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Keep the Children Happy At Your Next Picnic

Planning a backyard party? If kids are involved, parents can do more than dust off the picnic tables and fire up the barbecue. For a "kid-friendly" experience, and to encourage good eating, consider using creative foods and activities to keep children happy and at the table. "The secret is to take what you're already doing and 'fun-it-up' by getting kids involved in the food preparation and party set-up," said Fernando Gonzalez of Dixie, a business of Georgia-Pacific Corp. "If you're serving hamburgers and hot dogs, why not make pizza dogs for the kids?" In the following recipe, a can of pizza sauce and some shredded mozzarella turn a hot dog into a dish that combines two kids' favorites. Children can help by spooning on the sauce, sprinkling cheese on top and adding other toppings. PLUTO PIZZA DOGS (Makes 8 servings) 8 hot dogs 1/2 cup pizza sauce 8 hot dog buns, split 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces) 4 medium green onions, sliced if desired Heat coals or gas grill.

Cut crosswise diagonal slashes 1/2- inch apart and 1/4-inch deep in each hot dog. Heat pizza sauce until hot; keep warm. Grill hot dogs uncovered 4 to 6 inches from medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, turning frequently, until hot and slashes begin to open. Serve hot dogs on buns. Top with pizza sauce, cheese and onions.

For easy, colorful and fun decorations, try disposable tableware for children. Dixie Krazy Kritters features a full place setting that includes plates, cups, bowls, cutlery and napkins in bold designs that kids love. Krazy Kritters plates easily become a simple craft for kids. Just punch two holes on parallel sides of the plate and tie a string through. Cut circles for eyes and you have a quick and easy mask.


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