With a family of six, it’s nearly impossible to please everyone with one meal choice, so there are almost always complaints when I cook. Someone doesn’t like the vegetable I chose, or they wanted chicken instead of beef. Sometimes I feel like I can’t win! On one of these days many months ago, while my teenage son was complaining about my meal plan for the day, I had an epiphany. He could cook. I used to invite my children to help me in the kitchen on occasion and teach them to cook simple meals here and there but it was never a regular thing. That day, things changed.

Every week my children each prepare a meal, with my help. They can choose what they make, with some guidelines in place so that we don’t have ice cream for supper and they make new recipes on a regular basis. It hasn’t stopped the complaining, but I hope that they are developing some sense of how difficult it can be to make an entire family happy! Of course they are also learning some really valuable life skills.

Uncle Ben’s also believes that children need to be learning these skills. The Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest is part of an overall movement that the Uncle Ben’s Brand believes in to get more families cooking together, because cooking is a life skill as essential as reading and writing. We joined the Uncle Ben’s Beginners again this year by preparing a couple of recipes.


My daughter helped me make the Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Casserole recipe from the Uncle Ben’s website. She chopped the vegetables, mixed the sauce, grated the cheese and made the rice. I handled the chicken and handling things from the oven. It turned out very nice!


She was pretty proud of herself and she enjoyed what she made, which is always a bonus!

October 15th is the first annual International Cook with Your Kids Day, and Uncle Ben’s offers The Ben’s Beginners™ activities and recipes as a great place to get started. Through the digital hub, Canadian families can participate in activities that will help teach cooking skills to their children, and then use those skills to prepare a mouth-watering recipe. By uploading a photo afterward, using the #LookWhatWeMade hashtag, they’ll be entered for a chance to win one of three $10,000 RESPs. What a great contest!

You can check back here next week to see the recipe that my son and I made together.



Influencer at Kidsumers
Sheri McDonald is a family lifestyle blogger who has been sharing her parenting and travel adventures online for the past eight years. You can find her discovering the world with her children when she's not at home enjoying a good book.


Lifestyle Blogger. Traveler. Writer. Social Media Marketer. @SunwingVacay #Kidcations Expert Panel. Member of ITWA @PTBAssoc IG: familyenroute
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