Happy belated “Kids take over the kitchen” day!
Kids take over the kitchen day was September 13. We’re a little late but quite enthusiastic about it.
Having your kids participate in the kitchen with you allows them to develop basic cooking skills (a very important life skill). It also gives them knowledge on specific ingredients that go into preparing a meal. It’s an opportunity for your kids to learn about and try new ingredients. It’s great for children with food allergies to be familiar with ingredients.
Picking from the plant, purchasing at the grocery store and preparing in the kitchen all encourage whole food eating. Even quick food prep encourages a healthier diet for your kids. It helps establish good food habits they’ll keep as they grow up. They’ll naturally gravitate toward healthier options when they’re participating in preparing them and enjoying them at home.
You may be surprised how easily your child develops an interest in helping you prepare things in the kitchen. They’ll enjoy being part of preparing meals and accomplishing easy tasks you assign them. It’s a great place to enhance your relationship with your kids – they can share what’s happening in their day and you can too.
And what a great way to get a picky eater trying new foods! Often when kids are involved in meal prep, they’re more apt to try it because of their pride in creating the meal.
Take your kids to the grocery store or farmers’ market. Or a local vegetable farm if you have one nearby that likes visitors. Lots of kids aren’t aware where their food comes from or how it’s grown. Letting them choose produce is an effective way to get them involved and promote eating it.
Appropriate tasks in the kitchen are age-based. Some tasks may include (depending on age): Rinsing, picking stems off, tearing greens into pieces, stirring, mixing, cutting soft foods with plastic knife, measuring ingredients, pouring ingredients, peeling, forming patties, sprinkle on ingredients, read ingredients, count ingredients.
And let’s not forget their favourite part…taste testing!
Enjoy making these quick, simple recipes with your kids.
Carrot Cake Bites
The kids love rolling these into balls. The recipe is also nut-free, so they can take them to school.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 cups tightly packed, pitted dates
- 3/4 cup lightly packed, finely grated carrot
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Using a food processor, pulse oats into small course pieces (not too fine).
- In a bowl, mix oats and the remainder of ingredients.
- Roll into balls and store in the fridge.
Citrus Chicken Skewers
Kids have fun choosing their own veggies and helping you assemble these skewers.
- 12 wooden skewers
- 2.5 lbs chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 cups pure orange juice
- 1 cup soya sauce
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ sweet or purple onion, chopped
- 2 cups pineapple, chopped
- 4 cups veggies of choice, chopped (bell pepper, zucchini, mushroom, etc.)
- Mix orange juice, soya sauce, ground ginger and garlic powder for marinade.
- Set one cup of marinade aside, store in the fridge. Add the rest of the marinade to the chopped chicken and let marinate in the fridge for close to 24hrs.
- Soak wood skewers in water for few hours before assembling.
- Assemble chicken, onion, pineapple and veggies onto skewers in desired combination.
- Grill skewers on low-medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes on each side. Using the rest of the marinade, baste skewers during grilling.
- Skewers can be served over rice.