As my kids get older nmealtime gets trickier. We’ve always had dinner together as a family, but with bigger kids comes more extra curricular activities and busier schedules. We still make mealtime together a priority because I believe it can bring a family closer to one another. Some days my teens and tweens just want to eat quickly and get back to their individual lives. With the help of Mardi Gras Napkins, I’m going to show you some ways to make mealtime fun with your teens and tweens.
Because I just can’t get enough quality time with my kids these days, I’ve instituted nights of the week where we cook together. Not only does this give kids an extra skill they will need as they get older, but I seriously have so much fun in the kitchen with them. We have an easy dinner that is perfect for getting the kids involved in the cooking, and that’s Frank and Beans Casserole. It’s a one-skillet meal that will teach the kids some chopping, slicing, stirring and mixing. Plus, it’s just fun to crowd the pan full of goodness and watch the cornbread rise on top of the already full pan.
Cooking together gives you more time with your kids, and it really does start the meal off on a high note. We are a music loving family, so we usually blast the tunes in the background while we cook, and it’s true – I can’t help but sing along.
Now you might be wondering how some napkins could make mealtime fun, but it really is true! Mardi Gras Napkins helps us wipe away boredom and bring mealtime fun back to the dinner table because each napkin has a thought provoking question or activity that must be answered or responded to, during mealtime. The graphics are super fun, and I let the kids set the table and place a different napkin on everyone’s plate.
While I’m serving up dinner, the kids have fun going around the table and sharing their napkin, and their response. Then we have everyone share their response to that same napkin. Then we go to the next person, and so on. Everyone found mealtime to be so much fun as the conversations were ignited for the entire meal. We had a lot of laughs too – which really is testament to an entertaining meal.
My oldest took his napkin’s request for a rap about his day, on the funny side. He did start rapping for us, but wouldn’t allow me to video that part. Then his rap turned into his ability to burp the alphabet. Quite impressive, and so very much a teen boy thing to do! Needless to say, everyone was cracking up, and mealtime was a success! Snag a coupon to purchase your very own Mardi Gras Napkins, and start making mealtime fun again!
- 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 packages of hot dogs, sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 Tbs molasses
- 3 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups (15 oz can) tomato sauce
- 3 16 oz cans or 1 family-size can baked beans
- 2 8.5 oz boxes Corn Muffin Mix
- 2 eggs
- 4 Tbs butter, melted
- 2/3 cups milk
- 1 Tbs chili powder (optional)
- 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels and/or 2 cups shredded cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Place a large, oven-safe, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and add olive oil.
- Add the sliced hot dogs to the pan and brown, about 6-8 minutes, with occasional stirring. Add the chopped onion and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine molasses, Worcestershire and tomato sauce. Stir and add to the skillet, along with the baked beans. Bring to a simmer.
- While the hot dog mixture is coming up to a simmer, mix the two packages of muffin mix together with eggs, melted butter, milk, chili powder, and (cheese and corn). Pour the mix over the top of the hot dog mixture in the skillet. Place skillet in the oven and bake until cornbread is light golden in color, 12-15 minutes.
- Hint: The chili powder, tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce and molasses are only to enhance the flavor of the beans, but it’s still tasty without them.