Cooking With Children: Your Own or Not

Cooking with kids not your ownThis is the first blog in my personal series on cooking with children; specifically my own. Now I am around other children for my professional work teaching them how to make nutritious food choices, lose weight, gain weight, deal with a specific condition or disease and how to cook. Not all in one day; every day is different. Today is special to me on a personal level: my 4-year, 10 month old daughter took the initiative in making dinner. You know what? I let her and it wasn’t even in my plan for dinner. The situation: its 4:45p.m. I am “over the day” since the 23 month old is really demanding most of my energy. I made chicken Marsala last night with sautéed mushrooms, Meyer lemon juice, Marsala wine; large Isaeli couscous on the side. So tonight was more of the same. So I go to warm it up and my daughter takes the chair over to the sink and stove area and grabs a bulb of fresh garlic and starts peeling it. “Mommy, will you please get a knife for me so I can slice this onion?..oh, and get a pan out.” Now, she has sliced many veggies: mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, etc, but this is the first time she initiated it and the first time she wanted to ‘saute’. So (I am tired and over it, right?) I wipe a counter spacer for her, get the cutting board and sauté pan out and let her go with it. She says looking at the seasonings, “I think I will add the salt” after I added a sliced onion to a hot pan. She gets her oven mitt on and stirs the onion around. We talk about heat; she still nicked her arm reaching for an onion slice behind the pan. She didn’t cry (and she is a crier!). She was motivated, inspired and hungry! She says, “what else could I add?” I suggested spinach. “No”, she said opening the freezer and grabbed a bag of shelled edamame, “this is better”…..and into the pan the edamame goes…..along with a few dashes pink sea salt, a few sliced mushrooms I was ordered to slice and a handful of fresh cilantro. She gets bowls out. I divide the veggies amongst the bowls and add the re-heated chicken Marsala and couscous. You know it was a tad bit salty—she mentioned it too. But you know overall it was fantastic. Daddy said it was great! 23-month-old ate it too. She was proud and we were fed.  I meet many, many families where the main cook in the family has her/his territory in the kitchen and does not want little helpers. Who know what? Kids will eat more nutritious foods if they pick it out at the store/produce stand, wash it, slice it, cook it and season it. Who cares what it tastes like to you? She made it and wants to cook again. ‘nuf said’.

Who cares? By Sarah Krieger, a Mom and Registered ...
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Sarah Krieger, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian

Provide in person individual assessments in Saint Petersburg Florida area. Services include Nutrition Assessments, one-time or on-going personal chef service, Pregnancy Consulting: Weight Control and Healthy Eating When you’re Pregnant, Remote Nutritional Consulting, Lap Band Surgery Consultation, Nutrition Education to groups or any age, Training Videos, Media Interview for print, live and taped media..