It’s been awhile since I have done a Dinner Bar, but when I announced it to my kids last night, they were all excited, which tells me this continues to be a positive approach to feeding, no matter the age. It also helps me be a happier cook!
If you are new and not sure about the Dinner Bar, be sure to read about the rationale behind it.
In a nutshell, this approach gives you leadership with meal components, but lets your child decide how to put it all together.
While a Meatless Mexican Bowl isn’t a new concept by any stretch, it is to my family. So let’s dig in!
You will need:
2 cups of cooked rice of your choice (I used white rice)
Pinto beans (recipe below)
Shredded lettuce or Napa cabbage (I used a combo of both)
Sour cream (optional)
Recipe for Pinto Beans (adapted from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook)
1# dried pinto beans
7 ½ cups of water
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (for a mild hint of spice, use 1 teaspoon)
Put all ingredients in a crock pot; cook on low for 7-8 hours.
As with all Dinner Bars, put out the ingredients in bowls or plates and let your child build his own concoction! I added a side of fruit to this meal, and we opted for iced water for a drink.
Care-bear and Meerose took the full complement of ingredients; My Little Man opted for rice and avocado with lots of fruit on the side; Gee was sick so she had cereal. I loved it and will definitely make it again!!
What’s your favorite dinner bar idea?
Written by: Jill Castle, MS, RDN
Published on: September 26, 2013
Updated on: October 9, 2019