Bringing your kids into the kitchen is a great way to encourage them to try new, healthy foods, and it's also the perfect opportunity to begin emphasizing proper kitchen and food safety. If all goes well, you'll set your children on the path to being creative, nutrition-savvy chefs themselves. To get the ball rolling, try some of these healthy spins on classic recipes to make with kids.
What better sous chef to have in the kitchen than your child? There are many lessons they can learn when it comes to food prep, whether that's mixing lots of ingredients into a salad or peeling and dicing fruit. Bring the kiddo in to help you with these recipes:
Assembly is a safe and fun part of the cooking process that's tailor-made for child participation. By having their hands in this final stage, they will be bound to try a new, healthy recipe, and they'll be a lot more enticed to pitch in when the meal starts to come together visually (and those mouth-watering smells fill the kitchen). The following recipes are perfect in this regard, as they're a bit more complex but still allow you to pick and choose small ways for your kids to help:
If your kids are creative, why not have them bring that mindset into the kitchen? By providing a colorful array of fruits and vegetables, your children can craft their own healthy masterpieces. Let them freestyle with the following:
Food Safety 101
While you have them occupied with food prep, assembly, or creativity, sneak in some of these valuable safety lessons:
- Hopefully your kids are already well-versed on the importance of washing their hands, but make sure to emphasize that again as a must before starting to cook.
- In the same vein, highlight why it's also important to wash produce.
- If you're using the oven, show them how to use it safely. Depending on their age, this is a good lesson for them to learn by watching you before they build up comfort -- and you build up trust.
- Also dependent on age, handling knives safely is one more big lesson to impart. For now, though, you might want to have them avoid sharp knives and utensils and opt for plastic ones instead.
When it comes to recipes to make with kids, your choices are bountiful. By having them help, they'll be more open to trying new foods and will learn basic food and kitchen safety. Cooking can be a wonderful bonding experience for parents and children, so don't hesitate to invite them the next time you pull out a favorite recipe.