Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wild Card Wednesday: Cook with Your Kids by Guest Blogger Katie

Hey readers! We've got another special guest post for you! Katie is giving us some tips when it comes to cooking with the kiddos. Her bio information is at the end of the post. Thanks Katie from all of us Talented Terrace Girls for your contribution and for the great tips!

Cook with Your Kids
On busy evenings when you’re trying to get dinner on the table quickly, it’s often easiest to plop the kids in front of the TV while you whip up a quick meal.  Having kids underfoot in the kitchen might sound like a disaster waiting to happen, but getting kids into the kitchen can actually be a big help to busy moms—not to mention, it’s the perfect opportunity to spend time together!
Cooking with your kids is fun, productive and a great way to teach your kids basic skills. Use the following tips to get started:
·         Involve them in the entire process
Most kids prefer stirring and pouring to setting the table or doing the dishes, but when you cook with them it’s important to have them participate in all aspects of the meal from start to finish. Having them fold napkins and help with the dishes will help instill good cleaning habits at an early age.

·         Keep meals simple
Don’t expect kids to have the skills or patience to pull off a four course meal. When you’re first starting off, stick to basic dishes that have lots of easy steps that kids will be able to help out with. Making your own pizza is a great kid-friendly meal option, as are quesadillas, tacos and simple casseroles; they all have lots of basic components that can easily be thrown together.

·         Use kid-friendly tools
Now isn’t the time to bring out your fragile china or extremely heavy pans that could potentially crush little fingers. Aluminum pans are good options for when you’re cooking with kids because they are lighter and easier to carry than metal pans. Also, consider serving your meal on disposable plates to minimize the chances of anything breaking on the way to the dinner table.

·         Take advantage of learning opportunities
Not only does cooking with your child provide you the opportunity to teach them kitchen skills like chopping, stirring, pouring and measuring, but it can also assist kids with their reading and math skills. Practice fractions when you’re dealing with measuring cups, or if you’re doubling a recipe, have them do the multiplication themselves. For younger kids, have them read each step of the recipe out loud to improve their reading skills.

·         Clean as you go
Kids are notoriously messy creatures, so make sure you’re prepared to deal with a possible kitchen mess after you cook! To keep your kitchen looking somewhat clean, keep wet paper towels handy for possible spills and a supply of trash bags next to the counter to throw out scraps as they accumulate.

Cooking with your kids can be easy and fun – just keep it simple and be ready to deal with a few messes! The more you cook together, the better everyone will get, and the more you’ll enjoy this new family activity.

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Katie F. on behalf of Hefty®. For products to help you out in the kitchen, along with suggestions for other age-appropriate chores and activities for kids, visit