The Truth About Cooking with Kids (and a Free e-Cookbook to Mark Food Revolution Day!)

If we are being honest, I'm kinda over bathing my kids. I still do it, nightly in fact, but it's definitely one of the parts of parenting I enjoy the least. Cooking with my three year old and six year old kids? Yea, I do that too, but it's tough. The mess! The chaos! The "eggs-all-over-the-walls"! Over the years, however, I've figured out a few tricks that make it more fun for me - and my kids - to cook together.

I don't expect them to cook the entire meal, or dish, from start to finish. Instead, I look for ways to engage them in some part of what we are cooking, like lining the broccoli florets on the baking tray, or measuring the rice. Sometimes just decorating the raw veggies on a plate can engage my daughter for a solid chunk of time, and she's proud of the designs she creates and excited to eat them. I encourage them to taste as we go, and ask them what else a dish needs. Sure, sometimes they suggest cinnamon for asparagus soup, but we make it work. Finally, they have cute aprons, utensils small enough for their hands and we play really good music, so it's fun.

In honor of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day, I worked with a great group of bloggers to put together an awesome free e-cookbook, full of recipes and pictures of us cooking with our own kids. These recipes are kid-tested and parent-approved and are a great way to get your kids cooking, however you define it. So enjoy!

Here’s the lineup:

  • Zesty Lemon Waffles from Bettina Siegel of The Lunch Tray and her son

  • Roasted Tomato Bruschetta from Grace Freedman of EatDinner.org and her daughter

  • Sticky Maple Chicken Wings and Chef P’s Salad from Bri DeRosa of Red, Round, or Green and her boys

  • Salad from Mia Moran of Stay Basic and her three kids

  • Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken from Real Mom Nutrition and her boys

  • No Fry Sweet Potato Nests from me with my two children

  • Simple Roasted Potatoes and Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan from Lynn Barendsen of The Family Dinner Project and her sons

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