girl with jar

Cooking With Kids – Tip #1

START WITH PROJECTS

First in a 4-part series on cooking with kids
By Jamila T, chief area manager & veggie fairy godmother:

(TIP 2: Let them do hard things)
(TIP 3: Set kitchen ground rules)
(TIP 4: Use common sense)
(PS: Clean up & celebrate!)

Confession: I love to cook. I HATE cooking with my kids.

I have four of them, and every adventure that begins in the kitchen ends in a mess. A big one. They eat half of what I am preparing and poke holes in the rest. Boredom is inevitable, which leads to wandering during tasks or frustration. It is borderline terrible, but in my eyes, it is terribly necessary.

Learning to cook is an important life skill and will empower kids to make wise food choices. Time in the kitchen is also an opportunity to model practical applications of math, reading, and following instructions. It gives my girls time to hone fine motor skills, explore food science, and practice the art of patience. Cooking with kids is important, even if it drives me crazy.

Does cooking with the kids in your life make your brain hurt? Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my favorite tips. Here’s the first one.

1. Start with projects

Family meals tend to be more time sensitive than cooking projects. Projects like zucchini muffins will allow your child to experiment with new skills, without ruining dinner. Once skills like grating, chopping, tearing greens, and peeling garlic (my personal favorite), have been mastered, they can graduate to meal prep. Trust me, your children will revel in simple tasks. Plus, it is very helpful to have little fingers peeling garlic cloves while you sauté chicken.

Ready to dive in?

Challenge the kids with grating zucchini and make these zucchini muffins. Instead of Greek yogurt, substitute Seasonal Roots’ Trickling Springs Creamery yogurt made from grass-fed milk for extra goodness. You can also use yellow summer squash instead of zucchini — pretty much the same taste and texture.

Mission accomplished?

Celebrate by posting a picture on our Facebook page!

Want to be ready for next week’s recipe?

Add honey and summer fruit like strawberries, blueberries, or peaches to your basket when the Seasonal Roots home-delivered farmers market menu opens on Friday.