Finding time to blog is proving to be harder than finding time to cook lately. Whether its dealing with sick kids, sick Mamma or Daddy, long mornings playing outside, working and getting all of our chores done, there always seems to be something more to do. I am trying more and more to get the kids involved in the kitchen, so I can have time to be in there myself. Here are some ideas for how to get your kids to help you cook when you don’t want to kick them out of the kitchen and be on your own 🙂 I tell my kids there is one rule to cooking with Mamma in the kitchen and if they don’t follow it, they don’t get to help – “Listen and do exactly what I say.” This has been surprisingly effective. Karina was kicked out of the kitchen on 2 different occasions and now does exactly what I say, in the kitchen at least.
1. Let them stand next to you and watch. This way while you are cooking, as you are about to do something think about whether or not they can try it and let them try. Even my 2 and half year olds can add a pinch of salt or sprinkle a seasoning that comes out slowly. Break an egg into a dish and let them pour it in. If you need to add water, let them fill the cup and pour it in. It does take a little longer but gives them a great sense of accomplishment.
2. Let them mix. Slowly, slowly, slowly 🙂 Then Mamma has a turn and goes fast, fast, fast. Then its their turn, slowly, slowly, slowly. Mamma’s turn, fast, fast, fast. You get the idea.
3. Let them shake. If you need to coat something, like chicken or vegetables with seasoning, put it in a plastic bag, close it and let them shake it.
4. Let them have a task all to themselves. This can be as easy as have them get their plates (non breakable ones), cutlery, napkins, cups, etc. ready. If they can use the sink without flooding the room, have them wash the vegetables, scrub potatoes or just press the spinner on the salad spinner.
5. Let them press buttons. When using the coffee grinder, blender or food processor let them press the button. Whenever I make smoothies, they know as soon as the mini food processor comes out and clamor all over me to get to press the button. Hold them up and tell them what numbers to press on the microwave.
Use your imagination or just think of things you don’t like doing and realize that now you have someone who will probably love doing it 🙂 Its not always foolproof but, if they have a hand in making it, they are more likely to eat it.
Here is a recipe for my kids’ new favorite lunch or easy dinner:
Corn pancakes, hot dogs and broccoli with peas:
1 package Jiffy cornbread mix
2 Tbsp of shortening, melted (I used melted butter, since that was all I had in the house)
3/4 cup Milk
Handful of Shredded carrot (or zucchini or broccoli, whatever vegetable you like or just leave it out)
Hot dogs (I use all beef hot dogs, use whatever you like)
Broccoli florets (fresh or frozen, whatever you have. Use any vegetable you like or think your kids might eat)
Make pancake mix on side according to box (or use your own favorite corn pancake recipe). You can let the kids mix it. Then add in the shredded vegetables if you are using them. Turn your griddle on or whatever you use to make pancakes and spray with cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 cup of mix for each pancake onto the griddle once its hot. Cook the hot dogs however you like to, on the grill, boiled in water, sauteed in pan. Steam vegetables or roast in oven. I like to roast the broccoli for 10-15 minutes after its been tossed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. This even works with frozen broccoli.
I have been working on some cooking contests, trying to cook some of my Pinterest pins and fine tuning my meal planning. I’ll post more about those in the next couple of months and hopefully will get further along on my bucket list. Enjoy the start of spring!