Kids In The Kitchen
Although it can take some extra time and patience, allowing kids to help you in the kitchen can be a lot of fun and a great way to spend quality time with your child. In between mixing, chopping, or stirring, you can also teach your child basic cooking skills, how to select and prepare healthy foods and discuss where their food comes from and how it gets to your table. In addition, getting kids involved will increase the likelihood that they will eat what you serve and try new foods. Here are some tips to help make cooking with your kids a success.
1) Assess your child’s abilities and choose recipes and activities that match them. For instance, allow younger children to help with measuring and stirring ingredients and save more potentially dangerous activities, such as cutting or handling hot items for older children.
2) Remind your child to wash their hands with soap and water before and after they help you in the kitchen. This is a good time to teach them about the importance of food safety.
3) Make sure the utensils and cooking space is the right size for your child. If necessary, allow them to use a stool or sit at the kitchen table.
4) In addition to allowing your kids to help you cook, get their input on what foods you are going to prepare together and let them join you at the supermarket when you purchase the food. This will help give them a better appreciation of all that goes into preparing a meal.
5) Make sure to closely supervise your child when they are working in the kitchen and set clear limits on what they are and aren’t allowed to do.
6) For some easy kid-friendly snack ideas, try these: Ladybugs on a Log- Fill celery sticks with peanut butter and top with dried cranberries. Yogurt Parfaits- layer your favorite yogurt, whole grain cereal and berries. Snack kebobs- Take a wooden skewer and fill it with cheese cubes and raw fruit or vegetables. Banana Roll-Ups- Take a whole grain tortilla and spread it with peanut butter and top with sliced bananas then roll up.
For a fun and easy snack to prepare with your child, try making this recipe for Salad on A Stick.