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Thread: Kids Cooking

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    Kids Cooking

    Kids Cooking - Part 1
    By Carolin Hopkins

    Cooking with kids. How many of us do it. You know I was listening to a wee bit of the news yesterday. Something I rarely do, because I call it the bad news. Well yesterday was no different. They were talking about how obesity increases your chance of having cancer. It is right up there with smoking. Then they said it could go right back to when we are in our mother's womb. That bigger babies have a higher rate of being infected with this disease later in life than smaller. Now don't quote me word for word on this. But it got me thinking about how big our society is getting and how big our kids are getting. To me it is a bit scary. Now I am not really scared for my own boys or my husband, because for the most part we are healthy. We eat well, we exercise and most important have fun. But not everyone is the same. So I started thinking. Why do my boys for the most part eat healthy? I came to the conclusion that it is partially because I have them involved in cooking with me. Now my boys are 7 and 2 ½ years old. But I have always let them help with cooking and while they are helping they are snacking.

    Now I am not saying they eat everything. To be honest my oldest has some sensory issues so he has a very limited diet. But what he eats is very healthy. I'll give you an example of his diet. He eats lots of oranges, apples, grapes strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cucumbers, peppers (except green), and broccoli. He will eat peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches (organic peanut butter). He loves his cheese strings and his number one protein is bison garlic sausage. He will eat chicken strips, but only from one particular restaurant. So do you see what I am dealing with here? Now don't kid yourself he eats candy as well. But you know at one point because of his sensory issues and other issues he could have lived off of French fries and milk. I let him have it because I needed him to eat. I've learned never to judge any parent until you are in their shoes. But even while we were going through all this I still had him involved in cooking with me and sure enough he has made a complete turn around and his teachers laugh because he literally opens a container of peppers at school and eats them like they were candy.

    So why not start having your kids help you cook. Kids' cooking is an awesome concept. Let them cut up the veggies for the salad or whatever you having for dinner. Don't be so concerned on how the veggies look, be happy that they are helping. I bet you any money that in no time at all they will be sampling a lot more foods. Hey they don't need to know exactly how healthy they are eating. That's what parents are supposed to worry about. Then there is the other benefit, you know the one where you get to just talk to your kids and find out what is up with them.

    Hey I know it is all about baby steps. But if you think about it, if we take these little baby steps isn't it likely that we will have healthier not to mention smarter kids.

    So let your kids cook. Let them cut and stir. It'll only bring you closer.
    http://ezinearticles.com/?Kids-Cooki...rt-1&id=813188

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    Kids Cooking Part 2
    By Carolin Hopkins

    Well I am back talking or should I say writing about cooking with kids. In my last article I suggested getting your kids to help you in cooking. I said get them to cut up the vegetables. Well I was thinking what else can we do as parents to get our kids eating healthier and I came back to cooking with kids. What else can we do while we cook with them to get them making better choices on what they eat.

    One way I get my kids trying different foods is I give them choices. What do I mean by this? When my kids ask for a snack, I will basically grab two different fruits or vegetables and say to them "Which one should we have"? Now if you noticed I did not say "which one do you want"? If I get them thinking I am going to be involved in this process as well, then they get excited. They are making a decision for me. Instead of me making it for them. Another word for that is FREEDOM. So then they make the choice and I sit down and snack with them. Once again this allows me as parent to have a moment with them and find out what is going on with them. Now one thing I should mention is, when you are holding up the healthy snacks make sure you know that there is a chance of them wanting them. Don't hold up something that there is no way of them eating. Also don't hold up a snack that you will not eat as well.

