Guest Post by Kitchen Club Kids(R) Author Eluka Moore
As many of you know, Handy Herbs is passionate about encouraging children to engage in growing things and using them to cook with. I believe there are so many benefits to becoming involved in these two key life skills.
Recognising the impact story books can have on young children, I want to share this fabulous post from Eluka Moore from Kitchen Club Kids who is the author of an award winning series of recipe stories.
In her post below she explains her passion for cooking with children and gives us a recipe for making a delicious and nutritious soup to cook with your children. I am thrilled to bring you Eluka’s post today – enjoy it!
SOUP’S ON: Cooking With Kids during the Holidays!
The holidays are a time of fun and celebration for families to gather, create special memories and enjoy festive meal after festive meal. However, with all the added family time the holidays can be stressful, especially if you are hosting the celebrations at your home.
For all of us out there with little ones, we have to remember that kids are naturally inquisitive, eager to learn and ready to help. So, why not put that energy to good use during the holidays? One way to help relieve some stress in the kitchen is to include your kids in the meal planning and preparation. It can keep them engaged and within eyesight while things get done.
As a health-conscious parent and one of the creators of Kitchen Club Kids® award winning, recipe-adventure storybook collection, involving my kids in the kitchen is something that I am very passionate about. I have seen firsthand the learning opportunities that exist in the kitchen as I cook with my kids. Some of my favorite memories are the ones where I am making a wholesome meal with my kids and watching them have so much fun chopping, mixing and stirring, not to mention, trying new foods along the way.
In the cold weather months we love to make soups. They are hearty, comforting, and best of all: everything goes into one pot. These one-pot wonders are great for cooking with kids and having a lot of people in the kitchen. Check out our recipe for Hearty Beef Soup.
Your kids will have fun washing the vegetables. They can cut (with your close supervision). Kids are great at combining ingredients, dumping all the chopped foods into the big pot. Stirring and seasoning are great kid tasks, too! Plus, every kitchen needs an official taste tester.
Remember these go-to tips for cooking with toddlers. They help keep my own kids engaged while cooking and most importantly, it helps to keep them safe in the kitchen.
- Share the prep work. This is an easy way to keep their attention focused on the task at hand. They can easily help with prepping ingredients, washing, measuring, pouring and stirring.
- Forget the mess. Expect that your kitchen is going to be messy after cooking with your toddler. To help with the stress of a messy kitchen, have access to plenty of towels and worry about clean up once the cooking fun is done.
- Taste as you go. This can be a fun way to get your child to taste your wonderful creation before sharing with the rest of the family. I always like to give a little sample to my son and celebrate the fact that we did it together. It makes him feel special.
- Have fun! Remember this is supposed to be a fun time for everyone in the kitchen. So, don’t stress about following recipes exactly. Take your time and expect that it is going to take twice as long to make a recipe. But, focus on all the memories you are creating along the way.
So, during the holidays, forget the stress in the kitchen, roll up your sleeves, grab your little helpers and start cooking. You’ll create some wonderful meals and lasting memories together! You will be surprised how much fun and educational cooking with your kids can be. And you never know, you may find a budding, little chef in your home.
Happy Holidays to you!
Co-creator/author of Kitchen Club Kids®
Thank you so much Eluka!
What an inspirational post with great tips too. I hope you keep Eluka’s advice in mind and get cooking with your kids!
Eluka has given readers of this post a promotional code (20KCK4U) to receive 20% off the total purchase of books from her online store. This code will be valid until 7th December. Please do check out the books ‘End Of The Rainbow Fruit Salad’ and ‘Garden Safari Vegetable Soup’ here. They are both lovely picture books that include a recipe along with developing other skills such as counting, colour recognition and fruit and vegetable recognition.
Do you have any tips or favourite books to inspire/engage children in cooking?