With three kids under 10, I’ll be the first to agree that cooking with your kids can feel like more trouble than it’s worth. It does require more clean up and more patience than cooking on your own. Not only do you have to help guide young kids with every step, you may not always agree on which ingredients to include in a dish. And when school-age kids discover that you’re making a salad instead of brownies, they may suddenly disappear.
But I also know that time spent together in the kitchen is meaningful. Cooking can help kids learn everything from math and reading skills to basic chemistry and nutrition. (Not to mention… how to cook!) Here are some ideas for getting kids of all ages to spend more time with you in the kitchen.
(note that all of these steps should be done with adult supervision)
Whatever you decide to make with your kids, I hope you have fun and remember—it’s really not about the end result—it’s about spending time together. So, ignore the mess and enjoy the feeling of knowing that you’re a really good parent.
This Cream of Mushroom and Great Grain Soup is one of my favorite hearty meals to make with my kids. It takes just 15 minutes to prep and is ready in 30 minutes. I do the chopping and then let my kids add the ingredients in per my instructions.
Makes 6 servings (a little over a cup each)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cups assorted mushrooms, chopped
2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced thinly lengthwise
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup dry white wine (or substitute more vegetable broth)
4 cups (1 quart) low-sodium vegetable broth
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (8.5-ounce) package Seeds of Change Seven Whole Grains
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, turning to coat with oil, and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and sprouts and cook for 8 minutes over medium heat, until softened. Add the thyme and stir.
2. Stir in the flour until incorporated. Add the wine and the broth and heat for 5 minutes over medium heat. Stir in the Seeds of Change Seven Whole Grains, salt and pepper. Add the cheese and heat for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until completely melted into the soup. Serve immediately or transfer to a container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.