What I Love Wednesday: Cooking With Kids!

As the holiday season comes to a close, I’m sure many of us have heard “MMMMM! Cookies!” way to many times. Most of those delightful expressions may have escaped our own mouths, but if your little one is anything like mine, and what seems like every other toddler I know, that statement has come from them one too many times, as well! Well. I have to say this. As frustrating as it can be to have a child with a bigger sweet tooth than mine, her absolute delight in the cooking process (and the finished product) makes my heart smile. Whether it’s cookies or sliced carrots, my toddler LOVES to help in the kitchen. 10 years ago, I would have cringed at this thought, as my cooking abilities extended to grilled cheese and Campbell’s tomato soup (or should I call it paste?). But now? I’m far from gourmet, but cooking healthy and savory meals for my family has become one of my favorite parts of the day, and I am delighted to share that with her. In fact, sometimes we even sing. And dance. I know. Scary.

Now that I’m through sharing a tidbit of my personal life with you, let me refer you back to one of my very first blogs … Cooking in the Kitchen. I know … obvious, title, you say? I mean, where else do you cook? I must have been tired. Yes. I had a newborn baby. “Tired” doesn’t even come close, therefore “Cooking in the Kitchen” will suffice. Anywho … this blog is a short list of the many reasons why cooking is such a wonderful activity for children of any age. Though it takes a bit more patience than I often have at 4:30 (or, ahem, 6:30 … or 7:30…) I try to include my little one in any way I can as I prepare dinner.

And sometimes … just sometimes … I even plan a middle of the day cooking adventure … just to make sure that I’m encouraging this love for cooking and healthy eating from the very beginning. Maybe … just maybe … when she’s in college, her significant other will be served something other than Kraft macaroni.

And now? I share these cooking adventures with YOU! YES! YES YES! I’m so excited to begin 2011 with a brand spankin’ new cooking club! YES YES YES! Can you tell I’ve picked up my daughter’s enthusiasm? YES!

Once a month, we will be hosting a Creative Kids Cooking Club for 3 and 4 year olds! Space is very limited, as the size of my kitchen can only handle so many combinations of preschoolers and flour…

Let me share what we will be doing. Because I love, love, love to read … we will, of course, begin the Creative Kids Cooking Club with a couple of songs and a magnificent book … followed by a very hands-on cooking adventure … followed by an excited devouring of this delightful snack. During this each monthly cooking adventure we will explore healthy cooking and eating habits, even when making tasty desserts (substituting apple sauce for oil, for example). We will end with a creative craft that your child can use in your kitchen over and over again! Ready for the schedule for the first half of 2011? I’m excited!!!!!

January 14, 9:30-11:00 Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie DePaola, we will make our very own pancake creations, complete with fruit and healthy syrup toppings, and end the Cooking Club with painting a ceramic plate to take home!

February 18, 9:30-11:00 … Strega Nona, by Tomie DePaola … we will make homemade macaroni and cheese and decorate our very own chef’s aprons!

March 18, 9:30-11:00 … If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff … you guessed it! We will be mixing, baking and tasting delicious cookies, and decorating their very own pot holders!

April 15, 9:30-11:00 … Cloudy with a Chance for Meatballs by Judi Barrett, we will make and enjoy homemade spaghetti and meatballs, and your child will leave with a uniquely decorated chef’s hat.

May 20, 9:30-11:00 … Growing Vegetable Soup, by Louis Ehlert … we will walk through the process of planting seeds and learning how vegetable soup is made from start to finish! We will make our very own batch of minestrone soup and decorate our very own soup bowls!

June 17, 9:30-11:00 … Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McClosky. We will make homemade blueberry bread and design a personalized placemat!!!!

Admission for each cooking club adventure is $15 per child and includes the story and song, hands on cooking project, and a chef’s artistic creation (apron, mug, etc).

If for one reason or another, you are unable to enjoy our Creative Kids Cooking Club, don’t despair! We will have our cooking adventures available for you via our Curriculum Kits … complete with the recipe and craft materials (ready to decorate apron, for example) … right after each Cooking Club adventure!
Would you like to host your own Creative Kids Cooking Club? We will have kits ready for you to purchase and provide for the little chef’s in your community! Details coming soon!

*** Dates, times, book selection, recipe/food, and/or craft are subject to change ***




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