This week, I’m in the beautiful state of Tennessee visiting my Mom and family. So of course, I just couldn’t wait to get my adorable niece and nephew in the kitchen with me along with my own boys for a little culinary adventure! Our mission, to make an easy and delicious pasta dish that highlights the nutritious bounty of summertime veggies.
Kids in the Kitchen: Summer Veggie Pasta
Got a picky-eater? I recommend using veggies your child already likes and just selecting one new veggie for your child to try. Then, be sure to have your child help prepare the new veggie – whether it’s washing it; cutting or peeling it; sautéing it; or all three.
The fact is, kids are more likely to eat what they make. So getting them involved in making a healthy meal is a wonderful strategy for encouraging kids to expand their culinary horizons. Besides, it’s just plain fun to cook together!
My 8-year-old nephew quickly learned to use a simple pairing knife to slice soft mushrooms, while my 10-year-old niece and 11-year-old son sliced the red pepper and zucchini for this delicious summery dish.
As I mentioned in my Strawberry Shortcake Muffins and Honey-Lime Fruit Salad posts, it’s important to correctly teach children how to use sharp tools safely by first demonstrating how to properly use the tool, followed by assisting them in using the tool correctly, and then finally by carefully supervising them as they use the tool on their own.
Learning complex stovetop cooking skills, such as sautéing, is a more advanced task that older children can quickly master once they’ve learned the basics of stovetop safety and have also mastered simpler cooking skills.
Boiling water may be easy, but working with boiling water is not, and should be reserved for older children who have been properly instructed on stovetop safety.
Kids are amazingly fast learners! I’m always surprised at how quickly a child of any age can pick up a new culinary skill. Just look at my adorable one-year-old nephew. He’s learning to mix. We played “mixy-mixy” for just 5 minutes together on the kitchen floor. And look at him go …
Remember, your time in the kitchen with your precious kiddos is so much more than just teaching them valuable cooking and healthy eating skills, it’s about sharing and enjoying time together – building strong bonds and happy memories!