Resolution: Cook with the Kids

Why keep all the cooking fun to yourself? Resolve to get the kids involved in cooking in 2018. They’re eager helpers, they love being included, and they feel a great sense of pride for things that they create. Sure, they’ll spill things, ask one million questions, and take a lot of time to do something that would take you half the time to do it, but the experiences and quality time together are priceless.

Here are three benefits of cooking with kids.

They will learn about healthy ingredients. When a child is excited about learning something new, they pay more attention and ask more questions. Create a fun salad together, like a mason jar salad, and talk about “eating the rainbow” and all its benefits! Green foods, like asparagus, are high in vitamins K, B, and E. The vitamin B converts our food into fuel, which helps us stay energized. Red fruits and vegetables help keep our hearts strong. Orange fruits and vegetables help keep our eyes healthy. It really doesn’t take a lot of work to start some dialogue and make food fun!

Create lifelong memories. When you cook with kids regularly, they will look forward to your time together in the kitchen, and as time goes on, cooking conversations could include heart-to-heart conversations. If you have never included your kids on a regular basis in the kitchen, you might want to start small: set aside a couple of hours on your day off so that you’re not pressed for time. Try making a dish that involves steps your child will like to do and food they love to eat. These Lasagna Stuffed Shells from Tastes Better From Scratch are a great choice for enlisting help from a child. Kids will love filling the jumbo pasta shells, then sprinkling mozzarella and parmesan cheese all over the top of the shells before you pop them into the oven. And this perfectly-sized Triple Chocolate Mug Cake from Betty Crocker makes for a fun time in the kitchen.

Your kids will become more open to trying new foods. When you cook you’re more likely to taste new foods, right? The same goes for kids. Cooking with kids is a great way to get them to expand their palates through tasting recipe ingredients and the final, cooked dish. Two smart ways that you can inspire your kids to eat new foods they have helped you prepare is by serving the meal family style in the middle of the table. Have your child talk about the meal he or she just helped you prepare. You can also encourage them to try new foods by giving them a very small bite that is placed on a tasting plate. This will take away pressure that your child may be feeling.