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Get your kids cooking with you

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  • Raspberry Lemonade, 7/23/14

    Raspberry Lemonade, 7/23/14

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-07-23 14:09:04 GMT
    Michael LanariKitchen Bath Concepts4 cups fresh lemon juice3 cups sugar1 bag frozen raspberriesIce cubes, for servingSqueeze the lemons and pour the juice into a pitcher. Mix together the sugar with 3 cups water and stir to dissolve to make a syrup. Add the syrup to the lemon juice and top it up with 8 cups water. Taste to make sure it's sweet enough for you, and then add the raspberries. Mix the lemonade together and let chill in the fridge. (Keep in mind that the raspberries are tart, so b...More >>
    Michael LanariKitchen Bath Concepts4 cups fresh lemon juice3 cups sugar1 bag frozen raspberriesIce cubes, for servingSqueeze the lemons and pour the juice into a pitcher. Mix together the sugar with 3 cups water and stir to dissolve to make a syrup. Add the syrup to the lemon juice and top it up with 8 cups water. Taste to make sure it's sweet enough for you, and then add the raspberries. Mix the lemonade together and let chill in the fridge. (Keep in mind that the raspberries are tart, so b...More >>
  • Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with Oreo Cookies, 7/22/14

    Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with Oreo Cookies, 7/22/14

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-07-22 15:12:24 GMT
    Alan BennettYield: 32 servingsIngredients:1 1/4 Quart Oreo Pieces-small, divided6 Tbl. butter, meltedCup Original Cream Cheese, softened2 Cup sugar4 Ea. eggs1 1/4 Cup fresh blueberries1/3 Cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate, meltedDescription:Cheesecake bars made with fresh blueberries and Oreo Cookie Pieces.Preparation Steps:Combine 1 lb. of the Oreo Pieces and butter; press evenly onto bottom of 1 parchment-lined half-sheet pan. Place cream cheese and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer fitt...More >>
    Alan BennettYield: 32 servingsIngredients:1 1/4 Quart Oreo Pieces-small, divided6 Tbl. butter, meltedCup Original Cream Cheese, softened2 Cup sugar4 Ea. eggs1 1/4 Cup fresh blueberries1/3 Cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate, meltedDescription:Cheesecake bars made with fresh blueberries and Oreo Cookie Pieces.Preparation Steps:Combine 1 lb. of the Oreo Pieces and butter; press evenly onto bottom of 1 parchment-lined half-sheet pan. Place cream cheese and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer fitt...More >>
  • Melinda's chocolate peanut butter "dump" cake

    Melinda's chocolate peanut butter "dump" cake

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:20:16 GMT
    From Melinda Mayo, My Chocolate Peanut Butter "Dump" Cake was a hit this morning on Daybreak. I love to cook, but I don't bake a lot, so I bought this new cookbook with easy recipes. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 1 Pkg (about 15 oz.) chocolate fudge cake mix 1 1/4 cups water... 3 eggs 1/3 cup vegetable oil 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter, *warmed divided 1 cup mini peanut butter cups *Microwave peanut butter on LOW (30%) about 2 mins until pourable 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 x 9...More >>
    From Melinda Mayo, My Chocolate Peanut Butter "Dump" Cake was a hit this morning on Daybreak. I love to cook, but I don't bake a lot, so I bought this new cookbook with easy recipes. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 1 Pkg (about 15 oz.) chocolate fudge cake mix 1 1/4 cups water... 3 eggs 1/3 cup vegetable oil 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter, *warmed divided 1 cup mini peanut butter cups *Microwave peanut butter on LOW (30%) about 2 mins until pourable 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 x 9...More >>
By Elina Bolokhova
From Ideas That Spark 


Is your dinner table a battlefield? You aren't alone. One study showed that around 45% of children exhibit some “picky eater habits” at 36 months of age (source) and nearly two-thirds of parents describe at least one problem with their child's eating, according to another study in Contemporary Pediatrics.

But your child isn't doomed to a diet of white bread and chicken nuggets -- there's hope! A Canadian study found that kids who helped their parents prepare meals preferred healthier foods and ate 10 percent more of their veggies (source). “Kids are more likely to try foods that they had a hand in cooking,” says Katja Rowell, M.D. and childhood feeding specialist. “It's also a really fun activity that you can do with them.”

Try these tips to get your kids cooking with you in the kitchen:


Make Peace with Your Pantry


Does the thought of cooking dinner make your hair stand on end? “The first thing to do is to find your own joy with cooking,” recommends Rowel. “If you feel like cooking is a chore, it’s much harder to get your kids involved.” She recommends finding recipes or cookbooks that will get you excited about the process.


Start Small


“Children as young as two can be involved in food preparation,” says Jill Bloomfield, founder of Ingredient -- a print food and cooking magazine for children. She recommends thinking of cooking in terms of learning a second language: if you want your child to speak fluently, you need to begin lessons early. “Building food literacy from as young an age as possible gives kids a very strong foundation for getting beyond the basics and being very competent and self-sufficient.”

But make sure that what you’re asking your children to do is developmentally appropriate, Rowel advises. “Kids don't need to be little gourmet chefs. Start with tasks they can accomplish and build on skills.”

Smaller children can help dump ingredients, stir batters and sauces, or spread nut butters and cream cheese. Older children can assist with chopping fruits and veggies (take care to give them a dull knife to work with). They might help for only three or four minutes and then run off to play. That's okay, kids may be more or less interested in cooking at various ages.


Play to Their Interests


“I think the best way to get reluctant eaters involved is to find a way into food through something that they're already interested in,” says Bloomfield. “That might be sports, video games or a book. If your child is an artist, get them involved in cake decorating. It's important to spark an interest and curiosity through some other approach to food besides 'you have to learn how to cook' and 'you have to be healthy.'”

Another good place to start is with their favorite foods. Announce that you'll be serving up their fave and then invite them to help you make it.


No Nagging


Is dinner done and they still won't dig in? Don't force it, advises Rowel. Eating should be fun and joyful, not a chore. Making kids eat what they cook often backfires. In fact, one study showed that parents who pressured their children to eat actually produced more picky-eaters (source). You may need to introduce a new food 10 to 15 times before your child is willing to try it. However, do consider a ban on negative words like 'yuck' or 'gross.' Instead, ask your kids to articulate what they don't like about the food in question.


Get the Right Gear


Find kid-friendly cooking utensils: dull knives -- lettuce plastic or Ikea plastic knives work well -- chopping boards that don't slip, whisks with thick handles, and a sturdy foot stool with rubber feet that won't tip. Bloomfield recommends purchasing a small, plastic toolbox and keeping your child's utensils in there. “When it's time for kids to cook, they can pull out their toolbox and really feel a sense of ownership and mastery with their tools, which is really key.”



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