Cooking with Kids

By Leslie Moore

Cooking with Kids

The upcoming holiday season brings families together for food, fellowship and fun. This year, make sure the little ones don’t get lost in the shuffle by letting them help plan and prepare meals. Even toddlers can put veggies and cheese on a tray, and children are much more likely to eat food that they help prepare.

Sasee has gathered a few tips to include your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews in upcoming holiday meals.

Tips For Little Helpers

  1. Plan on including dishes that the children in your life enjoy – let every child choose their special dish.
  2. Let the little ones help with the decorating. Toddlers can color placemats and older children might make a centerpiece for the table featuring fall leaves or pumpkins. Provide plenty of paper, crayons, markers and glue sticks, and let those creative juices flow!
  3. All ages can help in the kitchen. Let children wash the fruits and vegetables, stir up pumpkin pie filling and roll out pie crusts – there are no limits to the ways your youngest family members can help. Of course, be sure to keep knives and other hazardous kitchen tools out of reach.
  4. I’m sure most of you remember setting the table growing up. This is fun for children and a great time to teach them table etiquette.
  5. Everyone helps with cleanup. Toddlers can carry cloth napkins to the hamper and stack the placemats, while older children carry dishes to the kitchen. While you’re working, tell the little ones a few stories about cleaning up the kitchen when you were little – find ways to share laughter and love.

Here are a few recipes perfectly suited for the youngest cooks.

Roasted Broccoli or Cauliflower

  • 1 Head Broccoli or Cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt, pepper and/or other seasonings

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and cut vegetables into bite sized pieces. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and toss with seasonings. Place in oven for 20 minutes or until edges begin to darken. Recipe can be doubled, but be sure to place vegetables in a single layer on baking sheet.

Rainbow Mashed Potatoes

Mix equal parts red, Yukon and purple potatoes, wash and cut into pieces. Boil in a pot of salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes, reserving some of the liquid.

Place drained potatoes in a bowl with olive oil or butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash with a potato masher, using reserved cooking liquid as needed for smooth consistency.

Little Gobblers

Little Gobblers

Both delicious dessert and fun craft, this recipe is sure to please. They are simple to make and always a crowd pleaser.

  • Brown M&M Minis
  • Small red, yellow and orange jelly beans
  • Chocolate Wafer Cookies
  • Nutter Butter Cookies
  • Candy Corn
  • Reese Cups
  • White Cookie Icing

Attach a chocolate wafer cookie to the top of your Reese with a small dab of icing, then attach to the Nutter Butter with a small dab of icing. Make sure they are all secure, press together firmly.

Place a chocolate wafer cookie on your counter and squirt a large dab of white cooking icing onto the cookie. This will be your glue for the whole dessert so make sure you put plenty.

Attach the turkey “body” (Nutter Butter, Reese and cookie) onto the large dab of icing. Hold for a few seconds to make sure it is secure. Before the icing dries, add two orange jelly beans for the Turkeys claws. Put icing along the back side of the turkey and attach the “feathers” (candy corn). Add as many as you would like.

Squirt icing on the front of the Nutter Butter in the shape of an upside down triangle for the turkey’s face. Use the brown M&M Minis, and red and yellow jelly beans to make a face.

Sit back and watch the children enjoy sharing their adorable dessert!

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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2 Responses to “Cooking with Kids”

  1. Rose Ann says:

    Creative and fun! These are great ideas for including your children in the holiday preparations and together time. Thanks, Leslie.

  2. Leslie, my grandchildren will be delighted with their Nutter Butter turkeys. I am definitely making these.
    As a pre K teacher, I assure you that children will sample most anything if they take part in the preparation. Even if they refuse, I ask them to take No Thank You bite, which usually wins them over.

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