Kids’ Choice: The Importance of Burrito Night

Kids choosing burrito fillings

If they don’t like what they’re having, they have no one to blame but the “chef.”

I’m no Rick Bayless. And while I occasionally make the effort to cook authentic Mexican, our typical Mexican Burrito night is all about the kids (isn’t everything?). That is, it’s about letting them choose what goes into their “roll-up.”

There are some great parenting systems built around the importance of choice, including Love and Logic which we’ve used. Giving kids some power can have an amazing effect on their behavior. Who wouldn’t want to eat a burrito they made themselves? And if you don’t like it, it’s nobody’s fault but your own, right?

There are boundaries of course, to prevent my Dairydactyls from rolling up only cheese with sour cream. Love and Logic says that the parents define the choices, all of which must be acceptable to them. While it doesn’t always work like magic, it can sometimes melt a stalemate and make both sides feel respected, as everyone comes away with at least a partial win.

What’s your favorite way to use choice at the dinner table? I’d love to hear from you, but no pressure, it’s your choice! I do hope you’ll enjoy our Basic Chicken Burritos recipe here, as some of you may have already seen in the Spinning Meals app.

To your health,

Ryan

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Posted in Dinner, Fast, Food Articles, Kid Friendly, Philosophies
6 comments on “Kids’ Choice: The Importance of Burrito Night
  1. I love to involve my kids when cooking too! We make angry birds sandwiches, snake pizzas & pizza parties where they build their own. We too are SERIOUS Rick Bayless fans! But, it is a big hit here when we have (what we call) a “Throw back Taco Night.” The kids build their own hard shell taco with ground beef etc…my 4 yr old daughter loves rice & cheese tacos. At least she builds them & eats them happily!

    • Ryan Ryan says:

      Rick is awesome. I’m a big fan of hard shell tacos but they’re tough for the little ones to eat without completely exploding on the first bite! But I have to know Jessica – what is an Angry Birds sandwich?

  2. Traci Buxton says:

    I think allowing freedom and autonomy within boundaries is one of the best ways for children to learn to self-regulate behavior and grow up with a sense of respect for themselves and others. Offering a variety of safe, reasonable choices is a great way for families to grow together and learn the art of negotiation and compromise.

    • Ryan Ryan says:

      Right on Traci! I completely agree. There are so many things I like about the restricted-choices model, including learning to live with the consequences of your decisions (Monty Python pops into my mind – random…”Blue, no, reeeeedddddd!!!”). Which is a lot like the real world. Thanks!

  3. Now you made me hungry for Frontera / Topolobampo food! Maybe I’ll just visit your house 😉

    • Ryan Ryan says:

      Yum! I can’t promise you any of that Pam, though I do keep a stash of dried peppers, masa flour, and Cotija cheese. Maybe our food writers’ group should hit Gloria’s Secret Kitchen for lunch some day? That place rocks.

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