Snow day recipes for the kids

Jan 5, 2010 at 11:58 a.m. ET

Snow days mean your kids are home from school and you get an opportunity to change your schedule and have a fun afternoon romping with them in the powdery fluff. Snow days also give you the chance to cook an array of warm, wonderful and hearty meals to keep your family fueled for the snow play. Here are a few tips and recipes for snow day comfort food.

Kids drinking hot chocolate

1. Begin with a hearty breakfast

A snow day calls for a filling breakfast to provide lasting energy for playing in the snow. Homemade pancakes or waffles are an easy choice and become even more kid-friendly when you add fruit or chocolate chips to the batter. Homemade hot cocoa is a breakfast must and can be flavored with cinnamon or brown sugar and topped with fresh whipped cream.

2. Recharge with lunch or an afternoon snack

After a few hours of snow fun, the kids will need to refuel with food that won't leave them sluggish. Save the heavier dishes for later in the day. An optimal lunch or afternoon snack is hot soup and a grilled sandwich. You can even plan ahead and make a large pot of homemade soup the day before a snow storm is predicted so it's ready and waiting. A mug of hot cocoa and a warm homemade cookie can be a sweet midday nosh that will gear your kids up for more snow day fun.

3. Get your kids in the kitchen

If your kids tire of sledding, snowman making and snowball fights – or if the weather takes a particular inclement turn for the worst – bring the kiddos into the kitchen to help you prepare the day's food or, more fun for them, bake cookies. Let your kids decide the types of cookies they want to make and allow them to mix the batter. If they decide on cut-out or sugar cookies, they can choose the cookie cutters and cookie décor.

4. Make a hearty meal for dinner

A filling comfort food meal like macaroni and cheese, lasagna, or chicken and dumplings is a delicious way to end a snow day afternoon. Best yet, they are simple dishes that can be made in advance and will feed a crowd. Stew and chili are also great options because you can simply throw all the ingredients in the crock pot and let them simmer all day while you are out enjoying the snow with the kids.

5. Kick your feet up and relax

You've had a long day and deserve a stress-free hour to relax. After the kids are asleep, sit back and sip a mug of hot cocoa. If you'd like it adult-style, add a splash of Bailey's Irish Cream or Kahlua for a perfect end to a perfect day.

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