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Bon App tit!

The possibilities are endless with this one bowl of dough. How about rolling out the dough and putting a hot dog inside and then popping it in the oven at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes?

Make it healthy by using chicken hot dogs or a variety of vegetarian, healthy and tasty hot dogs. Or take the Bisquick dough and season it with garlic, cayenne pepper and cook on a baking pan at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Now shred some low fat cheese and place the cheese on top of the biscuits for the last 5 minutes.

Couple the spicy biscuits with vegetarian chili of healthy soup.

The point is that your family can make meals together and even the smallest hands can be part of the action. It doesn't have to be expensive or unhealthy. In fact, while you're preparing the meal you can discuss making healthy food choices and why those choices are so important. It can also be a time to discuss what is going on with everyone in the family.

Family meals are definitely not a time to fight or to discuss controversial topics, preserve this time for pleasant discussions, the enjoyment of the meal and the satisfaction in having created something together.

It won't be easy to manage everyone's schedules so that regular family meals are possible, but it is a goal worth fighting for.

Yes, you will be protecting your children from higher levels of risk taking but you will also be creating important and indelible family memories. When my daughter was very young,

I made Leek soup and in a pinch, used a purple ribbon to tie the leeks together and the soup turned purple. The soup was delicious and my daughter still remembers the day that I served her delicious purple soup.

Youth that do not abuse alcohol, tobacco or drugs before the age of 21 almost never become abusers of these substances later on. If having regular meals with your children could help to protect them from abusing substances, wouldn't it be worth it?

Remember, all kids count.

Reach the writer at hurlburt@wildblue.net

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