Hello and welcome to Plate in 28! We are two sisters and moms of young kids. We started this site upon realizing how hard it is to get dinner on the table every night! Several years back we were desperately seeking a resource for quick recipes and ways to keep your kids distracted somehow so you could actually cook! We never found that resource…so, we created it!
Between the two of us, we have four kids under the age of eight. We live on opposite coasts, and have very different lifestyles, family structures and home situations. We feel this helps us capture different parent realities, which is important to us because there is no standard family. We test out everything on our site to hone in on what’s practical and what works across-the-board for different families’ lives. And our ever-resourceful mom, Melodee (Mimi to the grandkids!) chimes in every step along the way. We hope you enjoy our site!
—Marcie & Julie
About Plate in 28
Plate in 28 helps grown-ups get food on the table with simple, 28 minute recipes & activities to occupy the kids. Alongside each recipe, you will also find some simple tips to “kidify” each meal to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
Because one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to kids and not all households are the same, we pair each of our recipes with options for different kid activities. If your kid wants to help you cook, we offer tips on which tasks are best for little hands, and sometimes tips on the best kids kitchen tools. For creative or independent kids, we have a craft that centers around the main ingredient in the recipe. If your kids are used to screen time or it’s just ‘that kind of night,’ we have options for different educational programs, with thoughtful content analysis.
We come at this honestly, as two moms who have struggled with getting meals on the table every night (and still do!). The goal isn’t to churn us parents into five-star chefs, but to provide practical, healthy recipes that make cooking for the family less daunting. Easy recipes and minimal kid interference. Enjoy!
Note: You’ll find that we gear our activities and tips mostly towards toddler or young, school-aged children.
ACTIVITIES FOR YOUR KIDS
help you cook!
Maybe your kid doesn’t want to leave your side or just loves to help out in the kitchen. We suggest ways your child can assist you while cooking our recipes. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, cooking with your kids has some real educational benefits, like boosting self-esteem and fostering healthy eating habits.
do a craft!
For more independent kids or kids who like to focus on a project, we suggest creative, hands-on activities for them to do while you cook. Each craft ties into a recipe’s main ingredient. The goal is not for the grown-ups to buy a bunch of supplies and hover over their kids. We want to keep it simple and for kids to be independently engaged, with the exception of really little ones who might need some assistance.
Note: Even the simplest crafts require some setup; so, we recommend offering these crafts on nights when you’re not as strapped for time.
have some screen time!
We personally believe that high-quality programming can have educational benefits when used responsibly. And there is research in support of these benefits. The key is to carefully choose the programs your kids watch, monitor what they are watching, and engage with them on the topics they’ve learned. Marcie has a background in educational media (an Ed. M., Harvard Graduate School of Education; BS., University of Pennsylvania). And she uses her background to evaluate the educational content of various programs (so you don’t have to!). We all need downtime. So, why not let your kids have it while you cook dinner?!
A note about screen time: Keep in mind that we should limit how much our kids watch. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children younger than 18 months avoid TV altogether, and that children ages 2-5 limit their screen use to 1 hour (or less) per day. In our opinion, meal-prep can the perfect time to utilize your kids’ screen time!