Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kids in the Kitchen: Taco Night

This is my cousin Taylor and she is 12 years old. Everybody say "Hi Taylor!"

Taylor is a picky eater. But, you know what helps? If a kid gets to make their food, they're a lot more likely to eat their creation. Not only that, but it helps them become familiar with ingredients and what is healthy.

They can read directions for step-by-step learning and help measure out all the ingredients to learn ratios and portions.

It also helps develop their motor skills to stir, chop, slice, and dice.

One of the best ways to introduce vegetables is in meals that are kid-friendly and familiar. Items such as tacos, pizza, and hot dogs. Each of these can have a variety of additions to try each time without altering the original meal so that they won't recognize it. We had taco night and Taylor tried refried beans for the first time! She happily scooped up her portion once she learned they were just pinto beans. The appearance wasn't that appetizing to her, but with a little explanation she learned something new and likes a new food!

Get creative with the leftovers too! We used the small helpings of taco meat, refried beans, veggies, and cheese to make quesadillas for lunch the next day. This would also be good as a breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs or overtop a bed of lettuce as a taco salad with crushed chips!

A few tips to remember while cooking with kids:

-The first step of every venture into the kitchen is to wash your hands!
-Keep all pan handles turned to the side so they cannot be accidentally knocked over.
-Use a small, sturdy stool if kids are too short to reach the counter.
-Chop with the ingredient's flat-side down on the cutting board to avoid unsturdy surfaces.
-Keep everybody back from an open oven door.
-Warn when moving from one spot to another with a hot pan so there is a clear, safe path.


Christo Gonzales said...

looks good - you are on the way to becoming a good parent if thats on your agenda - my 11 year old - 12 in april - eats everything veggies and then some...

Kathleen said...

I love to see kids in the kitchen. Good for you!

Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats said...

Love your cooking with the kids post! Now, I think it's time for you to have kids:)

sophia said...

Hey there, Taylor!!! *waves*
Smart move, Christina. Borrowing a kid without the full responsibility and craziness of having one. ;-)

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

I love this post, Thanks for sharing.

Alisa said...

Hi Taylor! Yes, that was a wise move - I am thinking about borrowing some kids myself now :)

Jessie said...

Hi Taylor! :) Christina, you have got it DOWN. This is the PERFECT was to get kids involved in the kitchen and trying new foods. You both are quite the chefs, I see! ;)

JEnn@slim-shoppin said...

Hi Taylor! Nice job cooking!

Unknown said...

I love tacos.
I have an AWARD for you come by and visit.

A@ Please Don't Eat Me! said...

awww! you will be an awesome mommy!!!
those tacos look so delish!