Nov 3 2014

Mommy Monday: Guest Post-Cooking With Kids

Happy Monday Everyone!

I am excited to have my friend Samantha of Bearcub Creations with us here today guest posting.  Samantha and I know each other from our days teaching and now we are both stay at home moms and bloggers! She is here to share some great tips for cooking with kids.  This is not my strength so I am so excited to use some of Samantha’s tips in the kitchen and get in there and have some fun with my little guy!

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Hi! My name is Samantha Jardin and I blog over at bearcubcreations.com. I met Marissa 4 years ago, when I took over a 3rd grade class mid-year and we were on the 3rd grade team together. I was pregnant at the time with my son and when the school year was over, I decided that I would be a staying home with my little boy. My son, Aston is now 3 and my daughter Leia just turned 1! I cannot believe how fast time flies by!

Anyways, when I began my stay at home mom journey, I felt very lost. I had worked since I was 16 and struggled with the shift to being at home. I still struggle at times because as Marissa has said before, it is very isolating, but I love what I get to do.

When Marissa asked me to share something for Mommy Monday, I was thrilled and instantly thought about cooking with kids. I have a cooking, crafting and creating blog and cooking is a passion of mine and the teacher inside of me has brought my children into the kitchen on a daily basis.

I love cooking with Aston and enjoy the adventure, but let me tell you, it is an adventure! I have learned a lot in my time cooking with Aston, so I decided I’d share with you some tips for how to best do this, while remaining calm and having an overall happy experience together.

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1.     Teach your child kitchen safety first!

One of the first words both Aston and Leia learned was “hot!” Because they are in the kitchen with me at such an early age, we teach them that the stove top and oven are hot and should not be touched. We get their little hands close so that they can feel the heat (not too close of course, just enough to feel that it is hot) and then tell them “This is hot. Don’t ever touch.” Still to this day, Aston is very cautious around both, but we continue to have the conversation. The same thing goes for teaching about knives and other tools. We explain and show our kids everything that could hurt them and make it very clear that they should not touch them. Of course children are curious, but I really believe that if you explain things to them, they will remember especially if they are nervous about pain.

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2.     Be Prepared! 

Prior to even mentioning to Aston that we are going to cook together, I gather all the supplies and ingredients that we will need before I even invite him into the kitchen. I have gone into cooking with him before unprepared and scrambling to find all the ingredients I need as Aston is cracking the eggs all over the counter (true storyJ). This ends up being very frustrating for both of us and never ends well. There are times when I start cooking and then he says, “I want to help!” In this situation, I tell him to wait a few minutes and that I will call him when I’m ready for his help. This gives me some time to get things together before he gets in there.

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3.     Be okay with the mess.

I am a semi-type A personality. I have lightened up over time, but messes can get to me and I myself hate to get dirty! The thing that you have to remember is that kids are messy beings and cooking with them will get messy! Every time we bake together, there is a fine layer of sugar that ends up on my kitchen floor… every time! If we are making eggs in the morning, there will be some of the scrambled egg liquid on my counter and/or floor. But the thing you have to remember is that they will be so proud of themselves and the item they produced. It’s worth the mess! Plus, I have Aston help me clean things up a bit when we are done. It’s a great learning experience.

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4.     Set up simple rules.

Our rules are:

  1. You must always listen and follow directions, or you are out of the kitchen.
  2. You must listen to the amount of ingredients that mom or dad tells you to put in (ie. 4 strawberries, 1 cup of water, ect.) and not do any more.
  3. Do not touch anything that mom or dad hasn’t said that you could. It could be hot or sharp and therefore dangerous.
  4. Mom and dad will do the measuring or cracking, you will do the pouring.
  5. You are allowed to taste, but only if you ask first.

 

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5.     Have fun!

Seriously some of my favorite memories with Aston are in the kitchen. We have now started to bake every Thursday, if we don’t have a play date, during Leia’s morning nap. It is a great time to bond just the two of us and we have so much fun playing, learning and tasting in the kitchen. My goal with having kids in the kitchen is that they would learn the skills it takes to provide themselves great and healthy meals when they are on their own in the future. I was allowed to experiment and play in the kitchen as a kid and teen and ended up falling in love with cooking. I truly hope my children will feel the same way!

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Here are some ideas of things to cook with your kids if you feel a bit lost:

Scrambled Eggs: I always crack the eggs, it’s our kitchen rule and Aston knows that but he is allowed to stir the eggs on his own. I always give an example for him to see and then he follows. He also adds in the cheese or anything else we add into our eggs.

Pancakes or waffle batter.

Smoothies: have your kids add in the ingredients and when you are ready, have them push the button.

Cookies, muffins or cakes.

Making sandwiches or simple snacks. I know this isn’t truly cooking but Aston can make his own ham and cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all on his own, after I pull out the ingredients. (I am always standing with him to monitor and make sure the mess isn’t large, but he is so proud of making his own lunch.)

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I hope that if you haven’t brought your children into the kitchen, that I’ve inspired you to do so. Start small and work up to larger projects but remember that your job is to encourage and build up these little people and that it should be a positive experience!

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Aren’t those some great tips for cooking with your kiddos?!  So many things can be taught in the kitchen.  I am making it a goal to let my son help me more often and be ok with the mess that comes with that!  Do you enjoy cooking with your kids?  I’d love to hear some of your tips or fun recipes to make with them!

To see more of our Mommy Monday posts click around below!  And if you would be so kind as to go like our Facebook page All In Good Twine we would be so grateful!  Thank you for your continued support for us and our blog.

Hope you all have a great day!

Signature - Marissa

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