Kids Can Cook!
Summer vacation is winding down and these hot August days may require you to get creative to keep the kids busy. Why not try something fun in the kitchen?
Benefits of Getting Kids in the Kitchen
Introducing kids to new foods can be difficult, but getting your kids involved in the cooking process can help even the pickiest of eaters. Let your kids participate in grocery shopping, planning what goes into their lunchboxes, and even helping to prepare dinner. Kids are more willing to try new foods that they’ve had a hand in preparing or planning because it gives them a sense of ownership. This, in turn, can reduce mealtime struggles between parents and kids. Here are some more benefits of cooking with your kids:
· Sets structured family meal times
· Reduces the number of meals eaten outside of the home
· Allows for quality family time
· Home-cooked meals are often more nutritious
· Boosts kids self confidence when they feel they’ve accomplished something
· Teaches about healthy foods, balance and portion control
· Gives parents a chance to be healthy role models and establish good eating habits
· Teaches children food preparation skills that will last a lifetime
Tips for Cooking With Kids
1. Opt for kid-friendly. Choose healthy, fun, and hands-on recipes that aren’t too complicated for kids to prepare. Assembly type meals work well for all ages. Try tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, salads or sandwiches.
2. Keep it safe. Practice good food safety habits when cooking with your kids. Make sure to have everyone wash their hands and all surfaces that come into contact with food first. Don’t cross-contaminate and cook all foods to a safe temperature. Teach them to steer clear of sharp tools, hot pots and pans to prevent burns, and injuries. Reinforce these food safety basics while you cook! For more information on food safety, visit www.fightbac.org.
3. Teach nutrition. Explain the health benefits of the foods you are choosing. For example, you might explain that low-fat dairy products contain calcium, which helps to build strong bones and teeth. When you tell kids why it’s important to have certain foods in their diet they may be more likely to try them. This will also help to teach them healthy eating habits for the future.
Mini Muffin Frittata’s
- 6 eggs or egg whites
- 1 cup low-fat shredded Cheddar Cheese
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- ½ cup low-fat milk
- ¾ cup grated zucchini
- ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
Heat oven to 350°F. Get the kids involved by having them beat the eggs and milk. Then, add salt and pepper (to taste) in medium bowl until blended. Once the eggs are beaten, have them grate zucchini on a box grater. Next, children can spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Have an adult chop bell pepper and onion and add to eggs. Mix well. Let children spoon egg mixture evenly into 12 cups of a greased muffin pan, about 1/4 cup each. Bake in 350°F oven until just set — 20 to 22 minutes. Cool on rack 5 minutes. Remove from muffin pan and serve warm. Serves 6. Serving size 2 mini muffin frittatas.
Nutrition Info: 164 Calories, 11g Total fat, 6g Saturated Fat, 207mg Cholesterol, 296mg Sodium, 3g Carbohydrates, 0g Dietary fiber, 12g Protein