Family,  Food

Cooking With Mom

When you’re in a rush and stressed out, home cooking could be the last thing you want to do.. But if your children are old enough to help, it’s time to enlist them into the wonders of cooking and preparing food.

Safety First

The most obvious issue is safety in the kitchen. Children should not use sharp knives. They should always wash their hands well before engaging in any meal preparation. They should have an apron for their clothes and a work station away from any hot oven or stove with the burner on.

Invest in the Right Equipment

Be sure to have kid-safe mixing bowls and measuring cups. Also, consider getting a chopper with a plunger. All they have to do is put the food under it and press down with both hands.

Make It Fun

Teach them fun and interesting things as you cook. Kids love to explore and learn.

Cook Their Favorites

Most children love pizza, pasta, burgers, meatloaf, and so on. They can help learn how to make all of these things. Have them help you roll out the pizza dough, or make English muffins or French bread pizza. Get them to help you toss the pasta with sauce, cheese, and olive oil.

Let them roll up their sleeves to get messy with burgers and meatloaf. Use the plastic burger-forming shapes to get the children to make the burgers ahead of time, so all you have to do is defrost them.

For meatloaf, they will love to knead in the egg, spices, bread crumb, tomatoes, and olives if you use them. At the end of the meal, have them help you make meatloaf sandwiches for the next day.

Create Stunning Salads

In addition to using their little chopper, the kids can tear lettuce into a salad spinner, wash the salad, and then spin to get all the water out.

Create Delicious Desserts

Every child loves desserts. Keep control of what you eat by making them at home. You can cook quick microwave cakes, or bake a pie in the oven. Have the children roll out a pie crust — every child loves Play-Doh.

Create Healthy Breakfasts

Banana Mini Muffins
Ingredients
cooking spray
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1 egg, beaten

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 2 mini muffin tins with cooking spray.
Combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.
Blend bananas, sugar, butter, and egg together in a separate bowl. Add to flour mixture; stir batter well to combine.
Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each cup 2/3 of the way full.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

Bake cookies. Let them make mini fruit tarts with whipped cream. Try a bread pudding. Make muffins and cupcakes. Have them help cut up fruit for all kinds of desserts. Just remember to let fruit cool thoroughly if you cook it so it does not burn young mouths.

 

While you are in the kitchen preparing dinner or washing up afterward, the children can help you get a head start on the next meals of the day. Scramble some eggs. Add cheese if you wish. Cook and crumble some sausage or bacon. Put it all together into a flour tortilla and wrap in waxed paper. You will have heat and eat breakfast burritos you can even take with you as you run out the door.

Try French toast you can heat and eat on the go, or French toast sandwiches with your favorite fillings, such as ham, cheese, Nutella, peanut butter, and so on.

 

Organize Brown Bag Lunches

If you and the family brown bag it every day, get a jump start by making them up the night before. The kids can layout the bread, add mayo, mustard and so on, and layer the ingredients as needed. Make the sandwiches fun by letting the kids cut them with cute cookie cutters. You can eat the rest once the shapes are cut out.

There are lots of ways children can help in the kitchen. Start them off young and be patient and ready for messes. Over time, their skills will definitely improve, until they will be a real help in the kitchen and hopefully have developed a love of healthy food as well.