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Kid-Friendly Spaghetti and Meatballs help!!

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I am attempting to expand the eating habits of my nephew and at the same time teach him some basic cooking skills (He is 13.) He is extremely picky!! there are only a few things he will eat, so I am going to start with those and see if I can expand outward. This Friday we are going to make Spaghetti and Meatballs. He only eats Prego traditional and the frozen meatballs in a bag (which really are fairly good), however, I want to make both the sauce and meatballs from scratch. What I need is a recipe for each that is fairly close to the original. Have any of you already waged this battle and have some great recipes to share?

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  1. "fairly close to the original" ???

    1 Reply
    1. re: Den

      To Prego and to frozen meatballs : )

    2. Not sure if this has too many "weird" things in it, but Lidia's spaghetti and meatballs are my favorite. If anything, you could modify this recipe using things your kid will eat. Or use it just for technique (I think flouring and browning the meatballs is an important step.)

      http://recipes.lidiasitaly.com/Produc...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Petitpois

        That sounds like a good recipe. Unfortunately jarred sauces usually have lots of HFCS or sugar (why kids like it) so he will need to add that to approximate the jarred sauce.

      2. Prego is a decent jarred sauce, altho pretty sweet. My favorite S&MB recipe is the one from Cooks Illustrated. (Membership required to view, but it's worth it.)

        For a free recipe, this one from Barefoot Contessa looks pretty good:

        http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

        Congrats on cooking with your nephew! My step-son is identical; if it's not chili, pizza, chicken nuggets, bean burritos, his grandma's spaghetti or hamburgers, he won't eat it. I'm slowly introducing him to new foods, and can report some small victories. The key is the "no thank you bite." He has to take at least one bite of everything on his plate, and NO theatrics! I've always told him he never has to like anything I cook, he just has to try it once.

        It's incredibly frustrating and may's the time I've lost my temper, but we're slowly coming to understand one another. Now, if we can both survive his teen years.... :O

        1 Reply
        1. re: KenWritez

          Here's a link to the

          Cooks Illustrated Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe
          http://food.yahoo.com/recipes/cooks-i...