Food & Drink

Family Style Dinner: Build Your Own Burrito

This Build Your Own Burrito bar recipe is a simple, healthy and fun family style dinner that everyone will love, even picky toddlers.

A few weeks ago I felt like dinner time had become a battle. Specifically dinner time with two toddlers.

If you had asked me then if I’d rather stand in line at the DMV or prepare dinner for my family, I’d grab my keys and head to the DMV in a heartbeat.

One simple change became my saving grace – Family Style Dinner

Instead of plating the kid’s meals in the kitchen and then bringing them to the table, I started bringing the meal to the table and letting everyone serve themselves.

It may sound too simple, but serving meals family style has become a lifesaver in our house at dinner time.

In order for family style to work for us, I used the following as our template to make meal time enjoyable.

Family Style Dinner Guidelines

  • Everyone serves themselves from the options on the table
  • If I am offering a new dish, I pair it with a known favorite so that if someone doesn’t like it, there is something on the table I know they’ll eat
  • If you put something on your plate you have to at least try a bite
  • You eat as much as you want but you have to stay at the table until everyone is done eating

The last guideline has been a big help with my two-year-old son. He will typically take a few bites and declare he is done with dinner. However, I’ve noticed that he’ll continue picking at his food (even after he says he is finished) while he is sitting at the table waiting for the rest of the family to finish dinner.

Build Your Own Burritos – Family Style Dinner Idea

One of our all time favorite family style dinners has become Build Your Own Burritos. Everyone chooses their own toppings to put on their burritos and the kids get a kick out of building their own dinner.

The recipe is simple: Black Beans or Chicken/Steak/Fish, Tortillas, Toppings, and Taco flavored Greek Yogurt (simply mix this taco seasoning blend with greek yogurt).

Segmented tray purchased for $4!

To make it even easier on myself, I took a large segmented tray that was designed for veggie platters (like this one) and filled it with different toppings (cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, avocado, etc). I simply put the platter on the table and served the additional ingredients on the side.

The best part…simply cover the leftover toppings, place in the fridge and pull it out again the next day for lunch or a repeat dinner. So simple.

Build Your Own Burrito
Author: Brynn at The Domestic Dietitian
Prep time:  5 mins
Cook time:  5 mins
Total time:  10 mins
Serves: 4 servings
A simple, family style dinner idea that everyone loves, even kids!
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 4 tortillas
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can black olives, drained and sliced
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup cheese, shredded
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • ½ cup greek yogurt, plain
  • 1 tsp homemade taco seasoning
  1. Warm the black beans over medium heat in a small sauce pan on the stove.
  2. Combine the greek yogurt and taco seasoning in a small bowl and mix well.
  3. Place all other ingredients in a platter or serving dish.
  4. Assemble burritos by layering chosen ingredients on tortilla and topping with taco flavored greek yogurt. Or skip the tortilla and layer over chopped lettuce to create a burrito bowl.

What is your favorite family style dinner? Comment below, I’m in need of ideas!

Follow Brynn on Twitter and visit her blog The Domestic Dietitian

Profile photo of The Domestic Dietitian

Creating a Happy & Healthy Lifestyle in a Hectic Home.