Cooking With Kids in the Kitchen Yields Tasty Dishes & Memorable Moments
by Kirsten Harrington
Some of my fondest memories of time spent with my children are in the kitchen. When they were little, measuring ingredients for cookie dough turned into a lesson about fractions; as they grew we talked about food safety and nutrition. They also learned the importance of taking time to prepare and eat real, wholesome food. These days, cooking together is a way to take a break from the busyness of life and spend quality time together before those days slip quickly past. As they have gotten older, the rewards are starting to pay off. Both of my tween boys are able to craft a few scrumptious dishes on their own.
If you haven’t ventured into the kitchen with your kids, why not start now? Mother’s Day is right around the corner. With a little bit of practice and help, they might whip up something delicious for Mom.
Breakfast dishes are always fun, and the slower pace of the weekend is a great time to join your children in the kitchen. Start with something simple, like making scrambled eggs and microwaveable bacon. Buy some ready-to-fill-crepes and stuff them with yogurt and fresh berries, or make a simple breakfast sandwich with toaster waffles, ham and sliced cheese. Chunks of fresh pineapple, melon and berries can be threaded onto a bamboo skewer by even the smallest hands, and make a colorful addition to a plate of pancakes made from a mix.
Now that your mouth is watering, here are a few child-friendly recipes to get you started. Roll up your sleeves and get cooking!
Even the smallest hands can help to prepare baguette cinnamon French toast with fresh berries for breakfast.
Baguette Cinnamon French Toast With Fresh Berries
Kids of various ages can help with this recipe. Preschoolers can garnish the French toast after cooking, and younger children can help prepare this recipe with appropriate supervision.
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 baguette, cut into 10-15 slices about 1-inch thick
Butter for frying
For Garnish: Powdered sugar and 1/2 cup each blueberries and sliced strawberries
Whisk the eggs, milk, half-and-half, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl. Working with three to four slices of baguette at a time, soak the bread in the egg mixture for one to two minutes. While bread is soaking, heat a frying pan over medium heat with a little butter. Shake extra egg mixture off bread and cook for two to three minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through. When all slices are cooked, arrange French toast on platter and garnish with berries and powdered sugar. Serves four.
This is a very simple recipe. Even a young child can help to put ingredients into a blender. Surprise Mom with a smoothie and toast or store-bought muffin.
2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 banana, cut into quarters
1 cup sliced, frozen peaches
1 teaspoon agave nectar to sweeten if desired
Place ingredients into blender and blend one to two minutes until smooth.
Raspberry Cream Cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature for 30 minutes
2/3 cup fresh raspberries
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Mash berries with a fork and stir in sugar. Stir into cream cheese until well-blended. Chill for 15 minutes and serve on a toasted cinnamon raisin bagels or toast. 💓