Posts Tagged ‘cooking with kids’

Cooking with Your Toddler

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

cooking with your toddlerI love to cook! It’s a huge part of what I do as a holistic health counselor and it’s been a huge part of my life since I moved out of my parents’ house when I was 18. When I was working full time out of my home I had to get creative on making time to cook. It wasn’t something I was willing to compromise on, and after being away from each other all day my daughter wanted my full attention and of course I also wanted to spend quality time with her too. So I figured out ways to make cooking fun for us to do together.

That’s how I discovered the “Learning Tower”. I’ve had it for over 3 years now and I will say it is worth every penny I spent on it. You could surely use a step stool if your child is tall enough or even other versions of the same thing. The key is to have them at counter level so that they can actually help you do things. Yes, it might be a little messier and take a little longer to have them help, but it’s so much fun for them and it’s such a great learning experience for them to see first hand how meals are actually prepared. I’ve also found that kids are much more open to trying new things when they’re helped prepare them!

Make sure you have a chore to keep them entertained. Some great things to help keep them entertained that are actually helpful are: tasking them to get things off low shelves, mixing ingredients together in a large bowl (if the bowl is too small you’re just asking for a big mess!), adding premeasured ingredients into a bowl, pressing the button on the food processor, rinsing vegetables, adding toppings, rolling out pizza dough, scooping batter into muffin tins, or greasing pans. The more time you spend with your child in the kitchen the more ways you’ll find to incorporate their help.

If you’re looking for some kid friendly cookbooks that can give you ideas and make it even more fun for the kids, Fork and Bottle has reviews on quite a few cookbooks that are specifically for kids. One that we have particularly enjoyed is Eat like a Dinosaur by the Paleo Parents. The recipes are kid friendly, delicious, and they have specific tasks in each recipe for kids to do which gives you one less thing to worry about. Toss out your fears of getting messy and get into the kitchen!

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor and online fitness coach. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception to those trying to get their grove back after pregnancy to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mom and baby.

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

We have a canal right near our house where we go for bike rides and runs several times a week. One thing the boys really liked to do was ride their bikes to a German bakery located right off the canal. It was a perfect spot as it was easy to access from the canal and was at the halfway point in our bike ride. We would order those big soft pretzels and juice as a snack. One day when we rode our bikes there we found out it had closed down. The boys were so sad…actually me too! It had become such a fun routine place to stop for a snack.

We decided to go home and try making our own soft pretzels. I was actually surprised at how easy it is…and fun too! It’s kind of like playing with edible play-dough. I have tried a few different recipes/methods with varying success. Here’s a recipe that is so simple and works really well. It is from the book “More than Magnets“.


2 teaspoons dry yeast

3/4 cup hot water

2 teaspoons sugar

2 cups flour


In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in water. Stir in the sugar. Add the flour. Divide the dough into equal parts, knead, and form into shapes. Place the shapes on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.

We usually add flavors to our pretzels. One of our favorites is to brush pre-cooked pretzels with coconut oil and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Another simple, yummy idea is to brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. You can pretty much sprinkle any combination of spice flavors you like on your pretzel. You can also enjoy dipping cooked pretzels into dips/sauces such as mustard or honey or hummus.

Cooking with kids can be such a great learning experience for them. It involves science, math, and literacy concepts all rolled into one. Plus they learn an important life skill! This particular recipe adds a nice hands on sensory experience as kids can knead, roll, and shape the dough.

Do you involve your kids into cooking activities? What tips do you have for making it go smoothly? For example we have a little song we sing when it someone’s turn to stir. It gives them an idea of how long to stir before passing it to the next person. And helps the non-stirring person wait more patiently.