One of my favorite things to do with the kids is to cook. Engaging children in cooking opens them up to trying new foods and encourages experimentation. Cooking with kids requires some pre-planning to be successful, especially when cooking with several children. Involve them in the recipe process. Look through cookbooks together and let them choose a recipe they want to try. This is a great way to help them explore new foods.
Here are a few tips for cooking with kids:
• Think about safety and allow them to do things appropriate to their age. Younger children should not be cutting with sharp knives.
• Teach them the importance of washing food and their hands. Wash with warm water and soap before and after cooking.
• Read the recipe together and get everything pre-measured and ready to go. This makes the process go smoothly and presents less opportunity for disasters. When we made these I failed to do this and ended up trying to blend marshmallows. Let us just say bad idea. Luckily, I had the other half of a bag of marshmallows. I poured the mixture into a strainer and started from there. I don’t think the kids thought I could save it. I turned my mistake into a teachable cooking moment.
• Be careful with equipment like blenders and food processors. Don’t plug in an appliance until you are standing with them. Check to make sure they haven’t turned it on while it was unplugged.
About a week ago, my niece Livi picked out a recipe she wanted to try. For her birthday she was given a cookbook called Pink Princess by Barbara Beery. The recipe was for Marshmallow Smoothies. I think she like the look of the multicolored marshmallows.
This is a great recipe for kids to get involved. Let them help cut the fruit and place in the baggies. Then they can help measure and pour the milk in to the blender when you are ready to mix.
Marshmallows aside the smoothie is healthy and you can switch out strawberries for other fruit to change it up.
Here is the recipe for smoothies. Come back each week for a new Cooking with Kids recipe.
by Barbara Beery
1 ripe sliced banana
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup low fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 bag colored miniature marshmallows
Place sliced banana and strawberries in ziploc bags and place in freezer for 15 minutes before making smoothie.
Combine all ingredients, except marshmallows, in blender and whirl until smooth and creamy.
Place marshmallows into the glasses and pour smoothie over marshmallows.