Getting your kids in the kitchen to help you cook is a wonderful way to get them to make better choices and eat healthier without all the fuss. It’s a proven fact that children who learn to cook at a young age, will grow up to make healthier choices.
Facts like this make me smile, since my children have been in the kitchen with me since a very very young age. While my children are all teenagers now, they can make a full course meal following a recipe with no problem. Even a more advanced recipe wouldn’t be a problem if they are all working together. When they were younger, I allowed them easy tasks in the kitchen. Stirring, pouring, separating. As they got older, they learned cutting skills and can chop like pro’s now. They come to the grocery store and help me plan the week’s meals, and they have a love for the Farmer’s Market that I was surprised about. They absolutely love this fast and easy Garlic Shrimp Veggies and Rice dish that is ready in about 10 minutes.
Tips to get Kids in the Kitchen:
- Allow your children to choose a meal or two each week that they’d like to help with. If they choose the meal, they are more likely to eat it, as well as be willing to help.
- Even very young children can help with grocery shopping and meal planning. Easy prep like pouring and stirring can be done by even a two year old. (okay so mom might need to stir a couple more times afterwards, but don’t be afraid to get them helping that young).
- Teach your children to read a recipe list and ensure that all ingredients listed and in the proper amounts are ready for the recipe.
- Show children how to follow a recipe step by step. Look for easy recipes so that multi tasking can wait until they are a little older (multiple steps at one time can be too much for young children).
- Make it fun. Play music, sing songs, make up lyrics to music your children already know. Dance, get excited. The more enthusiasm you show for what you are doing, the more enthusiasm they will show.
- If your children are too young to choose a recipe to make, you choose a kid-friendly recipe and allow them to help with everything else. The shopping, the prep and of course, the eating!
Safety tips for Kids in the Kitchen:
- Keep sharp objects out of reach.
- When a child is old enough to use a knife for cutting or chopping, never walk away and make sure the child has been taught how to do it properly.
- An apron is a wonderful item to have in the kitchen. Allow your child to choose one, and make sure they where it each time. Children are messy and they WILL more than likely make a mess. Being in the kitchen won’t be fun for them if they are constantly being reminded to “stay clean”. Allow the apron to do its work.
- Teach your children to wash their hands in between any handling of food, etc.
- Keep counters cleaned and germs at bay.
- Clean up as you go. This ensures there isn’t a ton of stuff to do at the end, perhaps maybe beyond dinner plates.
- Consider purchasing pot holders and oven mitts in smaller sizes. Don’t allow young children to handle anything hot even with pot holders or oven mitts.
Once you get your kids in the kitchen, you’ll have lots of fun making easy recipes! And if you are so inclined, you can get your child involved in a fun video contest called The Ben Beginners™ Cooking Contest. For contest rules, more information and to enter, please visit Uncle Ben’s. Now, who’s ready for a fast and easy Garlic Shrimp Veggies and Rice recipe that will get your kids in the kitchen? It’s simple for a kid to make, delicious and a healthy weeknight dinner that took us less than 15 minutes from start to finish. And you’d never know it was prepared that fast!
Garlic Shrimp Veggies and Rice
- 2 packets Uncle Ben's Ready Rice, Butter and Garlic (or any flavor you desire)
- 12 oz.. Raw Medium Shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined (tail on or off, optional)
- 12 oz.. Steamable frozen Mixed Vegetables
- 2-3 Tbs. Garlic and Herb butter or spread (you can make your own, or use store bought)
- In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of garlic and herb butter or spread and add shrimp. Saute shrimp in garlic/herb butter for about 1-2 minutes. Add the frozen mixed vegetables and an additional tablespoon of garlic/herb butter. Allow veggies and shrimp to simmer for an additional 4-6 minutes or until vegetables are cooked/heated through.
- Prepare packet of Uncle Ben's Ready Rice as directed on package.
- To serve, spoon rice onto plates. Cover with Vegetables and Shrimp. Serve.
Looking for a quick weeknight dinner that the kids can help with?
Try this Garlic Shrimp Veggies and Rice
Cooking with your children makes for a great beginning! Visit www.unclebens.com and click on The Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest page to learn more!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Uncle Ben’s. The opinions and text are all mine.