Tips and Recipes to get Cooking with your Kids: Embrace the Mess and Delicious Chaos
So you’ve taken the step to get cookin with your kids…A fine choice! now that you’ve decided to cross over to that very messy but totally worth the mess cooking with your kids threshold the question is…What are some of the benefits?
It’s true that including the kids in cooking meals requires time, patience, and some extra clean-up, especially when the children are younger. But many experts think it is well worth the effort. Some of these long and short term benefits: Involving children in meal planning, shopping, and food preparation can help get them interested in trying healthy foods they might normally turn their noses up at. Kids are more likely to sit down to a family meal when they helped prepare it. Parents get to spend quality time with their kids. Kids aren’t spending time in front of the TV or computer while they’re cooking. Learning to cook is a skill your children can use for the rest of their lives. Kids who learn to eat well may be more likely to eat healthfully as adults. Positive cooking experiences can help build self-confidence. Open the lines of communication.
Kids having fun in the kitchen, elbow to elbow, are likely to interact with each other and with their parents. Cooking together gives parents and children time together to talk and share thoughts and stories…
So get talkin, cookin and whippin’ up some really tasty treats, and keep reading for kid-friendly recipes, and tips to get you started
Bon appetit! and keep reading…
Here are just a few tips to get you started:
#1 Try to prepare meals that include as many, fruits, vegetables, whole grains,
#2 Set out some washed and sliced fruits and vegetables to munch on, and nutritious or zero-calorie beverages to sip while you’re cooking. This means the children (and you!) will be less likely to nibble on the dinner ingredients while you work.
#3 Structure the work area so they are less likely to spill. You can also have them do their measuring with a jellyroll pan underneath to catch any spills.
#4 Remember that the easier dishes are to prepare, the more likely the kids will try making them again. Start with things like breads, muffins, pasta, smoothies, and fun sandwiches. Slowly work your way up to the fancier stuff.
Here are a few recipes that your children should enjoy making and eating. These come straight from: Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, the author of 25 books, including; Someone’s in the Kitchen with Mommy.
This recipe is appropriate for children of all ages, if they use a plastic knife to cut the tomatoes and an adult helps them with the toaster.
3 fresh, ripe Roma tomatoes
4 fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves (or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano flakes)
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
4 slices sourdough, French or country-style bread, about 1/2-inch thick
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash the tomatoes, then cut down the middle with a plastic knife and remove most of the seeds and juice. Chop into small pieces, and add to small bowl.
Tear or chop basil into small pieces, then add to tomatoes in bowl, along with the oregano and garlic.
Toast bread slices to desired brownness. Spoon the tomato mixture evenly over the toasted bread slices, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle about 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the top of each tomato-topped bread slice.
Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 146 calories, 3.5 g protein, 19.5 g carbohydrate, 6.4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.5 g fiber, 181 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 39%.
Egg Mock-Muffin Sandwich
This recipe is best for pre-teens and up (aged 10 and older), but younger kids could whisk the egg mixture and help toast the muffins in a toaster.
2 English muffins, toasted
1 large egg
1/4 cup egg substitute
2 empty tuna cans (or similar cans), washed and label removed
2 slices less-fat American or cheddar cheese slices
Freshly ground pepper
Canola cooking spray
Coat half of a 9″ or 10″ nonstick frying pan with canola cooking spray and heat over medium heat (with adult supervision). In a small bowl, beat the egg with egg substitute with a fork or whisk and set aside.
Pour 1/4 cup of the egg mixture into each tuna can. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper to taste. When the surface of the egg begins to firm, cut around the inside of the cans with a butter knife to free the edges. Turn the eggs over with a cake fork (with adult supervision), and cook for one minute more. Remove eggs from can.
To assemble each sandwich, layer an English muffin bottom with a slice of cheese, then an egg patty, and the muffin top. Yield: 2 sandwich