Having the kids in the kitchen has been a no-brainer from the beginning for me, and the reasons are simple. They are more interested in eating something different when they have had a hand in making it, they learn invaluable cooking skills, practice healthy eating habits, and we have even more quality time together.
It is not always easy to cook with kids, and yes, it sometimes means slower progress and bigger messes. But I know the lessons are invaluable, and one day, I will dearly mess the big messes.
Have them measure and stir. Get ingredients out and ready. Count. Add garnishes. Set a timer. Do the toothpick test to see if something is done. Mix. Plate. Set the table. Serve. Wash up afterwards. There are a million and one ways that they can safely help in the kitchen, no matter the age.
September is National Obesity Month, a perfect time to shine the light on some areas that children, and families, sometimes still struggle with. ChopChop magazine has partnered with the White House to inspire and teach kids to cook and eat real food with their families. By sharing simple and healthy recipes, ChopChop hopes to reverse the overeating trend by teaching kids and their parents how easy it can be to make meals that are easy to prepare and use fresh, nutritious ingredients.
I actually hadn’t heard of ChopChop until teaming up with The Mission List for this project. The magazine is a non-profit subscription and newsstand-based publication, and some of its contributors include Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, and Mollie Katzen. Named one of 2013’s Publications of the Year by the James Beard Foundation makes it a a magazine worth getting (as is their cookbook!).
If you need inspiration for new healthy, kid-friendly recipes, be sure to join in the fun tomorrow as they celebrate The Big Picnic … a virtual potluck where participants are sharing their easy, simple to prepare, nutritious recipes. Just search the hashtag #TheBigPicnic on Facebook and Twitter, and check out their Pinterest page as well for more ideas.
I’m sharing this post as part of a program with The Mission List. I received a ChopChop cookbook + magazine subscription for culinary inspiration; all opinions are my own.