Summertime Cooking with the Kids

There are so many wonderful things about summer.  The sun, the vacations, the beach, the pool, the lake, the memories… I could go on and on. However, I think one of the opportunities that doesn’t get nearly enough attention during the summer, is getting kids into the kitchen and teaching them how to cook. This doesn’t mean that I think you should get your small ones into the kitchen and start teaching them how to make risotto or pancetta wrapped chicken breasts – although kudos to you if you can. Getting your kids involved in the kitchen and giving them tools that will serve them well throughout their lives is an easy way to spend time together, make precious memories and help them eat better. A few of mine and my kids’ favorite starter cooking meals are:
  • Fruit kabobs -  cut your favorite summer fruits:  watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries and grapes into bite size pieces and thread onto coffee stirrers (safe, no sharp edges for little hands)
  • Brown Bag Popcorn – take a brown paper lunch sack, have your child pour in 1/3 C popcorn kernels and a dash of salt, fold the sack closed 3 times and pop into the microwave. Cook for about 2 minutes (depends on your microwave) or until there is a 2 second delay between pops. My kids think that making popcorn this way is one of the greatest treats ever.
  • Homemade Frozen Waffles: Measuring batter, cracking eggs and counting ingredients is great for numbers, sequence lessons and hand eye coordination.  Let your kids add their favorite add ins:  blueberries, strawberries, chocolate chips.. cook the waffles, let them cool and then freeze them.  Much better and more delicious than store bought and a fabulous hot summer treat.  My kids eat them frozen straight from the freezer!
Bringing your kids into the kitchen with you is a wonderful time for stories, bonding, lessons and memory making.


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