When we started a vegetable garden years ago, we noticed that the kids wanted to be part of the whole process of gardening – like picking out seeds, researching the planning and spacing, and the actual (extensive) gardening and harvesting as well. It was fun to see how many new vegetables and fruits they would try if they took part in the growing! Now I don’t have much of a culinary background and have had to start from scratch as an adult. Cassidy grew up helping with the prepping and cooking of foods, and I have always admired that about him. It’s no wonder that we started our kids in the kitchen at young ages because we think it helps them make nutritious choices, and we think they enjoy it too! They even help us shop for ingredients.
5 Tips For Nutritious Cooking With Kids:
1 – Start young.
I know I mentioned it above, but it’s so important. Get them comfortable in the kitchen and let them start age-appropriate tasks. My kids are three years apart so they are fairly similar in what they are currently learning or doing with us, but there are definitely differences. It helps to have older kids help their younger siblings. I like to think of Des having three role models to help him in the kitchen. And Baby Rider has four! Make sure items are in reach for little ones.
2 – Schedule it.
Like anything, this can get lost in the hustle and bustle of family life. So we schedule a time when we will all be home, and most importantly – available, to try a new recipe together or make a family favorite. Often, breakfast time is our best time, especially on weekends, since evenings tend to be witching hour times for the dogs and baby.
3 – Kids choice!
Of course it helps when they help choose. I like to look up easy, kid-friendly recipes and share them with the kids. Of course, I have to make sure we have the proper ingredients or a plan to get them. What really helps my kids is to get 2-3 choices. I don’t think one choice is helpful in giving them independence, and over three recipe choices can be overwhelming.
4 – Make it accessible to them.
I know I mentioned above about having items in reach of young kids. Scarlet is super petite for her age, and her little brother is gaining on her. Sometimes I forget that because she’s so mature for her age. So we have things accessible to the kids, but also like to set up a kid-friendly workstation. I don’t know that this is for everyday use, but we do plan for it when we’re cooking together. The kids can’t use all of the kitchen tools, but we provide kid-friendly ones where needed, or just have them work on other tasks that they know how to do.
5 – Buy nutritious ingredients, and special branding is helpful.
This is where Arnold Organic Bread comes in! They place the earth front and center on their packaging, and at the heart of all they do, with USDA Organic ingredients and baking their bread using renewable energy. Using their bread helps my family make delicious meals together. My kids love avocado toast, so we make breakfast versions using Arnold Organic White made with Whole Wheat Bread, avocado, sesame seeds, and eggs.
Arnold Organic White Made with Whole Wheat Bread:
This USDA Organic bread for kids, is a plant-based bread, and a Non-GMO Project Verified bread that features Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. It’s perfect for picky eaters because it’s delicious and has a soft and smooth texture. And it also provides great nutrition for kids, as it’s USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and is also a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E. Plus, it’s sustainably baked using renewable wind energy. And as members of 1% for the Planet, Arnold Organic donates 1% of their bread’s revenues to support environmental causes. And who doesn’t love Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse?
Des loves to make his own sunbutter and jelly sandwiches with Arnold Organic White Made with Whole Wheat Bread. We have given him the perfect spreading knife, and he loves this bread, especially with crusts on!