Serving up veggies in all of our products!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Little Help in the Kitchen Goes a Long Way

Having help from everyone in the family transforms cooking dinner from a chore into a bonding experience, memories of which will last a lifetime. Plus, lending a hand in the kitchen is a great way to introduce kids of all ages to new foods; even picky children will want to taste the dishes they help make. Get your kids involved in the kitchen with these age-appropriate kitchen tasks:

5 years and under

pick herbs
stem fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary
scrub potatoes

wipe mushrooms
shuck corn
sprinkle cheese
brush garlic butter onto bread
sort out bruised berries

work the salad spinner

taste everything
make butter (*see “Homemade Butter” below)

6-9 years
all of the above, plus:
measure ingredients

help choose recipes

knead dough
stir continuously

crack eggs

wash fruits and vegetables
thread skewers

whisk vigorously
crank pasta machine

assemble salads

layer lasagnas and casseroles
package up extras

set the table

10-12 years

all of the above, plus:

toast nuts
mash potatoes

grate cheese
begin learning knife skills

make croutons

13-18 years

all of the above, plus:
dice onion

mince garlic

make vinaigrette

wash pots and pans
work toward making the whole family dinner once a week

* Homemade Butter
Here’s a great way to not only keep little ones busy as you cook but also allow them to contribute to dinner in their own way. Fill a jar halfway with heavy cream and screw the lid on tightly. Have your child shake the jar and in less than 15 minutes, you’ll have homemade butter. When a ball of butter forms in the jar, pour off the liquid, add a little salt and contemplate additions to flavor the butter. Minced garlic and/or any minced herb work great, but suggest playful combinations like orange-honey butter (+ orange zest & honey) for cornbread muffins or strawberry butter (+ strawberry jam) for buttermilk biscuits and let your child decide!

- Dinner at Your Door by Alex Davis, Diana Ellis & Andy Remeis

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