    Another issue that a lot of parents come across is the dreaded word "It's Yucky". I get to hear this all the time from my kids. I find though if you have them in the process of cooking a lot of the yucky talk goes away. Now when I say get them involved in the cooking process, I mean get them stirring. Get them to measure out ingredients. Have them add them to the pot. Sure you have to be around if the burner is on. Yes you have to tell them it is hot. But hey kids are smart and they learn quickly. I am telling you if my kids are helping me do all this they will 9 out of 10 times try the dish we are cooking. When it is time to sample to see if it needs more seasoning, get them to sample to. But if something is truly yucky to them then acknowledge it. If we don't like something, we say so. So why shouldn't they. My kids still try to get me to eat a banana and I simple say mommy does not like them. Honestly I could almost yell that I hate them. But I am the parent.

    The last issue I want to touch on is, just because you do not like it or because you think it is too spicy doesn't mean it is the same for your kids. My 2 year old loves spicy food. I am not talking hot wings, but I do cook with chilies and hot sauce and he likes it. I remember when my first son was about 8 months old and we were having thanksgiving dinner at my parents. Well I gave my son some stuffing and my mom was horrified. She said that has to many spices in it. He'll get sick. Well he ate all he could and then pumpkin pie (more spice) and he was a happy little boy. Hey let them try it. What is the worst thing, they spit it out.

    So once again, get those kids cooking, stirring measuring, and have fun. Like I said before it is baby steps. But really what do you have to loose. The way I see it you will only gain.

    Enjoy cooking with your kids and enjoy your kids.
    http://ezinearticles.com/?Kids-Cooking-Part-2&id=822848

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    Good articles, Fallen Angel. Most libraies have a nice selection of childrens cookbooks and some videos. I think both boys and girls should learn to cook basic things and having pictures or drawing gets them more excited.

    I have many memories of being in the kitchen with my mother and/or grandma cooking. Weather it is GreatGrandma O's Potato Rye Bread, beef stew, cookies or just new england boiled dinner this is a great time to talk about who taught you this recipe. The sweet&sour pork that came from a exchange student from the Philipines when my mom was a teenager or whomever. Family and cultural traditions are carried on this way. We know that the more senses that are involved create stronger memories. What is stronger than hearing about something while seeing it(written and the actual food), feeling it as you put it together, smelling it cookand finally tasting it.

    Kids that are too small to cut veggies can count measuring, get veggies out of the refridgerator, add spices and herbs, add cut up ingredients, stir pots (with close supervision) get out flatware/napkins and set the table. My daughter has done all of these with me in the last 24 hours.

    The kids I have known have also liked gardening (at least watering and picking) and food preservation. Canning and freezing have several steps that even small kids can be part of. Being involved in the process seems to make kids moe willing to eat the vegetables and fruit in question. Even in an apartment it is not hard to grow herbs and some tomatoes and peppers.
    Land of the Free because of the Brave.
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    I think the first thing i learned in the kitchen as boy was making cookies. Next thing was noodle and sauce with 13.
    I guess i wasn't much interessted in cooking, but my sister was.

    Since 2005 i'm more into cooking and now i often cook something for my girlfriend.




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    "We Germans fear God, but nothing else in the world; and already that godliness is it, which let us love and foster peace."
    - Otto von Bismarck, 1888

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    I'm very glad that my mother brought me up to cook. I've been making food for myself since I could reach the top shelf of the fridge, and for the family for the past few years. It makes me really sad when I meet kids my age who can't make anything without a microwave, whose parents would rather buy them a car than allow them to use the stove. I've given plenty of my friends cooking lessons. I'm working on my foster sister right now, but she's a hard one to get through to in a lot of ways.

    Now that I'm at the level I am with cooking, my mother and I have agreed that it's time to add in the next step... :p show cooking, arrangement, decoration, and display. I've done some fancy looking things before, but usually I've relied on the flavor and situational aesthetics (certain things being bubbly or browned making them look appetizing) in order to gain points with people.

    I think the most exciting part about this is that I'm sure new gadgets will be involved, namely a new set of knives... mmm... knife set.



    Sorry if I got a bit carried away with that. We're food snobs.
    Polygamy: it might not be for you, but what right do you have to keep it from me?

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