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September, 2008

Cookin with the Kids Image
While the competing schedules of today’s busy modern family make it difficult to share a home cooked meal together, it is not impossible. With a little planning, it can even be fun! Melissa's encourages parents to find the time to gather as a family once a week for a dinner that everyone pitches in to prepare. It’s a great way to teach your children some basic cooking skills and, more importantly, cooking with your children will build memories that will remain in your hearts forever.

Each COOKIN’ with the KIDS feature will offer a simple, healthy and delicious recipe that can be prepared by a child or a group of children working together, under the supervision of an adult. Parents should always read through each recipe carefully to decide the division of labor based on age and ability as well as where help will be especially needed. Since the recipes are the kids’ contribution to a family meal, each article will include suggested complementary dishes from Melissa’s recipe archives for the adults

Spaghetti Squash with Baked Meatballs
Here’s a fun twist on a traditional favorite kid food that takes advantage of the Fall’s new crop of hard squash and may even be a first time experience for many adults. For those who have never tried it, Spaghetti Squash is aptly named and is a tasty substitute for its starchy, high caloric namesake. Actually, the stringy squash has a subtle sweetness that is more flavorful than noodles, so the switch from pasta is a win-win for both the waistline and the palates of all ages!

Young eyes widen with surprise as this squash turns into a bowl of yellow noodle-like strands. Once cut in half, removing the seeds of the squash can be done by your youngest sous chef. Plus, there are two real hands-on steps in this recipe, literally. Allow your kids to separate any squash clumps into strands with their fingers; then put those hours of Play-Doh experience to good use making the meatballs. Who knew that spaghetti and meatballs could be a finger food that can combat child obesity, one squash noodle at a time!

Just for you and the kids: Spaghetti Squash with Baked Meatballs