Cooking with the family during spring break

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Cooking with the family during spring break
Cooking with the family during spring break

The spring break is ideal for reconnecting with the pleasure of cooking with the family. Say hello to giggles and floury noses!


No matter how old your kids are, everyone can get hands-on and have fun while developing great cooking skills.

A gift for life

Knowing how to read a recipe, being able to follow instructions, measure ingredients, handle different kitchen accessories… these are valuable skills that promote the acquisition of good eating habits in children. Therefore, involving children early in meal preparation positively influences their food choices as adults. Even though cooking with children requires time and patience, the investment is definitely worth it. Moreover, passing on our culinary background is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful “he althy” gifts that we can give to our children.

Steps to follow

The spring break is a great time to get together with the family in the kitchen since the lack of time and the stress of the daily routine are less present. Take the opportunity to introduce the youngest or to show more experienced cooksnew culinary techniques and more elaborate recipes. However, here are two simple rules to follow to take full advantage of your roommate in the kitchen:

Let go, even if it's not easy! Forget the dirty floor, imperfect recipes, vegetables that are too soft… The important thing is to remember that by sharing your culinary background, you equip your children for life and above all, you spend pleasant moments with them.. It is by letting them make mistakes that they will learn and become more and more independent!

Your kids don't share your kitchen yet? For this union to go smoothly, start with simple recipes that are popular with the family. Be well organized and tell each child their responsibilities. For example, washing vegetables, cutting cheese, breaking eggs. Well organized, cooking with the family is much more enjoyable!

Creations for young chefs

When children get involved, it is important to supervise them well and create a safe environment. To do this, keep sharp and dangerous instruments away from their reach, and explain to them what they can and cannot use. Also, so that cooking as a family rhymes with pleasure, adapt the responsibilities according to the age of the children. Here are some ideas of tasks to be carried out according to the different age groups, as well as recipe ideas. And if your kids are old and experienced enough, let them take control of thekitchen! Who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised… while enjoying several meal “holidays”. After all, it's also spring break for mom and dad!

For breakfast

2-3 years: At this age, your children are able to set the table, start the coffee machine, put the toast in the toaster, pouring fruit into the blender for making smoothies, stirring pancake mix, and more. The idea is to involve them!

4-5 years old: Let your kids crack and beat the eggs, pour the juice and milk into glasses (with supervision), assemble a parfait (layered yogurt, fruit and muesli), pour their cereal into their bowl as well as the milk, spread their toast, etc.

6-7 years: By the time they reach this age range, children are smart enough to handle many kitchen tools and do most of the work, with your help, simple recipes like omelettes and muffins.

Try: Breakfast Sushi! To do this, ask the children to spread a tortilla with nut butter, then honey or a jam of their choice. Then invite them to sprinkle chopped nuts or hemp seeds for a crunchy punch. They can then roll their creation and cut everything into several rolls, like sushi. When young children handle knives, always be present

8 years and over: Fulfill their desire for autonomy by giving them moreresponsibilities. So, let them make a whole simple recipe, under your supervision.

Try: your favorite pancake recipe! Let your little cook take care of all the handling, from making to cooking. They can also have fun decorating their creations with fruit, pieces of cheese, maple or chocolate syrup, whipped cream, etc.

For lunch and dinner

It's proven! Children who are hands-on are more likely to taste and try new foods. A superb strategy for foodies, but also for food discovery.

2 to 3 years: With your help, Trésor can wash the vegetables, shred the lettuce, toss the salad, put the food in the pan, top a pizza with cheese grated, etc.

4 to 5 years old: At this age, children's fine motor skills are more developed. Therefore, they are able to shape dumplings, patties, cookies, etc. They can measure ingredients, stir preparations, assemble sandwiches and pizzas, etc.

6 to 7 years old: Your children are able to learn how to handle small kitchen tools such as graters, can openers, microwave ovens, waves and the food processor. Again, to avoid accidents, demonstrate first and then let your child try. Also, they will enjoy participating in the presentation of dishes such as decorating a cake and assembling platters of vegetables and meats toserve with a fondue (so much fun for spring break!).

8 years and over: Their older age allows them to use the stove, under supervision. Their ability to read and understand information allows them to handle simple recipes. Ask them to be the chef of the kitchen… and you the sous chef! Thus, it is up to your child to delegate the tasks to you. Fun guaranteed!

For dessert

Kids love to cook desserts, it's no secret! Here are two recipes that young and old will have as much fun cooking as they will enjoy! Cranberry Blueberry Pudding and Strawberry Bruschetta.

Happy spring break everyone!

By Julie DesGroseilliers, Dt. P.

Nutritionist and spokesperson for the I love 5 to 10 a day campaign

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