Having kids has somehow made it ok to for me to purchase certain kinds of cereal. Lucky Charms is usually the one I fall for, and Carson loves it, of course. But a while back I just had to buy a box of Fruit Loops. I loved them as a kid. It made the milk turn a lovely pastel color and made the milk taste super delicious, like most sugary cereals do. I thought the kids would LOVE it. Both of them refused to eat it. I guess that’s good, but it did mean I had a huge family sized box that was just begging to be made into something delicious.
With a couple of bags of marshmallows in my pantry it was an easy decision to make Rice Krispy Treats, only with Fruit Loops.
I think these are beautiful! The colors are just a lot of fun. When Ben saw these on the counter he said, “Ewww.” He isn’t a big fan of super sweet treats, so the combination of sugar cereal and marshmallow doesn’t appeal to him in the least. They are a little over the top, I’ll admit. And they are sweet, a small square is just enough. I think they’d be a great little treat at a kid’s birthday party. But they’re also a nice little treat for adults as well.
Fruit Loop Marshmallow Treats
16 ounces mini marshmallows
1 stick of butter (plus more for the pan and your hands)
8 cups of Fruit Loops
Butter a 9×13 inch pan and set aside.
Melt butter and marshmallows over low heat in a large pot until marshmallows are melted and the mixture is smooth.
Add in the Fruit Loops and mix well to coat all the cereal.
Pour the mixture out into the pan, then butter your hands and press mixture out evenly. Let cool, then cut into squares.
My kids, ages 3 and 16 months, aren’t very good at eating their vegetables. Fruit, cheese, bread, french fries, ice cream, cookies, chocolate? No problem. But vegetables are another story. Carson will eat a baby carrot from time to time, and Betsy will eat a few green peas if I mix them up in her macaroni. But that’s as good as it gets around here. So in an effort to get them to eat more vegetables I decided to hide them in meatballs. Both of my kids are pretty good at eating meatballs, so I figured this was a genius plan.
The first night I gave them the meatballs plain without sauce, and they weren’t the biggest fans. And I felt like a failure. I went to all that trouble and they didn’t want them!? But the next night I heated them in some pasta sauce and we had much better results. My kids ate vegetables! Without gagging!
These meatballs are simple and geared towards a picky kid’s palate. Not a lot of spice or heat. If your kids are more daring than mine (or if you’ve done a better job of exposing them to spices!) add what you like to the mix. You could also use half beef and half Italian sausage for a more interesting meatball. I used jarred sauce, but if you have a great recipe, then use it…and then share it with me! Do you have any great meals that are healthy and delicious that your kids enjoy? I’d love to hear them. We need all the help we can get!
Meatballs with Zucchini and Carrots
Makes 24-30 meatballs
1 pound ground beef (85/15)
3/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup shredded zucchini (pressed between paper towels to remove excess moisture)
1/4 cup grated onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl and let soak for a couple minutes. Add in beef, egg, vegetables and seasonings and mix (clean hands are a great tool here) until combined.
Form into balls (around golf ball size) and place in a greased pan.
Bake for 30 minutes. You can pour on some sauce in the last 10 minutes of baking or heat the sauce separately.