Today while prepping dinner, my youngest (he is 4) asked to help. I was not sure there was much for him to do besides peel potatoes and carrots and he was not to keen on that anyway. So I set him up beside my cutting board and close to the soup pot and gave him the simple job of putting everything I chopped into the pot. He was thrilled and sang a little song while working beside me.
After we finished and moved his stool as the stove was turned on he said with great pride “Now everyone will have to thank you AND me for dinner tonight!”.
Little things can make a big difference in the kitchen, don’t be afraid to let your children get involved, even if the job seems small they can take great pride in having helped to prepare a meal.
We will be enjoying Cauliflower Soup and baked potatoes tonight! Thanks Jethro!
My younger kids are on vacation this week and one of thier favorite things to do is visit Dad at work for a picnic. Unfortunately it is really cold this week so we can’t eat in the park but that does not stop us from making a picnic for the lunchroom! Here is what we did:
Made goat cheese/caibatta sandwiches- the 6 year old spread the cheese and the 3 year old packed tehm into the box. (I payer the adult ones with roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes, cucumber slices and lettuce with a sprinkle of seasoned salt).
Sliced cucumbers- my 6 year old sliced an english cuke and the 3 year old packed tehm into a baggie.
Cut up Melon- I split the melon into rings and removed the rind, the 6 year old cut the slices into bite sized pieces and the 3 year old put the pieces into the container.
Baked cookies- we made a version of the whole grain chippers, we used almonds and regular flour (I ran out of the white whole wheat) but added wheat germ and more flax seed meal. The kids did the measuring and mixing as well as packing the cooled cookies.
As a special treat we are having root beer and veggie chips to round out the meal. Not only is it a yummy meal and fun to see Dad but the kids have the satisfaction of having done it themselves!
My kids are always with me in the kitchen. Sometimes they are helpful, other times not so much. However I always try to get them involved in preparing a meal when they want to. Today my three year old wanted to make dinner with me. I did not have any really kids friendly jobs, but decided to give him stuff to do anyway.
1. We prepared cauliflower to roast in the oven. After I cut it, his job was to put it in the bowl. Then he helped me toss it with olive oil, salt and pepper.
2. He helped me bread fish by patting it on the bread crumbs.
3. He “made” the salad by spinning the lettuce in the salad spinner (definitely a favorite activity!)
4. He held the food mill while I put the potatoes through it to make mashed potatoes.
With all of his “help” we got dinner done in record time and he was so proud of all his contributions! I find that when they help prepare the meal, they eat more of it, give it a try!
We hosted 10 eleven year olds for a birthday party in our house. Despite the obnoxious noise level it was a great success! I decide to make pizza, it is easier to get what we want, no driving around for take out and it was about a quarter of the cost. I put two batches of Pizza Dough through the bread machine (the first I put into the refrigerator while the other ran to keep it from rising too much). One can of pizza sauce and two packages of mozzerella, some parmesan and we were baking pizza. My son requested olives on one and mushrooms on another, and for the crowd the remaining two were plain cheese. I think the total for all materials used was less than $14!
Even better than the cost was the fact that it became a family endeavor. My three year old helped wash the mushrooms and my daughter, who is almost 6, sliced them all. As long as it is well supervised and you give explicit directions I think young children can handle tools such as knives. I was right next to her the whole time and she did a great job!