Recipes! How to make a kid-friendly Cinco de Mayo dinner

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner, and we’re so fortunate to again have an amazing series of kid-friendly recipes from the talented Mrs. V. She makes delicious homemade Guacamole, Taco Shell Bowls, Mojo Chicken and finishes the meal with Fiesta Fruit Pizzas. Delicious and kid-approved!

This Kingsland mom, Marissa Velasquez, has her own blog – The Domestic Adventures of Mrs. V – where she shares her passion for cooking, crafts and style. She’s also a great event planner. I would tell you a million examples of her cool ideas, but it’s better just to check her website out yourself at domesticadventuresofmrsv.com. She writes guest posts for Mamamelia readers. Thanks, Marissa!

Make these delicious dishes with your kids for your family's Cinco de Mayo celebration!

Make these delicious dishes with your kids for your family’s Cinco de Mayo celebration!

Mexican food is my all-time favorite type of cuisine to eat! I am, after all, from California, home of the best Mexican food outside of Mexico. Cinco de Mayo gives me an excuse, as if I really need one, to make a delicious dish from south of the border. This year, however, we have a child who likes to eat everything that we do, and Mexican food isn’t always very “kid-friendly.” It can be spicy, very messy (younger kids may not be able to hold a fully loaded burrito), and it may be weird and foreign to a picky eater. I was on a mission to make a Cinco de Mayo dinner that kids and adults alike would love to eat.

I believe the menu I created is not only easy for kids to eat, but it is a good way to introduce Latin flavors that many have never had before. These dishes are totally customizable too, which means you can tailor them to your family’s likings. This meal also gets everyone involved – each person gets to make their own dinner! Did you know that kids are more likely to eat a meal if they help prepare it? It’s a win-win for all!

Homemade Guacamole

Our first course is guacamole, because what Mexican feast would be complete without it?! This is a great appetizer that kids of all ages can help out with.

Mrs. V's homemade guacamole. / All photos courtesy of Marissa Velasquez

Mrs. V’s homemade guacamole. / All photos courtesy of Marissa Velasquez

Ingredients:

  • 3 Hass Avocados
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • ½ yellow or red onion, chopped (whatever your preference may be)
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Pinches of salt and pepper
  • Pinch of Garlic Powder (I like to add this, as it gives a nice little pop of flavor)

The Process:

Cut the avocados in half and remove seeds. Scoop out avocado from the peel and put in a mixing bowl. Taking a fork or potato masher (this is something your child will be able to help with), mash the avocadoes until they are the consistency you like (they should be a little chunky). Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir together, making sure everything is nicely incorporated. Chill in the fridge for an hour or two before serving. Enjoy!

Kids go wild for this guacamole – especially when you make it enjoyable for them. We like to eat it with these awesome multigrain tortilla chips (shown in the picture), but you can use cookie cutters to cut out shapes in tortillas to make your own chips (use whole wheat tortillas if you are trying to stay on the healthier side). Simply sprinkle with a little salt and bake the shapes in a 350-degree oven until they are crispy. Just keep a close eye on them so they do not burn. Your child will love to dunk the cool shapes into this yummy dip. And it’s green! What could be more fun?

Homemade Taco Shell Bowls

4-Taco-Shells

Our main course was created so that you and your family can have a unique Cinco de Mayo, made the way you like it. As an added bonus, this dish couldn’t be simpler to create! I used tortillas to make homemade taco shell bowls which our family used to fill with the toppings that we wanted. We found this to be an excellent way to eat family-style. You can set all the toppings out in the middle of the table or make a buffet line on your kitchen counter. Everyone comes out happy because they get what they want, and the children will enjoy the task of making their own dinner as well.

What you will need:

  • Tortillas (I used whole wheat burrito-sized ones for the adults and smaller taco-sized ones for our son)
  • Muffin Tin
  • Toppings: Rice, Beans (refried or black work great), Mojo Chicken (see recipe below), Ground beef, fish, cheese, lettuce, olives, green onion, jalapeños, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, etc.

The Process:

Take a tortilla and fit it in an upside-down muffin tin as shown in the photo below.

Place tortillas on underside of muffin tins as shown here.

Place tortillas on underside of muffin tins as shown here.

Bake these in a 350-degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until tortilla is crispy and will hold its bowl shape. Then fill with topping of your choosing. Our bowls consisted of layers of rice, black beans, mojo chicken, lettuce, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole. Our son’s bowl included rice, beans, chicken and guacamole…and he ate every bite! The most delicious part of this dish is perhaps the bottom… when you have eaten everything in your bowl the bottom is saturated with flavor and becomes a tasty bite to finish off your meal!

Mojo Chicken

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • Juice from 3 oranges
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 4-5 cloves minced garlic
  • Pinch of Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Oregano
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts

The Process:

Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Pour mixture into gallon-sized Ziploc bag and add chicken breasts. Make sure to coat the chicken well, then put in fridge and let marinate for at least an hour (overnight would be best, however).

Put grill on medium-high heat and cook chicken for 5-8 minutes on each side (cooking time really depends on how large the breasts are, just make sure internal temperature has reached 165 before taking off grill). Chop the chicken and enjoy in your taco bowl!

Fiesta Fruit Pizzas

Our Cinco de Mayo dinner was great, but this dessert was the hands-down favorite in our house! It has nothing to do with the Mexican culture at all, but it is an enjoyable/ lighter way to enjoy dessert. I call it the “Fiesta Fruit Pizza.” I layered strawberries and kiwis on cream cheese to mimic the Mexican flag (green, white and red). But my husband and son had fun making their strawberries and kiwis “confetti” atop their pizzas as you can see in the photos. This dessert is a sweet way to wrap up a fantastic meal, and serves as another way for kids to get involved in making their own food. Perhaps your child has never tried kiwi and decided to give it a taste after putting it on their cookie? That’s a “win” for us parents!

Fiesta-Fruit-Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Sugar cookie dough (I used store bought)
  • 1 cup softened cream cheese
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup chopped kiwis
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (optional)

The Process:

The store-bought sugar cookies come in little balls; take each ball and flatten them out into a circle, like a little pizza crust. If you want to sprinkle them with a little cinnamon and sugar, now would be the time to do that. I was going for a dessert with some Mexican flavors and thought of the churro. The cinnamon and sugar add a nice touch but they are totally optional as you will be topping the cookie with other goodies. Cook sugar cookies according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Set aside.

When cookies are done, let them cool completely before you begin to decorate. It might help to set up little stations as shown in photo #2 below, so each child can decorate their own cookie. Smear cream cheese mixture on cookies, and then top with strawberries and kiwis.

Fiesta-Fruit-Pizza-Steps

I hope this menu gives you some ideas as to what to cook for your Cinco de Mayo celebrations. I also believe it will help expand a few palates to tastes from places other than the U.S. Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Marissa-Profile-PicMarissa is a teacher turned stay-at-home-mom/military housewife who loves to cook, craft, plan events, and dress to impress…all while sticking to a budget and chasing after an active toddler! Domestic Adventures of Mrs. V is a way to show others with her same interests or those who are in her same situation that you can “do it all” – or at least, do whatever it is that makes you happy in life while being a mom, wife and watching your finances.

There are many more great ideas for fun cooking, crafting, event planning and even fashion for moms on her blog, domesticadventuresofmrsv.com.

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