Cooking with kids

Healthy meals – healthy children

Experts say that 1/3 of American children are obese or overweight and most don’t eat enough vegetables. Many of their eating habits will be formed between the ages of 2 and 5. It makes sense that if children get involved with cooking, they will understand and appreciate food. What a gift to give children healthy eating habits to power them through life.

Kids can help plan meals and special cooking projects. It is good for them to learn to think ahead, be patient and follow through. Either pick a quick recipe, or give kids a healthy snack before you begin. Nobody likes to cook when they really want to be eating.

Give them a safe place to cook, maybe by setting up a ‘counter’ (cutting board or tray on a chair) at their level. Make it clear that the stove/oven are off limits. Give them safe, nylon knives. If they can read, put them in charge of instructions from the recipe. Use math skills to measure ingredients and count the ‘stirs’ or ‘shakes’ called for in the recipe.

Finally, include kids in the clean up. They will enjoy setting the kitchen back on its feet after a whirlwind of creative cooking energy.

My son-in-law suggested that I look at a new kid’s cooking app, launched on Kickstarter this week. It is called Nomster Chef and its mission is to raise a healthier generation of kids (2.5 to 12 years old) by teaching them how to cook. Nomster Chef is a website with illustrated recipes designed to teach children to cook. By supporting this effort on Kickstarter, you will be the first to have access to the website. Here is the Nomsterchef Kickstarter page. It reached its funding goal of $10,000 in two days! Your commitment can range from $5 for a single pizza recipe or a $10 a month subscription to the website and its library of kid friendly recipes or $25 for a three-month subscription. You will be an early supporter of Nomster.

The website will be up and running in February of 2018. Hint: A subscription to Nomster would make a fun present for young children and their parents.

Cooking With Kids is a Santa Fe based nonprofit which has been working since 1995 to make it easy for children to learn to cook healthy food and for families to cook together. Cooking With Kids.

Sesame Street’s Let’s Cook includes 50 healthy recipes for children ages 2 to 5. Celebrity chefs include Elmo, Cookie Monster and Grover. Let’s Cook $10.40

Kid Chef: The Foodie Kids Cookbook: Healthy Recipes and Culinary Skills for the New Cook in the Kitchen offers over 75 healthy recipes for kids with basic cooking skills and fun food facts. $10.87

Cooking Class: 57 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (and Eat!). For children ages 6 to 12. $14.65

Cutting and Cooking with kids

Nylon Knives for young cooks. BPA free. Curious Chef 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set, $8.94.

Decorating can personalize even basic foods. My granddaughters and I make Mickey Mouse pancakes and then decorate them with all kinds of cut up fruit for eyes, noses and whiskers. Mickey Mouse Silicone Pancake or Egg Ring. $14.90

Curious Chef 25-Piece Kitchen Basics Kit. $52.76

Oven mitts for kid chefs

NEOVIVA Heat Resistant Oven Mitts for Kids, $12.99

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