Cooking With Kids

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator border_width=”2″][vc_custom_heading text=”If you’ve ever seen an episode of Master Chef Junior, you know some kids have mad skills in the kitchen. Fostering your child’s passion for cooking and baking from a young age will instill confidence and build character in them, not to mention that cooking is a practical life skill that will serve them later on in life (pun intended!).” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left|color:%23000000″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_custom_heading text=”The Littles” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:left|color:%23000000″ use_theme_fonts=”yes” el_class=”uppercase”][vc_column_text]Kids as young as three years old can help out in the kitchen as long as they’re not exposed to anything hot or sharp. Letting them help with simple food prep and assembly, like cracking eggs and stirring ingredients, is a great way to get little ones comfortable in the kitchen and it will give them a sense of accomplishment. Kids are also more likely to eat something that they’ve helped to create, so involving them can be a good strategy to get them to try more things. Of course, it’s up to you how old you want your child to be before throwing an apron on them. You know better than anyone else what they're ready to take on, and your comfort about their safety is the most important thing. If you want to wait longer to involve them in actual kitchen tasks, you can still spark their culinary curiosity with other activities related to cooking, such as coloring books, plastic food toys and even Play-Doh pasta and cookie-making sets. It’s also never too early to start talking to kids about where food comes from. If possible, plant vegetables together and take them to visit a farm! If these options aren’t available to you, books can be a wonderful educational resource. [/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Kids are also more likely to eat something that they’ve helped to create, so involving them can be a good strategy to get them to try more things.” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1586801016210{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_single_image image=”6164″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_custom_heading text=”THE MINI SOUS-CHEFS” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:left|color:%23000000″ use_theme_fonts=”yes” el_class=”uppercase”][vc_column_text]As parents, you can help school-age children hone their cooking skills by making food a hobby rather than a chore. Start by easing them into a few simple recipes on the weekends. When introducing your child to cooking, start with the basics: pasta water should be salty like the ocean, taste as you go, let the pan and oil get hot before you add an ingredient, stuff like that. Whether it’s peeling vegetables, grating cheese or plating up, encouraging your child to get involved fosters creativity and is a wonderful way to spend quality time together as a family. This is also a great time to talk to your children about health, particularly the importance of the different food groups and knowing what is in the food they consume. Take this opportunity to teach them about the food chain as well as ethical animal considerations, and remind them where the vacuum packed chicken breasts in the fridge came from. Too often, young people do not make the connection between what’s on their plate and the plant or animal that it came from. Try to help them see food choices as more than just ‘good and bad,’ rather as fuel for their bodies and minds, taking the time to explain why some ingredients are healthier for them than others. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”6159″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_custom_heading text=”Start with the basics: pasta water should be salty like the ocean, taste as you go, let the pan and oil get hot before you add an ingredient, stuff like that.” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1586801187584{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_custom_heading text=”THE TWEENAGERS” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:left|color:%23000000″ use_theme_fonts=”yes” el_class=”uppercase”][vc_column_text]If you’ve got older kids in the house, a great way to keep them involved in the kitchen is to have family cook-offs at home! It can be as simple as choosing one member of the family to be the judge and the other family members making their version of a simple dish, like guacamole, for them to judge. If you really want to challenge yourselves, you can make a more involved dish like chilli or unleash the rolling pins and hold a bake-off. Maybe the winner gets an extra ten minutes of screen time or one less chore to do. Be creative! Not only is this a fun, interactive activity to do as a family, but you’ll have plenty of delicious creations to nibble on as well. Another fun activity is to let your kids vote on a dinner theme, like tacos or pizza and, if you have more than one child, alternate what night you cook with each one. Just don’t let them skip out on washing the dishes! [/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”If you’ve got older kids in the house, a great way to keep them involved in the kitchen is to have family cook-offs at home!” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1586801250260{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_single_image image=”6167″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_custom_heading text=”Pleasing Everyone” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:left|color:%23000000″ use_theme_fonts=”yes” el_class=”uppercase”][vc_column_text]A frequent complaint of parents is it can be very difficult to please every child at dinnertime. While chicken nuggets and pizzas are usually a safe bet, one food that almost always pleases everyone is pasta. Start by cooking a couple of different kinds of noodles, if one kind type cannot be agreed on, and go from there. Many kids like it plain, with only a small amount of butter but you may be able to get away with adding a little sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. When in doubt, let each child customize their own. The same goes for pizzas and tacos. Give them a base and let them build on it as little or as much as they want. For mom and dad? Go nuts with all the fixings! It also doesn’t hurt to make food look fun (think cheese cut into dinosaur shapes) and putting a variety of color on their plate. When serving sandwiches or pancakes, use a cookie cutter to make fun shapes or arrange ingredients into smiley faces. A little creativity can go a long way when it comes to pleasing kids at the dinner table. [/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”While chicken nuggets and pizzas are usually a safe bet, one food that almost always pleases everyone is pasta.” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1586801388009{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]It also doesn’t hurt to make food look fun (think cheese cut into dinosaur shapes) and putting a variety of color on their plate. When serving sandwiches or pancakes, use a cookie cutter to make fun shapes or arrange ingredients into smiley faces. A little creativity can go a long way when it comes to pleasing kids at the dinner table. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]