Monday, May 10, 2010

REAL Kids Cooking REAL Food

My kids were forever bringing home cookbooks from the school library with things like "Bugs in a Blanket" and "Barbecued Worm Sandwiches" prominently displayed throughout the pages. Although I applauded their desire to get creative in the kitchen, I couldn't help but wonder if there wasn't a way to cook something they (okay, WE) would actually enjoy eating. Don't get me wrong. I've eaten my share of Mac and Cheese and PB&J sandwiches and still have several of the unwanted pounds to prove it! Still, even as little children they were always such good eaters. I am certain they would all prefer steak and salad to hot dogs and Cheetos and I would bet my paycheck on any one of my boys to keep up with the best 'grown-up guy' eaters out there! The kids just appreciate a good meal and even better, they aren't afraid to help create it.

For this reason I have decided to post some of our favorite family recipes so that other families might enjoy the bonding and good times that can be celebrated over making a meal together. I believe cooking is one of the single greatest family activities that children can all be a part of, no matter how young or how old. Egg shells can be fished out of the bowl and spilled milk is easily cleaned up. Letting children contribute to creating your meal gives them a sense of purpose and it opens up communication in the kitchen, the central hub of any home, providing a safe place for them to share the events of their day.

I have been criticized more than once for my philosophy that "This is their house, too, and they should be allowed to LIVE in it", but I stand firm. I say let them be a part of the feeding and nurturing of their loved ones. Let them know the sense of satisfaction when everything comes together. Encourage them when the recipe doesn't turn out (because you KNOW it's going to happen!) and applaude them for always trying their best.

I hope you look forward to meeting my family as we set out on this journey together. They are looking forward to sharing their fun with you and hope you will find a reason to let YOUR kids in the kitchen.