Sunday, March 20, 2011

Get Your Kiddies In The Kitchen

I grew up next to my mom in the kitchen.
 I had a little mini apron I would wear. She would let me measure and sift flour, help mix, and scoop cookie dough. I LOVED every minute of it. In my teenage years my mom assigned each of us in the family a night of the week that was ours to cook. I think I made the standard chicken and broccoli casserole or waffles every week because it was the extent of my cooking knowledge. 

I didn't realize it until I moved out and lived with other girls who hadn't had the same hands on experience how much my mom had taught me. Not only did she teach me the ins and outs of the kitchen, she taught me how to cook in a healthy way. She introduced me to a wide variety of nutritious foods, and taught me to love them! I still absolutely LOVE to cook with my mom. She is always willing to try new recipes with me and humor my new ideas. 

My mom really is an incredible cook, baker, hostess, and mom in general. Thank you mom. You are amazing! :) 

As I was thinking about this today. I realized how important it is to start teaching children good healthy habits from a young age, and so much of that starts in the kitchen. I contemplated some tips on how you can get your kids into the kitchen! 

- Allow them to help plan the menu. When kids have a say in what they are eating they are a lot more excited about eating it! This will make meal times a lot more stress free. 
- Allow them to get hands on. Measuring, whisking, creaming, mixing, and rolling are all kid friendly. Kids can also help wash fruits and veggies, read recipes, and taste test! As your kids get older they can help crack eggs, chop veggies, and take stove duty.
- Make kid friendly food. Ka bobs, mini pizzas, and anything requiring layered assembly are great kid friendly foods that they can help make and are fun to eat!
- Talk while you cook. Teach your kids why some foods are healthier than others. If you can ingrain healthy eating habits into them while they are young, they will be SO much better off in the future.

Now I would be rude to talk about my culinary staples as a child without giving you the recipes...

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
1 lb fresh broccoli washed and cut or 10 oz frozen, cooked
1 can healthy choice fat free cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup skim milk
½ cup grated reduced fat cheddar cheese
¼ cup whole wheat panko crumbs
1 ½ cup cooked chicken breasts cut up
Steam broccoli until slightly tender, arrange in bottom of baking dish. Top with chicken. Mix soup and milk, pour over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese. Sprinkle Panko crumbs over cheese. Bake at 375 for 25-30 mins uncovered, until hot and bubbly.
*You could also add precooked brown rice or quinoa to the bottom to make the meal a little more hearty. 

For the record...I made bisquick waffles, but these are just so much better. 
Banana Cinnamon Waffles

(This Recipe makes 8 servings of two waffles per serving.)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large eggs, 2 egg whites (lightly beaten)
1 large ripe banana, mashed
Cooking spray
Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, flaxseed, and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Combine milk, butter, and eggs, stirring with a whisk; add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until blended. Fold in mashed banana. Preheat a waffle iron. Coat iron with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter per 4-inch waffle onto hot waffle iron, spreading batter to edges. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until steaming stops; repeat procedure with remaining batter.

Did you grow up cooking in the kitchen? If so, what did you make? If not do you wish you had? Do your kids cook with you now? Do you have any tips on how to get them involved in the healthy cooking process?  

p.s. we saw a mouse in my house tonight. I might die. 
p.p.s. Don't forget to enter the YOGURTLAND GIVEAWAY if you haven't!


Jody, RD said...

I always cooked with my mom too!

ANother tip I have is to take your kids with you to the grocery store. Have them pick out one new fruit and one new vegetable to try each week.

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

Thanks for the recipes! My oldest is 11. We are starting small with him. He makes school lunches for everyone twice a week. From that Dinners next year. Great idea though. Fun pix as well.

The Hungry Runner Girl said...

LOVED THIS!!! Your mom is absolutely amazing! I will be making that casserole...WOW and those waffles, now my stomach is growling:) I didn't cook with my mom very often but I WILL with my kids, how important to spend time teaching them nutrition and letting them have a say in what they eat. I hope you are having an amazing day gorgeous girl! How did your talk go?!?!?

Rene said...

I didn't cook with my mom but I wish I had. My 8 yr old son loves to cook with me. It's hard for me to let him crack eggs but he loves it. We have so much fun. He is my best eater too. He'll try everything and eats a great variety of foods. My 15 yr old doesn't cook with me and she is my pickiest eater.

Haley said...

My mom never taught me how to cook since I grew up with just my dad, who also doesn't cook, but I've been catching up this year seeing as how it's my first year on my own! I don't have a meal plan, so I whip up some pretty tasty things for myself now :)

Thank you for the chicken&broccoli recipe! I will definitely try it :)

Anonymous said...

I always helped my mom in the kitchen. when I was in elementary and middle school, I competed in bake-offs and for 4-H competitions.

Now my momma helps me in the kitchen and I do all of the cooking when she's around :-)

Thisisme said...

I love cooking all my favorite "mom's meals" NOW! not so much then though (; Makes me want to raise my kids in the kitchen though!!



Those recipes rock- can't wait to try them!!

Stefanie D. said...

My mom always had us help her in the kitchen growing up. :) We made a lot of cookies together. I am very thankful that she did that with us, because now I can fend for myself! My Little C chills in the kitchen with my when I cook. So once she gets a little bigger, she will definitely be my little helper. Can't wait!

Katy said...

I hated cooking as a child. (I know, who am I?) But I have always loved baking. LOVE, LOVE.

Edible Art said...

Yes, i did grow up in the kitchen as well,
ive noticed even kids who grew up only WATCHING their mothers or fathers cook, really tend to have a basic feel to cooking for themselves, rather than kids with no exposure to it at all.

your casserole & and waffles look amazing, i really need to go out and buy a waffle maker of my ownnnn !

Dan.Eliot said...

Taking in vegetables on a daily basis would also make you fit. It doesn’t have to follow that you will always eat veggies daily, and every meal. This would not be too enjoyable for the kids. So instead of giving veggies in their actual appearance, try “hiding” them in salads or soups. And instead of having sauces or gravies, serving salsas would be heaps healthier. The presence of healthy fruit juices instead of sodas would also be wiser.

Healthy cooking tips said...

I didn't do a lot of cooking with my mom when I was little, but you better believe my little ones help me out in the kitchen now! They love it. My 20 month old mostly makes a mess, but she does mix a bit too. :) My almost 4 year old has learned a lot, she can measure, pour, mix, and crack eggs. Great idea about menu planning, and eventually taking over dinner one night per week. I will definately do that when my girls are older!