Mealtimes are challenging. We can predict which child is going to complain the loudest, depending on what is being served. It just doesn’t seem possible to please them all while still offering healthy meals. Involving the kids in the cooking process is one way to reduce the whining. If they’ve made it, they are more likely to enjoy it!
A recent survey commissioned by the makers of UNCLE BEN’S® demonstrates that while 77 per cent of Canadian families eat home-cooked dinners five or more nights a week, only 12 per cent let their kids help cook these dinners. In contrast, the survey also revealed that 90 per cent of parents actively believe that teaching kids to cook is an important part of helping them live healthier lives, so there are many opportunities to insert children into the kitchen.
Uncle Ben’s has paired up with the winner of U.S. MasterChef Junior Season Two, Logan Guleff, to get kids into the kitchen. Appropriately named Ben’s Beginners, this is an important campaign from Uncle Ben’s® that is rooted in getting kids cooking.
Every week Logan will be sharing a kid-friendly cooking tip at GetKidsCooking.ca, as well as a recipe challenge for them and their parents to try. This is the perfect place to find inspiration, and why not try to win something at the same time? Simply submit a picture of the dish you make to GetKidsCooking.ca for a chance to win one of three $10,000 RESPs.
I am guilty of not including the kids often enough when it comes to meal preparation. My daughter enjoys learning to make simple things like scrambled eggs and french toast, but she had not attempted any entrees before. To show her just how easy it is to make a healthy meal, I chose to teach her how to make Sweet Chili Chicken Thighs, Uncle Ben’s Natural Select Roasted Chicken & Wild rice, and snow peas.
A recipe isn’t even necessary for this meal. We simply covered the chicken thighs with Sweet Thai Chili Sauce and baked them in the convection oven for 30 minutes at 400. I applied more sauce halfway through the cooking process. My daughter isn’t confident enough to put large dishes in and out of the oven, but she was a pro with the rice. It couldn’t be easier, since she just needed to add water, butter and rice to a pot then watch for a boil. She stirred it when it boiled, reduced the heat and put a lid on the pot. I steamed the snow peas. It was a very easy meal to make and very appropriate for an 11 year old to help with. My 7 year old even helped dish the food out of the pot! In the end we had a delicious and very pretty meal for dinner.
My boys are less interested in learning to cook, but I feel it is important that they learn. The 12 year old has a few skills, and his little brother is eager to help with baking. Each child has his or her own level of ability and each parent needs to decide when it is right for the kids to start cooking.
If you are looking for inspiration on how to get the kids into the kitchen, be sure to visit GetKidsCooking.ca!