We love cooking in my house. In fact we prepare the majority of our meals from home. In my home I have two kids, one who is very open to trying new things and she loves just about everything we cook and then there is my son who is a very picky little three year old. We learned that in order to get our son more into eating the foods we put in front of him, we have to include him in the preparations of the food. One way to start the participation in the kitchen is to take our kids shopping with us for the items we will need when cooking. We let our kids pick out fresh produce that they would like to have included in their meals and I have found that just letting them assist with preparing the menu when shopping helps with those picky eaters. That way they know exactly what they will be eating, then they will also see what other items that will go into the dish when we are getting the rest of the items for the meal. When we get home and we are ready to prepare the meal, we will have the kids assist us. We first ask that everyone in the kitchen wash their hands well before touching the foods. Then we give everyone a task. For example if we need some things measured out, my daughter will measure out the items needed. Then if we need some produce cleaned before using it, then my son will be in charge of washing the produce. From there we then go to the next task that might be at hand. Since my kids are still too little for cutting and chopping, they will wait on us so we can chop up and cut up what ever is needed. Then we will take turns adding ingredients in to the dish. Everyone gets some ingredients to add in that my daughter has measured out, and when it is time to add that ingredient then my kids will add it. After ingredients are added, we take turns stirring the dish as needed. While the food is cooking, we might snack on some left over produce that did not get used then get ready to set the table. Through out the whole process, we are bonding with our kids and the meals that we cook together make them that much more enjoyable when eating them, even for the picky eater in our house. I think a universal side that we love to cook with and we can use with a large variety of produce, meats, and sauces is rice. I find that Uncle Ben's has the rice that we can cook with for any occasion or dish. Uncle Ben's is a rice that is easy to cook with and my kids love it. We can go to the store and when we are trying to come up with a dish for dinner, my kids can enjoy looking through the selection of Uncle Ben's then going from there with our menu! To make the preparing of meals with your kids even more enjoyable Uncle Ben's is holding a great contest for families to enter. It is called the Ben's Beginners cooking contest, and you can enter to win $20,000 and a $50,000 cafeteria grant as well! Uncle Ben's is encouraging families to cook in the kitchen together then eat together, which I find to be a very important part of our day!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Uncle Ben’s blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.