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Cooking With Your Kids!

February 22, 2011
Animal House Monkey Peeler
Animal House Monkey Peeler from Amazon.com

Cooking with Kids

I just read an article about cooking with your kids and the unknown benefit this mom found in March 2011 titled Eat, Play, Love! in Parenting Magazine.  The author had “tried everything: encouragement, wheedling, bribes, threats, explanations.  Nothing worked!”  She stumbled upon putting her son in-charge of selecting and preparing the vegetable for dinner and suddenly her son was eating vegetables.

I have always enjoyed watching my students eat foods that they have helped prepare that their parents are sure they won’t touch.   My recent venture into French cooking with my students is a case in point.  My students cut, sliced, stirred and smelled the wonderful ratatouille that they made together then had for lunch.  A few parents were sure their child would not eat eggplant or zucchini but everyone tried it and many asked for seconds!

There are a few things to keep in mind when cooking with young children:

  • Keep it simple – they want to help but make the jobs you give them something they will succeed at. Things like using the salad spinner, washing up in a sink filled with water and bubbles or chopping with a plastic knife.
  • Supervise any stirring on the stove – explaining what is hot and what they can touch and what they shouldn’t touch.
  • Let them help measure ingredients.  It will help them get an understanding of the relationship between sizes long before they start to learn about fractions.
  • Give them a work space they can easily reach (perhaps with the use of a chair) and tools that make it fun but also fit their hands. Many tools come in kid friendly designs that I’ve listed in the Amazon store to give you some ideas!

So have fun cooking while helping your child become a healthy eater!

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