THREE MOMS ◽ TIPS
It’s fall, and it’s usually the time for more homemade goodies like soups and cookies and warm and tasty aromas filling the house! And it seems that kids like to be a part of making the food! So many say that if kids are involved in the making of the food, they will then be more likely to eat the food. Do you find that to be true?
Our moms are weighing in on how they include the kiddos in the stirring, the making, and the preparation of dinner for the family…or not.
Mom of 4 kiddos, 10 and under…
Cooking is not my favorite, so I am thankful I have eager kids that want to help and really enjoy cooking. And, YES, I do let them help! The quicker I can train them the less I will have to cook. (Can any other moms relate?) It does get stressful when they are all in the kitchen at the same time, so we take turns.
My oldest, Grace (age 10), has gotten pretty good at cooking, and I can turn her loose while a sibling or two help! One of her (and my) favorites is her homemade cookies. These are a huge hit and are always cooked to perfection. They are iced sugar cookies, so she can spice them up for any occasion or holiday.
When it comes to dinner time, we have a "kitchen" kid for the week that helps clean up the kitchen before and after dinner, and assists in setting the table. Dishes and cleaning are not my kids’ favorite chore, but cooking seems to be a fought after activity! So I always have volunteers to stir, add ingredients, help Dad with the smoker / grill, and taste test the food!
Mom of 2 littles…ages 4 and 2…
I’ve really had to let loose when it comes to allowing my kids to help with meals. They LOVE IT; however, I know that it will create a mess, require patience, and take at least 30 more minutes to make the meal. When I let down my guard and focus on the joy it brings to my girls, I love it too.
Their favorite things to do to help are stirring, measuring and taste testing. I found it easier to go ahead and get all the ingredients out, because if I turn my back once, I know my two year old will have everything poured out on the floor! They take turns pouring and stirring, and always eating. They get distracted easily, so I usually have them help me with simple recipes - scrambled eggs, muffins, cupcakes, and cookies. We talk about the ingredients, what we are making, and I thank them for being big helpers.
Our favorite recipe, no matter what the season, is Banana Nut Bread! The girls love helping me make this and they devour every last bit.
Mom of 3 children, ages 8 and under…
Honestly, I like being in the kitchen by myself, and I like the kids playing outside while I cook!
However, my kids do help with baking. Cracking eggs and stirring – the kids do help with that! (They love turning on the KitchenAid!) The kids each have their own aprons and my daughter has her own set of cooking utensils in a plastic tub. And we have a stool, which is a necessity for kids in the kitchen! Baking works easier for us; because items are measured out. I cook dinner on the fly, so I don’t use the kids for meals as much.
We are making muffins this week, which is something fun our family enjoys. Pecan pie is a fall favorite, so they like to toss in the nuts!
My kids are required to take their dishes to the sink after dinner. However, we don’t have “sets” of dishes. I plate at the counter and then serve on the table.
And lunch? All three kids have learned how to pack up from the array of choices I’ve given!