cooking with kids


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Did you know that the International Dairy Foods Association declares that July is National Ice Cream Month? So in celebration of this wonderful event, the ladies over at 5 Minutes 4 Mom are having a great giveaway. Like my friend, I strive for healthy food options, I love to feed the girls organic foods as much as possible. Horizon Organics now makes ice cream and I can vouch for you that it is yummy! If you sign up, you could win $300 in free dairy products! Go check it out here.

Cooking with children is an intrinsically exciting experience.  Kids love to do things they see adults doing and cooking offers them a chance to be a “grown-up.”  It provides a way for them to gain a sense of mastery, feel important, and achieve a sense of accomplishment.  When I get the chance to combine some of my loves, I do it as often as possible.  This little creation is yummy and healthy, but difficult when the little ones can’t wait for the end result.  So, I typically will do this just before we leave the house for an outing so when we come home, this yummy treat is ready for us!

Recipe for Fruit Sorbet

1 cup of fresh strawberries, 1 banana, 1/4 cup of apple juice

Wash and hull the strawberries, cut into halves, peel and slice the banana.  Place in an airtight container and freeze.

Once frozen, place the juice and the fruit into a blender and mix.  Makes 4-6 servings.

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I love to cook.  My children love to help me cook.  This can sometimes delay the process, but allowing them to help sometimes actually makes things easier.  Let me explain.  Now I don’t let them use the stove, but I let them participate in safe ways.   I cook most of my family’s meals from scratch.  I typically never make pre-packaged meals,  aside from Mac-n-Cheese because this is too good to miss!  (Are you cringing, yet?)  Anyways, meals take time and young children rarely give you time to get things done.  Children love to be big helpers, as you know.  My children go get their step stools from the bathroom and stand by the counter to ‘help’ almost every day.  In order to keep my sanity, I give each of them a little personal cutting board from a local dollar store and some spreaders from the dollar section at Target (I love this little treasure cove).   So for about $4, I can keep my children busy for about 15 minutes as I prep dinner.  This would work for many things, but today we are cutting up canteloupe.  Before I cut the melon open, I have my children guess what color the inside will be.  I love to see their faces of amazement as we perform a little science prediction in the kitchen.  During this time, we talk about whether my oldest thinks this is a fruit or a vegetable, how it grows, what she thinks it tastes like, and the sort.  We talk about what else has the same colors and textures (math skill).  A simple little task of cutting up melon can turn into a great learning experience where children can use their senses to extend their knowledge way beyond that fruit that is something we eat.  As you can see from the pictures, my children’s techniques vary with age.  However, by allowing them to help, they are developing hand and eye coordination and strengthening their dexterity, which will help them as they progress to reading and writing.  So this simple little food experience will totally enhance my genious expectations!