This blog begins with talk of tv time. I could write an entire post on children and tv but I will save that for a rainy day. I usually use up tv time in the morning so by the time prep for dinner comes around, I either have to come up with a fun independent activity for my 2 year old to be engaged in or include her in on the prep work! Our kitchen gets messier and it takes two times as long, but seeing my girl in her little apron with her little pots and pans is totally worth it! Besides having a happy kid, there are other benefits to cooking with your kids. Here are some I found around the web…

Benefits of cooking with your kids:

creativity, learning about how things change (heating, freezing), builds self-confidence (they are contributing to the family), develops small motor skills (using tools such as shredders, graters, etc)reading (recipes) for comprehension, knowledge of where food comes from, healthy eating habits, planning, seasonal awareness, quality time with mom or dad, time away from the tv or computer and learning new skills (peeling, rolling, washing, pouring-type skills).

Above all, cooking with your kids may even reduce the chances of them abusing drugs as teens. YES! I read this from three different sources (one being webmd)!! This is because, if you cook a meal with your children, it encourages the family to sit down together for a meal and in turn, children who regularly eat with the family are less likely going to use drugs. Crazy theory but apparently true!

Cooking with Kids Tips:

Provide an apron, mini cooking utensils and plastic bowls. Think of things your child can do to help you prepare like breaking an egg, mixing, pouring, peeling stickers off fruits and vegetables and sifting. If it’s not going well, I give my girl a healthy snack like carrots and some water to have while she watches me cook! Be careful though, you don’t want them to fill up before eating dinner!

P.S. Remember the importance of hand washing for food safety. Also, I put my child on top of our big island so we must remember the safety of them being on high surfaces.

P.P.S. Here is the recipe we were making, Stuffed Eggplant (I used ground chicken instead of veal) and we are making Gingerbread Playdough for a playdate this week.