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Dads and Kids Cookin Together

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Dads and Kids Cookin Together

For many parents, "kids in the kitchen" conjures up images of children wielding sharp knives and a sticky mess from floor to ceiling, but it doesn't have to be that way. Putting your kids to work helping with family meals can be safe, clean, and fun for everyone.

We've listed some fun recipes that you and your children can make together. The two most important things to remember are, to be safe and for all of you to have fun preparing and eatting the food you make.

Things you'll find in this section:

Kitchen Tools For Kids

  • Pizza wheel: great for chopping ham, cutting up fruit, slicing peppers (skin side down so the blade doesn't slip), cutting sandwiches in half

  • Styrofoam trays (from vegetables): use as a disposable cutting tray under the pizza wheel. The texture of the tray keeps the blade of the wheel from slipping around, the edges of the tray contain the mess

  • Egg slicer: slicing eggs, bananas, kiwi, strawberries, and chunks of cooked vegetables

  • Brushes: brushing marinades on pork chops and kabobs, brushing oil on meats before sauting

  • Apple slicer: cutting apples, pears, or melon wedges for lunch boxes

  • Blunt scissors: cutting ham, cutting raw (or cooked) bacon into bits, snipping green onions and lettuce, (plastic scissors work well since they can be washed in the dishwasher)

  • Rolling pin: (kid size made by Ekco), available in many grocery stores, use to make cracker or cookie crumbs in a plastic bag, and roll out dough

  • Ice cream scoop: for portioning cookie dough or scooping mashed potatoes

  • Plastic scrub pads: scraping the skins from carrots

  • Hand held grater (available in plastic): use for grating cheese, cracker or cookie crumbs or strawberry or kiwi "sauce". (Tupperware makes a plastic grater that fits into the lid of a mixing bowl to catch the crumbs, cheese or sauce.)

  • Butter pat slicer: for butter, bananas, cooked fruit and vegetables

  • Bouncy whisk (made by Ekco): great for mixing marinades, beating eggs, combining liquid ingredients for recipes

The Kitchen Is A Classroom

In addition to being fun, your kitchen is also one of the most valuable classrooms in your house from the moment your baby can sit up. Colors shapes and numbers are all there waiting to challenge your child each step of the way. Babies will pass up their fancy toys every time for a chance to match up pots and lids or stack plastic containers. Toddlers love to "sort" silverware and fold napkins into triangles. Next time you need 60 marshmallows for Rice Krispie treats, have your preschooler count out 6 groups of 10 marshmallows each and teach fractions with sticks of butter.

Older Kids

Older kids will learn basics of science when they knead dough and stir sauces. And there is the all important lesson that cooking is accomplished with all the senses. As dinner is brewing, talk about the smells, sounds, textures and appearance of the food being transformed. Your children will then taste with a new appreciation, especially if they've had a hand in making dinner.

The Benefits of Family Meal Time

  • Experts say that if families would gather around the dinner table more often, the benefits to children such as improved academic performance and higher self-esteem would abound.
  • American families eat together 4.8 times per week, according to a 1995 survey by the Food Marketing Institute.
  • Tom Cottle, PhD, a clinical psychologist and Professor of Education at Boston University School of Education says, “Take time to linger over meals, as people in other cultures do, and rediscover each family member. Let eating together become one of the threads that holds the fabric of the family together.”
  • Researchers at Harvard Graduate School of Education have found that dinner conversation can help expand a child’s vocabulary.
  • Sharing family meals also offers nutrition benefits. Parents serve as role models, letting their children observe them enjoying a variety of healthful foods.
  • Research shows that children are more open to tasting new foods when they help prepare them.
  • Even an occasional family meal can be successful. Make a commitment to sit down at the table family-style at least two to three times a week.


Here are some of the kids favorite recipes


If you have a favorite recipe you would like to share with us please send it to

Suggestions? Feedback? We'd love to hear from you.

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