Healthy Foods That Kids Can Cook
Can you remember your earliest experience in the kitchen? Were you allowed to help, or were you chased out the door? My own earliest memories are of sitting on a high stool watching my mother work. As I grew, I was given little jobs to do. I think the first thing I ever made all by myself was instant pudding, proudly served for dessert.
Welcoming children into the kitchen can be a wonderful experience. It's an opportunity to introduce your children to healthy food. You may find that when they have a hand in preparation, they are more likely to be open to trying new recipes. We are going to talk about the basics, give you a fun project, and, of course, some children-friendly recipes.
Proper hygiene is foremost. Make sure everyone washes their hands before beginning. Provide a step stool for younger children to reach the sink. Safety is also important, so assign age appropriate tasks. For instance, very young children can peel bananas, older children can be taught to use an egg beater, and when they are able, also a knife. About.com offers very helpful tips for all the things you need to do to keep your child safe and healthy when working in the kitchen.
Cooking can be a learning tool for math skills as ingredients are measured, reading comprehension when following recipes, and general teamwork.
Growing sprouts is a fun project. You will need raw, untreated seeds or beans, a sterilized jar with a lid, and water. Rinse the seeds, then pour in just enough water to cover, and let soak. Drain off the water after a few hours, screw on the lid, turn the jar on its side and leave it in a dark place. Rinse and drain the seeds frequently. When they sprout, put the jar in a sunny place so the sprouts can develop a bright green color. Eating them will be just as much fun as growing them. Children can add their crop to sandwiches, salads and as a garnish. Note: Absolute cleanliness is a must when growing sprouts.
Next we have children-friendly recipes for you and your children to enjoy.
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins - 249 calories worth of fun cooking and eating. The pocket of jelly in the center is a nice surprise. This recipe has easy to follow instructions. Help will be needed with the hot oven and pan.
- Carrot and Raisin Salad - There's no cooking required for this delicious, crunchy salad that combines carrots with fruit and yogurt. Any fat free vanilla yogurt can be used in the recipe.
- Spinach Fritatta Cups - Popeye the sailor would be in heaven with these tasty, fun, muffin-size fritattas. Easy to assemble, but some help may be needed separating eggs. To make it simple, use egg whites from a carton.