As toddlers begin to grow, their desire for discovery grows as well. Curious fingers will beg for activities and one of the best activities to feed a growing toddler's curiosity is having them help in the kitchen. Besides, cooking with the kiddos is fun.
When parents have their kids help in the kitchen, it should be a fun learning experience. Have the kids help make dinner or bake cookies and let them gather dishes and ingredients for their chosen recipe. Always stay close by their side in order to help, but try and let them mix up the recipe on their own as much as possible. Also, if possible, choose a recipe that the kids can be inventive with.
Helping out in the kitchen can be a lot of fun for the kids while they are throwing sugar and chocolate chips into a bowl while munching on cookie dough. It is cleaning up afterward that tends to be the problem. Have them put everything away and clean up their dishes while their recipe is cooking. Make it fun by creating a game or song from cleaning up.
Create Healthy Eating Habits
Having the kids help out in the kitchen is the perfect opportunity to teach healthy eating habits. Although it is great to bake cookies with the kids, try to also have them help with healthy recipes as well. If children grow up creating healthy dishes rather than chicken nuggets and corn dogs, that will follow them throughout their life.
Be sure to dress the kids in the proper kitchen attire while they are helping with the cooking. More than likely, it is going to result in a mess. Dress them in clothes that can be stained without any worries and invest in a child's apron to keep them clean. A hook and loop toddler belt is also great for keeping pants up while cooking so dirty hands are not constantly pulling on sagging jeans.
Fall Time Yummies
Create some fall time memories with the kids by making autumn-themed treats. Pumpkin pie, spiced apple cider and candied apples are a few ideas, but one of the best recipes to cook with the kids this fall is caramel corn.
24 to 28 cups of freshly popped plain popcorn
2 cups of dry roasted peanuts
2 cups of brown sugar
1/2 cup of light corn syrup
1 teaspoon of salt if desired
1 cup of margarine or butter
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Heat oven to 250 degrees.
Place the popcorn in a large roasting pan.
Add the peanuts to the pop corn and set aside.
Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter or margarine, cream of tartar and salt in the saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend.
Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat.
Stir in the baking soda and vanilla and beat it together vigorously until light and foamy.
Immediately pour the mixture over the popcorn and stir to coat.
Bake for 1 hour while removing the pans and stirring every 15 minutes.
Line a counter top with waxed paper, dump the corn out onto the waxed paper and separate the pieces.
Allow to cool completely and then store in airtight containers or resealable bags.
Let the kids mix the ingredients together and pour the mixture over the popcorn. Make sure to help them enough that they do not burn themselves but remember to have lots of fun!