Last night I went out with a group of Moms for drinks (ok being on Whole 30 I had herbal tea and drooled at everyone’s wine). Naturally, the discussion turned to kids. Having this blog post in mind I asked everyone how they felt about having their kids help in the kitchen. The answers were mixed about the logistics of it all, but we all agreed on one thing. Allowing kids to help choose food and/or cook with you makes them much more likely to try new things and be enthusiastic about eating.
I have always had my kids “help” me in the kitchen. They love to add ingredients, mix, crack eggs, and even flip pancakes (my 8 year old is a great almond flour pancake flipper). They get excited knowing its time to make something. It’s a nice way to keep then involved and still get done what you need to. With younger toddlers, giving them their own bowl with stuff you aren’t really making inside it is great. They don’t know it’s not what you’re making, but they are still excited to “help”.
Some ideas for things to let them do mostly on their own are:
Smoothies–they can pick the fruit,veggies, pour liquid, turn it on and off.
Eggs–my boys love cracking them. Unfortunately only the 8 year old can do it without getting a bowl full of shells. They can also mix them and scramble them.
Trail mix and granola–they can add the ingredients and mix by hand. They also can put in containers.
Baking–I give them their own measuring spoons, cups, etc. They mix, pour, turn on the oven, and watch the timer
So here’s a super easy Paleo snack idea to make with the kids. We make a big batch and then the kids fill little snack sized ziplocks that we stash in the car and self serve snack drawer in the house. We keep the baggies, rinse and dry, then store for next time.
KIDS CHOICE TRAIL MIX
3/4 cup cashews
3/4 cup pistachios
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup chocolate chunks (we use either Dagoba chocodrops or Enjoy Life chips/chunks)
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Allow little hands to measure, dump, mix, and of course SAMPLE. Then put in containers for individual snacks or a big airtight container for the pantry.