Filed Under (food food food, kid stuff, pictures) by Rachel on 11-04-2009

Folks who have known me for a while know that my kids spend a lot of time in the kitchen with me. Some of this is because we have food intolerances and dietary restrictions, and some of it is because my mother always had us in the kitchen, too. My girls have been adding ingredients to my cooking since they were toddlers. Can it be frustrating? yes. Is it messy? yes. Have I ever needed to completely redo something? yes. Is it worth it? absolutely!

I’ve found that the girls become more invested in meals they help make, which means they are less likely to make a fuss about the food. And that’s always a good thing! BG and MG are great at reading recipes and measuring, while LG (5 1/2) is a very enthusiastic stirrer. I can now delegate a lot in the kitchen to the girls, and they are thrilled to be a part of the cooking. I do kick them out when I am been incredibly busy or short on time, but I try to do that infrequently. The more the girls follow our recipes and cook with me, the more they know. With their food restrictions, they will always need to cook for themselves, so it’s best to start early!

Kids can cook
BG, who is now almost 11, made up her own new recipe a couple months ago. It started one night when she wasn’t particularly interested in the dinner I had been planning. So, rather than simply whining, she created a new dish, which we ate that night. We learned quickly that it is smart to rinse black beans very well, otherwise your entire meal turns a bleh charcoal grey. Since then she’s made some adaptations, and now her recipe is up at the recipe blog – it’s called Sausage, Beans, and Potatoes. Not the most exciting name, but it’s a meal that BG created and can make almost entirely by herself!

With some supervision and guidance, a microwave, an oven, and a stove, kids can start experimenting with recipes. I know very few kids who wouldn’t leap at the chance to try making dessert. Once you have them hooked, also encourage them to slice fruit or veggies for a salad, and then you can step up to adding seasoning for a soup or sauce… Kids can be so much fun in the kitchen, and it’s a great way to spend time together and eat healthy, homemade foods!


Melanie on 11 April, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

The recipe looks great! We’ll definitely try it! It’s wonderful to read how involved your girls are with cooking! I’ve started giving my boys more and more tasks and plan to devote big chunks of the summer to cooking with them.

Nichole on 12 April, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

My daughter loves to help in the kitchen. I can’t wait until she’s old enough to make dinner for the family!

carol at A Second Cup on 16 April, 2009 at 11:54 am #

BG’s recipe looks great. It has ingredients we always have on hand. I think I will try it this week.

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    • A Gaggle of Girls

      About Me: I'm a Mom living a busy life with 3 girls (11, 9, 6) who have just started school for the first time, Celiac Disease, , Chronic Lyme Disease which acts like Fibromyalgia, job-hunting, 1 cat, 1 puppy in exile, and a lot of books as we stay with family in New England. We eat great, homecooked, allergy safe food due to our food allergies & sensitivities.


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