Like every child, mine always ask to help cook. They love being in the kitchen with me and I have found they will eat just about anything if you let them help make it. I have always thought it was important to teach them how to cook. One day they won’t live here anymore and being able to make meals is a skill that they will always use.
I will be honest, our time in the kitchen has gone well but I struggle with knowing exactly how much they can handle. It has been hard to step back and just let them go and hope that things turn out well. As a result, I tend to do more than they do and just allow them to help me with smaller tasks.
Did you know that by cooking with your kids they gain independence, confidence and even a respect for their bodies and minds? While it can be very hard to just step back and let kids cook, it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences for children.
Barbara Brandt’s daughter was eleven years old when Brandt thought she’d teach her to cook. When it proved to be more difficult than she envisioned Brandt knew there had to be a better way. So she got to work developing a new, one of a kind cooking program made just for kids. Inclusive of step by step lessons children need to learn to cook a meal, with a fun and engaging layout, easy to understand instructions, and an instructional DVD, the results are her new book. Your Kids Cooking! A recipe for Turning Ordinary Kids Into Extraordinary Cooks.
What I love about the Your Kids Cooking cookbook is that it really does take every single step and lay it out for them. Not only that but each recipe builds on skills learned in the previous recipe. The book starts out with a simple recipe for French Toast then builds on that from there.
There is one thing that really sets this cookbook apart from others. It includes an instructional DVD. This has been invaluable. The kids love watching the DVD on what recipe they want to make and then I set them loose in the kitchen.
Since receiving Your Kids Cooking cookbook the kids have made French toast, beef stir fry, and just the other night they made baked pasta with a homemade béchamel sauce. It included peas, bacon and a wonderful Parmesan, breadcrumb topping. The only thing I had to do for the entire meal was make the salad. They took care of everything else and even set the table.
Once they have mastered the recipes in the book I can get add on recipes at the Your Kids Cooking site to build even more on the recipes they have already made.
The one issue we are still working on is cleaning up as you go and doing the dishes after you are done cooking. But until we get to that point I am happy to take a night off from cooking every so often.
- 1 pound Penne pasta
- 4oz Real Bacon Bits
- 1 cup Frozen Peas
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 4 cups milk
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 3 Tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Melt butter over medium heat, add flour and whisk until smooth paste forms
- Add milk, and salt, stir until sauce begins to simmer
- Reduce heat to maintain simmer
- Cook until sauce thickens
- Add nutmeg, and stir
- Drain pasta and return to pot
- Add sauce, bacon bits and peas to pasta and stir to combine
- Pour pasta into casserole dish
- Top with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 375.