Monday, January 27, 2014

Cooking with Kids

With the Super Bowl and Valentines Day fast approaching, this household is about to cook up some classic American cuisine!  Here are some ideas that work for us when cooking with the kids.

Prepare your ingredients in advance.  In my house the baking drawer is the holy grail - chocolate chips, marshmallows, cocoa…My little ones are like Pavlov's dogs.  They here that drawer open and come running.  It works best if I pull all my ingredients out (as quickly as possible) to avoid disaster.

Prepare you children in advance. Step stool? check.  Apron? check. Kid-sized bowl and whisk? Check.

Double the time you normally take to prepare the recipe.  The process of working around with kids in the kitchen can be frustrating.  Don't watch the clock.  Try to enjoy the process.  I find when I rush I make unnecessary mistakes - spills, wrong quantities, etc.

Embellishing is not necessary.  Sifted powdered sugar sure would've looked nice on these lemon bars.  But that's just asking for trouble, so we skipped it.  Omit embellishments if you need - no one will ever know the difference!

Do let the kids taste the ingredients.  Be sure to make recipes the whole family can enjoy.

This little guy can't have peanut butter yet, so we avoid any recipes calling for that ingredient.  He's tasting a lemon here:)

Use the measuring tools as a math tool.  My 3 year old loves talking about the measuring cups and identifying tools.  Take the opportunity to talk about quarters, halves, etc.

Talk about where the ingredients come from and use real words.  Eggs come from chickens. Spinach is spinach, not "green leaves".  Your kids won't be afraid to try new foods and ask questions if you use this tip from the start!

And stay tuned: We're sharing our Super Bowl menu, including a shopping list, Thursday!

What are you cooking up this week?

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