Does anyone else find it challenging to make a meal while you have little ones running around your kitchen? I DO!!! Between the boys running around pretending to be Spider man and Little Miss Lana tearing my kitchen cabinets apart...it is a CHALLENGE! Lately, I have tried to get the kids involved in the cooking process. It is much more messy and a lot more work, however the kids absolutely love it. I always tell people, my goal in life is to raise good husbands. I want my boys to know how to cook a healthy meal for their family. Right now, that seems like a big task! HA! :)
I was a Life Management teacher before I decided to stay home with my kids so teaching kids about nutrition and cooking is a true passion of mine. However, it is much more challenging to teach a two and four year old these skills versus a 12 year old. A few things I have the kids help with in the kitchen are:
1. Buying blocks of cheese and letting them grate the cheese
2. Peeling carrots
3. Measuring liquids
5. Seasoning food
6. Making their own PB&J sandwiches
7. Washing fruit and vegetables at the sink
8. Making pancakes on the griddle. We make a big Micky Mouse pancake and use raisins or chocolate chips for the eyes and nose.
9.Decorate their own pizza. Buy the pre-made dough from Trader Joes and have the kids decorate silly faces with the veggie and meat toppings.
10.We also make fruit and veggie pizzas with cookie dough.
11. Decorate baked goods
12. Have them help layer a lasagna or Mexican casserole.
13. Buy them their own kitchen utensils. Pampered chef has these cute mini spatulas the kids enjoy using.
There is so much you can do and it certainly makes this challenging time, easier...until you have to clean up! :)
I really believe they eat more variety because they are involved in the cooking process. I always encourage them to taste and smell different foods. One night I was chopping onions and Luke wanted to smell them. He got real close, took a big whiff and instantly got tears in his eyes and said "mom, I don't feel good, I need to lay on the couch." It was cute in a sadistic way. :) Anyway, one food I know they like now due to being involved in the cooking process is BRUSSEL SPROUTS! You heard me!! So this is the recipe:
- Wash and cut up a bunch of brussel spouts.
- Coat in olive oil and parmesan cheese.
- Spread out on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
- Sprink with garlic and Celtic sea salt.
- Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. I also like to broil for a few minutes at the end to give them a little crunch.
Another veggie they like now after helping prepare it, is Kale:
- Wash a bunch of kale and pat dry.
- Coat with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with Celtic sea salt and garlic.
- Broil for 2.5 minutes. Watch closely, they burn very quickly.
- We call them green chips. They are a family fav!
I attached a few pictures of the kids cooking. I also attached the after pictures. Not pretty!!!!!!!!!!!!! Some days I am just not up for it. But I am always happy when I make the effort to include them. They take so much pride in cooking.