When you’re cooking for kids it can be difficult getting them involved in the process at times. Sometimes I just want them out of the kitchen because the stove is hot and/or the water is boiling. But with all the things your children could be doing – it’s truly best when you can teach and share dinnertime with them during this special time of the day.
Lately, I’ve been using my crockpot. I guess the new term is ‘slow cooker’ but I grew up calling it a ‘crockpot’. I haven’t used my crockpot in years and was shocked how easy meals have been lately.
I remember when I was growing up my mom used to make a German recipe called ‘Eintope’. She threw a bunch of vegetables and meat into the pot and let it cook all day long. When I would come home from school I’d have all the ‘Eintope’ I wanted! Yum! (… of course, that seemed to always be during the cold months when I think crockpot cooking is the best!)
Kids love to help in the kitchen. My youngest is always looking for a job. Sometimes he stirs the sauces, sometimes he rolls the croissant rolls. With crockpot cooking your kids can help cut up vegetables (… please use a vegetable chopper!) and dump everything in the pot together. Now, what could be more fun for a kid?
Keep in mind, I go by the general rule that fewer ingredients are always better when kids are involved. If your children are like my kids – they probably have a short attention span. My boys will run into the kitchen, want to help, and then suddenly bolt into the living room (… leaving everything out on the kitchen counter) because their favorite TV show came on! It’s a challenge some days, but I love it. Just don’t forget to let the kids help with the cleanup. I always make them clean the table and load the dishwasher. But crock pots usually require a little more effort.
Cooking with kids can truly be a joy that you will cherish for a lifetime. If you’re not much of a chef, crockpot cooking makes it especially easy! I hope you try it and have fun along the way.
Enjoying Life Online,
Article by Eileen Starbuck. Eileen is the featured author, editor, and publisher of EverythingEileen.Com [http://www.everythingeileen.com]. Enjoy her helpful tips, resources and fun perspective on being a single mom raising two boys. Eating out is one of the most favorite family activities. It improves family bonding and lets parents spend more time with their kids. But have you ever thought of healthy cooking for kids? You can still eat at the dining table and have that same bond, minus the expensive bill and unhealthy food.
Start with the basics. Avoid fried foods. Kids love fried everything. Whether it’s chicken, fries, hotdogs, or burgers- they love it. When cooking these foods, you can either decrease the oil when frying or use healthier alternatives like boiling hotdogs and removing chicken skin. Burgers and fries are to be avoided whenever possible, but if your children crave for it, give them small portions occasionally.
Sweets are one of the main culprits to why children gain weight. Moreover, chocolates and candies make your kids hyperactive. Healthy cooking for kids is not limited to the main courses. You could also make adjustments through the desserts. Replace ice cream and chocolate with fruit shakes or bowls. Blending fresh fruits or making fruit bowls are very healthy and refreshing for your kids.
Replace full cream milk with low-fat milk. Your kids won’t even taste the difference but will have a major impact on their diet in the long run. When cooking pasta, you could also replace the regular pasta with whole-grain so that they eat healthier. Make the sauce tasty but with no meat. Pesto is one of the healthiest recipes for pasta because it only uses basil and olive oil as the main ingredients. If you must add meat, use chicken instead of pork and beef.
Homemade pizza is healthier than ordering from pizza places. It might take a lot more time to prepare but it’s worth it. Make a vegetarian pizza and let your kids enjoy it minus the oil and the unhealthy meat toppings.