I have a little confession here. I didn’t learn how to cook until I was about 23 or 24 years old. Sure, I could make macaroni and cheese and grill a good steak, but cooking full blown meals was a chore I was never really interested in.
Sadly, those first couple years when my youngest was on solid foods we did a lot of frozen meals. I justified it by saying I was a working single mom, there is just as much nutrition in those frozen meals as there is a regular meal, and there isn’t enough time in the day to cook.
Those were all just excuses though, and I finally reached a point where I forced myself to learn how to cook.
Well, on the shift I was working it was either eat bland, tasteless foods or make meals for the clients and staff myself. I chose the latter, and found I really enjoy cooking and baking.
When you begin to have fun in the kitchen, it isn’t long before the kiddos want to have fun with you. The problem was trying to figure out which recipes were kid friendly, and letting go of some of the control I relished.
Yes, pun intended. I have found that there are various tasks that can be safely performed by young ages, and a few recipes that are easy for children to follow.
To begin with, if you are in the kitchen baking, the young ones can measure out any of the dry ingredients you may need. I would put newspaper out on the table or counter, whatever surface you are using, to make clean up easier.
My 9 year old learned how to crack open an egg without getting shell everywhere after only three tries, so whenever I am cooking something with eggs he is my go-to helper.
My favorite recipe for kids is crispy rice treats. Here is an easy recipe to follow, and you can add food coloring to make the treats more colorful or even holiday themed.
Crispy Rice Treats
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 4 cups miniature marshmallows
- 6 cups crispy rice cereal
Directions: Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Mom or dad may want to be in charge of this one. Once melted, remove from heat.
Add cereal and stir well until coated in butter. Use wax paper or a buttered spatula to press mixture evenly into pan, generally the 13x9x2 inch cake pan. Allow to cool, an cut into 2 inch squares, or use a cookie cutter for fun shapes.
Notes: Treats can be frozen for up to 6 weeks. Separate layers with wax paper and place in freezer friendly container.
Fresh treats should be eaten within two days if stored in air tight container. Diet, reduced calorie, and tub margarine is not recommended.
Added fun for kitchen time? Turn on your favorite music and make cooking fun for the whole family!