Parenting Hack: How to Make Side Dishes Fun for Kids

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Being a mother teaches me a lot about patience and creativity, especially when it comes to mealtime. And Shabbat is no different. An important lesson I learn from my kids, is that the presentation is just as important as the food itself. For some reason my kuggle is a hit when I serve them in muffin tins instead of in a loaf pan. I have learned that I have to put in the same amount of effort in planning side dishes for the kids, as I do with planning chicken meals. I need to make mealtime a journey and an adventure for the kids. Kids like to eat bite sized foods with lots of colors. Fun and appealing is what it’s all about.

Here is a list of my favorite fun and healthy side dishes for kids on Shabbat.


Sweet Potato Chips


  • 1 1⁄2 tsp paprika
  • 1⁄4 tsp black pepper
  • 1⁄4 tsp onion powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1⁄4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1⁄4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1⁄8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 large sweet potato
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)
  2. In a small bowl, stir together paprika, black pepper, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper
  3. Slice the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, brush each half with olive oil; rub the seasoning mix over the cut surface of each half, and lace sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, or in a shallow pan.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until tender, or about 1 hour


Applesauce Carrot Muffins


  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded carrots (about 2-3 medium carrots)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt
  3. Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the oil, honey, egg, vanilla, and applesauce
  4. Stir ingredients together until just combined and there are still some spots of flour remaining
  5. Fold in the shredded carrots just until combined (don’t overmix or the muffins will be dense)
  6. Distribute the batter evenly among the muffin liners
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean
  8. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely


 Quinoa Vegi Salad


  • 4 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 can yellow corn, rinsed + drained
  • 2/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 6 scallions, chopped (whites and greens)
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper for taste


  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions (1 1/4 cup dry) and let cool
  2. Mix corn, pepper, scallions, and cilantro
  3. Add cooled quinoa and mix well
  4. In a separate bowl, mix lime juice, salt, cumin and olive oil
  5. Pour lime mixture over quinoa mixture and mix well


Zucchini Fritters


  • 3 (about 400g) medium zucchini
  • 75g (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
  • 3 shallots, ends trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil


  1. Trim the ends from zucchini and coarsely grate the zucchini.
  2. Place in a colander and squeeze out as much excess moisture as possible and transfer to a bowl.
  3. Stir in self-raising flour, shallots, egg, parsley, oregano, salt and nutmeg
  4. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Drop four 2 Tablespoonful measures of zucchini mixture into pan
  5. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through
  6. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel


Salmon Patties


  • one 7.5 oz. can red salmon, drained
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil


  1.  Place drained salmon in a bowl and mash with a fork
  2. Mix with onion, red pepper, parsley, egg, and crumbs
  3. Shape into four patties
  4. Heat oil in a pan and cook patties for about 5 minutes until browned, turning once


Which side dishes do you like? Please share your favorite kid friendly recipes below. 



Wife and mommy of 4 tinies. Fashion lover and Krav maga enthusiast. Proud Israeli and Canadian. Happy baker and all things artistic. Avid reader and culture loving tri-lingual. Chesed fan and loves to help family, friends and the community.

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