Should kids be allowed to sit at the ADULT table?

 

Photo Credit: Putneypics via Compfight cc

Should kids be allowed to sit at the ADULT table?
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

With Christmas and the remaining winter holidays now upon us, we’ve seen a wide variety of yummy new recipes and neat ideas for preparing and serving a spectacular holiday dinner. Whether it’s roasting a terrifically juicy turkey, setting a beautiful holiday table, or even accommodating guests with food allergies and aversions…we’ve seen it all. One recent article that really stood out for us discussed eliminating the infamous (and sometimes dreaded) “kids’ table.”

 

I don’t know about you but, as a child, I remember spending all of my holiday dinners at the kids’ table! Surrounded by cousins and siblings, I had a wonderful time goofing around, giggling boisterously and enjoying dinner with people my age. There was, however, an unspoken desire to graduate to the ADULT table. When my cousins left for college and then returned home for the holidays, I noticed that they had earned seats at the highly coveted ADULT table. I must admit that I was more than just a little bit jealous! When would I get to sit there? What mature and important topics would the adults be discussing at that most desirable grown-ups’ table?

 

I can remember sneaking over to the ADULT table when I’d finished my meal to listen in on all those grown-up conversations. It was surely one of my most favorite things to do! And when I finally became old enough to officially join them, I loved every minute of it. My time at the grown-ups’ table and the discussions I shared with my elder relatives were incredibly important to me. In fact, I can still remember some funny stories that were told over countless family meals. However, I also remember my childhood meals shared with my younger family members…and I always had just as good a time at the kids’ table.

 

A recent editorial column in Bon Appétit suggested that parents should “lose the kids’ table.” It clearly stressed that having the entire family together, regardless of age, creates better dinners and memories for families. I think I have to agree with them. While it may take some effort to keep the dinner conversation “kid-friendly,” you’re crafting more bonding time with your children, therefore making memories that will last a lifetime.

 

Now, when it comes to holiday meal seating plans for my kids, the deciding factor is simply the space available. If we have room or access to an ample-sized table at our holiday functions, we most certainly have the kids join us to eat their meal. I enjoy sharing stories with, and talking to, the kids. It helps us all to create wonderful new and lasting family memories. Sometimes, however, when we have limited accessible table space, we’re actually forced to set up a kids’ table. But I don’t think they really mind too much; the kids get to spend quality time with their cousins and bond over their own fun-filled conversations and meals.

 

Do you have a kids’ table at holiday and family get-togethers? Does the amount of space you have in your house/apartment play into the decision? Or do the kids and adults sit together at the same table? We’d love to hear your take!

 

Photo: Ellen Silverman and Cooking Light


Also, we wanted to share these amazingly delicious holiday side dish recipes from Cooking Light! I mean, how good do these roasted brussels sprouts look?

Leftover Turkey Soup

Leftover Turkey Soup

I don’t know about you but I still have quite a bit of turkey leftover from Thanksgiving dinner. We’ve been eating sandwiches all weekend and wanted to try something different to use up the last of the turkey. Luckily, with a bit of recipe searching I was able to whip up a quick, and tasty, Leftover Turkey Soup:

Photo Credit: Lori L. Stalteri via Compfight cc

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups broth of choice (check out this great recipe to make your own turkey broth)
  • 2 cups leftover turkey, shredded
  • 2 cups milk or dairy-free milk alternative
  • 1 can beans of choice (I used black beans to add more color)
  • 1 cup of frozen corn or frozen veggie of choice
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp oil of choice (I used organic canola oil)
  • 1 tsp chili powder (you can make it 2 if you prefer spicy)
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh parsley for garnish

 

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot. Add chopped carrots and celery. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add chopped onion, minced garlic, chili powder, and cayenne pepper (optional), stirring occasionally.
  3. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, flour and salt. Add to soup and stir until incorporated. After roughly 5 minutes, you should see the soup thicken slightly.
  5. Add the shredded turkey and corn. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. When ready to serve, garnish with chopped parsley.

 

We hope you enjoy this recipe! What do you do to use up leftover turkey after Thanksgiving? 

Cauliflower "Potato" Latkes

With Hanukkah just under a week away, we wanted to share a recipe that is sure to be a hit at your upcoming holiday party! We’ve swapped the potatoes for cauliflower in this recipe, however, you could easily split the recipe to have half  potatoes and half cauliflowers. The choice is yours!

Cauliflower “Potato” Latkes

Photo Credit: elana’s pantry via Compfight cc

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, washed and chopped into small pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (you can also grind matzah to make a matzah meal)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Canola, or oil of choice, for frying
  • Optional: shredded carrots or zucchini for added color and nutrition!

Directions:

  1. Steam cauliflower in a large pot for about 10-15 minutes, or until tender. (Make sure the cauliflower is tender enough to mash) Drain.
  2. Mash the cauliflower with a potato masher, or large fork.
  3. Transfer the mashed cauliflower to a bowl. Add the eggs and flour. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Heat a saute/frying pan with enough oil to cover the bottom over medium-high heat.
  5. Once the pan is heated thoroughly, take a scoop of cauliflower and form into a latke-like shape. Add the latke to the pan and flatten slightly. Cook for about 2-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip and cook for a remaining 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove from pan and place on a rack or towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Repeat until all cauliflower is used.
  7. Allow to cool and serve.

This recipe makes about 15 latkes and makes a great addition to your favorite Hanukkah meals. We especially love pairing it with this Fennel and Spinach Soup with Roasted Pepper Yogurt from Cooking Light’s Healthy Holiday Menu.

Do you have any recipes for Hanukkah that you’d like to share? Or any modifications to traditional recipes? We’d love to see them!