Children's Health

Parents’ night off

After a hard day’s work or a long week, why not take the evening off and let your child cook and serve you dinner? If you are a parent of a younger child, why not make preparing dinner a family event?

The benefits of allowing children to help out around the kitchen extend beyond just another meal. Many children enjoy cooking, but most children enjoy spending time with their parents. What a great way to praise your child for a job well-done. Preparing a meal together is an ideal way to connect to and spend quality time with your child. Besides, children are more likely to eat something when they have helped to prepare it.

What could make a more perfect evening than to have your children prepare a delicious AND heart-healthy meal? Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs with Brown Rice is an easy heart-healthy recipe and can be adjusted to please even the pickiest of taste buds. If someone at your table does not like peppers, try substituting apples or broccoli.

Kid-Friendly Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs with Brown Rice

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (at least 36 pieces), all visible fat discarded, cut into bite-size pieces

2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

20 oz. canned, unsweetened juice from pineapple chunks can

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced Or 1 tsp. jarred, minced garlic

Have kids add soy sauce, 1-cup pineapple juice and garlic into the plastic bag. Seal and let chicken marinate in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

Chicken Kebabs
Non-stick cooking spray

36 pineapple chunks, packed in their own juice

2 fresh, chopped bell peppers (chopped into 36 pieces)

1 pint grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes

12-15 wooden skewers

2 cups brown rice, cooked to package instructions OR
2 8.8- oz. packaged, cooked brown rice

Preheat oven to 400° F. Take chicken out of marinade and place in a bowl.

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Have kids wash bell peppers and tomatoes before chopping peppers. For kid-friendly assembly, place the pineapple, chopped peppers and tomatoes in 3 separate bowls.

Let kids add 1 tomato to the bottom of 1 skewer. Top with pineapple, chicken and bell pepper 3 times, letting kids add everything but the raw chicken. Let kids add 1 more tomato to top. Repeat with the rest of skewers.

After 12 skewers are made (and all the chicken has been used), have kids make their own skewers with any of the remaining pieces. Cook kebabs in oven until chicken is cooked, about 15 minutes. Serve with rice.

Source: American Heart Association

Please call 706-721-KIDS (5437), or visit us online at for more information on our Pediatric Heart Program.

About the author

Children's Hospital of Georgia

Children's Hospital of Georgia

Children’s Hospital of Georgia is the only facility in the area dedicated exclusively to children. It staffs the largest team of pediatric specialists in the region who deliver out- and in- patient care for everything from common childhood illnesses to life-threatening conditions like heart disorders, cancer and neurological diseases.