Cooking With Children - Avoiding the Battle Ground

Cooking with children often presents a challenge. The good news is that you can make meal times more fun, if you encourage the kids to participate in the food preparation. What used to be 'cooking for children', now becomes 'cooking with children', and they will be much more likely to eat the food when they have helped to make it.

Cooking with children can be great fun, but it can also be educational, as it gives you the opportunity to teach kids about nutrition in a fun way. Therefore, recipes which include the use of fresh fruit or vegetables, are best whenever possible.

There are plenty of interesting meals that can be made using healthy ingredients. However, some kids will still protest when faced with a full dinner plate, even if it does look interesting. So, if you don't want the dining table to become a battleground, you may wish to try some different ideas.

Here's one idea. By replacing a traditional pizza base with half a bagel you can make a mini pizza. Let the kids choose their own toppings from a selection of carefully chosen nutritious ingredients.

Children often prefer a buffet style meal with lots of variety, rather than to be faced with one large plate of food. And they can get just as much nourishment, as long as the meal includes vitamin rich ingredients.

Changing the appearance of food can make a big difference and it's fairly simple to do. Try cutting star or heart shapes out of a cucumber. A scone cutter can be used to cut fancy shapes out of slices of apple. The scone cutter can also be used on other fruit and vegetables, to give them a more interesting shape (i.e. as you would use on potatoes to produce crinkle-cut chips).

Here's one last idea which is really quick and simple for the kids to make themselves; no cooking required.

Ingredients:
4 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces grated cheddar cheese
1 carrot, grated

Instructions:

Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl.

Mix together using a large spoon.

With slightly wet hands, roll into balls.

You can make about 12 large or 24 small balls.

Cooking with children and letting them have a say in what they eat, prevents your dining table turning into a battleground. Making it fun, easy, nutritious, and interesting, will result in happier meal times and more balanced diets.

Cooking with children can be rewarding in more ways than one, so why not give it a try?

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