Hands up if you love tacos? Keep them up if tacos are a calmer, less stressful and more successful meal than other meals?
For children, make your own meals like tacos mean they get some control as to what goes onto their plate (and they love that). It’s empowering for them. In these meals, there are well liked foods (like tortillas and cheese) next to foods they are still learning to like (like veggies and meat or fish).
Meals served family style (in the middle of the table rather than plated up) often creates less pressure on both children and adults as everyone creates their own plate from the choice in the middle. Deconstructed family style meals are great because nothing is touching each other, which is helpful for fussier eaters. Children get pressure free exposures to these foods as they are in the middle of the table, but not on their plate.
Meals you might already be eating family style are tacos and BBQ. To help you incorporate more deconstructed family meals, we created this post of ten meals that are just as awesome as tacos. We’ll start with tacos, to give you a little extra inspiration and then give you ten more meals that can be served up just like tacos.
When serving food this way, to save on dishes serve on a large chopping board, large platter or in containers so you can pop leftovers back in the fridge easily.
The below ideas have lots of variety and options for you to add to your meals but that doesn’t mean you need to use them all! Meals can be as simple or elaborate as you like, it’s up to you!
Base ideas: Soft and/or hard tortillas
Topping ideas to have on offer: Grated cheese, salsa, mashed avocado, corn (fresh or canned or frozen), carrot, tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, lettuce, spinach, tinned pineapple (drained)
2. Sushi or sushi bowl
Base ideas: Brown, basmati or sushi rice
Protein suggestions to add: Salmon (smoked or cooked), tuna, tofu, teriyaki chicken or beef, egg omelette
Topping ideas to have on offer: Nori sheets, sesame seeds, corn kernels, make your own quick pickle, cucumber, carrot, capsicum, asparagus, spinach, avocado
3. Burger bar
Base ideas: Any type of roll
Topping ideas to have on offer: Lettuce, spinach, canned and drained beetroot slices, pineapple slices, grated carrot, sliced tomato, cheese, avocado, cucumber, coleslaw, cherry tomatoes
4. Chicken Mango salad
Protein suggestions to add: Chicken, boiled egg, natural bacon
Topping ideas to have on offer: Lettuce, spinach, mango, strawberries, spinach, capsicum, cheese, mayonnaise, balsamic vinegar or glaze, roast chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, croutons, olives, nuts
Base ideas: Chicken, beef or veggie stock, ideally salt reduced
Protein suggestions to add: Chickpeas, shredded chicken, cooked tofu strips
Topping ideas to have on offer: Capsicum, steamed broccoli, corn, carrot sticks, snowpeas, rice noodles (cooked), sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, garlic, roast pumpkin, roast potato
Base ideas: Pasta, any type
Topping ideas to have on offer: Diced tomatoes or passata, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumber, corn kernels, baby spinach leaves, olives, pine nuts, feta cheese, grated cheese, roasted veggies, sun dried tomatoes, pesto, pine nuts
8. Baked potatoes
Base ideas: Roast potato, roast sweet potato
Protein suggestions to add: Natural bacon, baked beans, Foost’s anything sauce, leftover chicken or beef
Topping ideas to have on offer: Diced tomatoes, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, mushrooms, carrot, zucchini, corn kernels, olives, pine nuts, grated cheese, tinned pineapple, tinned beetroot, lettuce, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, salsa
9. Design your own pizza
Base ideas: Pita bread or pizza bases spread with tomato paste, pesto, olive oil or tzatztki
Protein suggestions to add: Chicken, ham, egg, salami
Topping ideas to have on offer: Mushrooms, onion, spinach, capsicum, grated zucchini, pear, roast pumpkin,, pineapple, feta, bocconcini cheese, grated cheese, avocado
10. Gado Gado
Protein suggestions to add: Peanut sauce, roast chicken, hard boiled egg
Topping ideas to have on offer: Lettuce, mushrooms, baby corn, cherry tomatoes, rice noodles (cooked), broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green beans, snow peas, bean sprouts, cabbage
Which will you try this week?