Fill your lowest kitchen drawers with play food, Tupperware and other plastic dishes so kids can cook while mom does. I always taste-test their casserole and make recommendations and let them do the same for me.
We got our four-year-old daughter a desk for Christmas and filled it with notepads, tape in bright colored dispensers, colored pens, stationary and paperclips. She keeps busy writing letters and making pictures while we cook dinner without interruption. We keep it in the kitchen so she can still be in the middle of things without being underfoot.
Put your mini-chef to work. My kindergartner loves to mix red food coloring into her mashed potatoes, resulting in a lovely pink color. Initially, this was the only way I could get her to eat them. Now it has the added benefit of involving her in the cooking process.
Mix up a batch of peanut butter play dough, using peanut butter. Even toddlers can participate, since it doesn't matter if they eat their creation.
Mix ingredients together adding powdered milk or powdered sugar if too sticky.
Even if kids aren't cooking, they like to help. Let the younger ones wash vegetables and fruits and get food from the refrigerator. The older ones can learn how to grate cheese and chop vegetables.
Quick, easy and safe recipe ideas for kids
Makes 4 servings
Whisk orange juice, yogurt, honey and lemon juice until smooth. Place banana slices and 1/3 cup of the berries in each bowl. Ladle orange juice soup over the fruit and enjoy!
Makes 4 servings
Place whole potatoes in sauce pan of cold water and bring to boil. Boil for 35 minutes, drain and cool. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half and hollow out potatoes inside, leaving 1/2 inch of potato in the skin. Mash potatoes with sour cream, cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons chives. Refill skins with potato mixture and put halves back together. Put 4 pretzel sticks on the bottom of each potato for legs. Make faces for the pigs, with the remaining chives as eyes and ketchup for a smile. Stand the pig up on it's pretzel legs, and prepare to "pig" out!
Provided by The Potato Board
This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.
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This page modified January 2007
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