultural education through recipes.
Not only will you gain access to delicious recipes that are easy to craft as a family, but Eat2Explore specializes in securing hard-to-find sauces and spices that make a meal truly unique. That means no more grocery store frustration trying to find an obscure ingredient! Start your next global adventure with Eat2Explore’s wide range of family dinner night kits designed to introduce your whole family to international fare, from kitchen to table.
Fun dinner ideas for family start with mouthwatering recipes like those listed above. When you bring your kids into the kitchen and let them help you make these foods, they’ll learn about a different culture through flavor while expanding their taste buds. Cooking international food at home doesn’t have to be expensive, and when you make it a regular activity, your children will look forward to trying new things.
Consider decorating for family dinner nights with items evocative of the place you’ll be taking a culinary journey. You can also add music to your evening, making these experiences feel like a truly special occasion. Follow up these global meals with a family movie corresponding to your theme of the night. Looking for more inspiration? Check out our list of the 11 best travel movies your family will love.
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