“Can I help?” This plea from the little voice sometimes comes from behind you and is not always a welcome request. While the thought of having “helpers” in the kitchen may overwhelm you, cooking with kids may be exactly what you and they need!
Not only will you and your kids find quality time together, you will also give them the chance to learn about cooking and maybe develop an appreciation for it. Additionally, kids may be willing to try foods they helped make instead of wrinkling their noses with “what’s that?”
Kids can easily help in the kitchen. Depending upon age, they can scrub veggies and fruit, wipe tables, set the table and prep foods by tearing, breaking or snapping. They can also pour liquids into batter, pour measured ingredients together, hand-mix batter and shake food items. They could also mash soft foods, hand-beat eggs and measure ingredients. The ways they can help are endless. Next time you are in the kitchen and they want to help, look around to see how they can help you.
Time in the kitchen together is also a good way to reinforce kitchen safety. Remind your kids to wash their hands and pull back long hair. Remind them that hot stoves, hot oven doors and hot water can hurt them. Also, teach them how to safely use or avoid sharp knives, broken glass and sharp graters.
Make sure you are patient with your kids and yourself. In their excitement, kids may forget instructions, so you may need to repeat them. It may also take longer to make the meal or food item with a helper. Spills and messes will happen more often, but have your kids help in the cleaning up process too. Most importantly, remember that you aren’t just creating food, you are creating memories.
Here is a simple recipe to do with your kids from Elisse Kipe who blogs at http://elissekipe.wordpress.com/
Kid Friendly TacosCorn tortillas
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Add sauce to the tortillas leaving about 1/2 inch around so it doesn’t spill over the edge.
- Sprinkle cheese according to taste.
- If you aren’t a fan of scrubbing, place the tortilla on a foil-lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Fold the tortillas and eat.