Not everyone is going away for the March Break. For those of you staying close to home but managing a few days off with the kids, you may start to wonder why you didn’t sign them up for a daycamp part-way through the week. At our house this year I’ve had a request from the kids to have cooking class for them and their friends. My kids are seven years old so they’re at the age where they can definitely help out in the kitchen – plus when they help with things you can almost always get them to try foods they might not try if you just set it down in front of them.
A trip to the library is a great way to start this project. They’re likely to have kid-friendly cookbooks available and they almost always have parenting magazines that are full of meal suggestions.
Once you’re in the kitchen, start with the basics – hand-washing and safety. We’re definitely there to have a good time but being overly silly takes away from paying attention in a place where there may be sharp objects and a hot stove!
Teach the kids about washing their fruits and vegetables. Think of recipes they can help with. “Make Your Own Pizza” is a great starter. They can help grate the cheese and possibly help cut the vegetables if they are old enough. (If they’re not, consider letting them put the chopped vegetables in separate containers for a tidy kitchen.) Each child can have their own crust. It might be a pita or you may use your own crust. You could even buy the mini pitas and let your child make two or three custom pizzas! A dessert pizza at the end is a fun way to end the meal and it can include things like banana, walnuts (if you can have nuts at your house) and a creamy cheese.
Baking is one of those fun AND educational activities. Measuring ingredients teaches them about the science of baking and also helps with math practice. The best part about baking (at least at our house) is cracking the eggs!
There are tons of websites with kid-friendly meals if you need some inspiration. Google “Cooking with Kids” and there are options for kids of every age group. Good luck – you may find a family favourite.