cooking with kids

Kids in the Kitchen – Part II



Q: When should kids start helping out in the kitchen?

A: As soon as they are able!

Last week I posted 10 Simple Food Prep Activities That Even a Toddler Can Do—tasks like spreading butter or jam on toast, slicing apples, and scooping melon balls. This week’s food prep activities include tasks easy enough for toddlers, too, but also interesting for older kids who want to expand their kitchen skills.

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Kids in the Kitchen – Part I



Q: When should kids start helping out in the kitchen? A: As soon as they are able!

Innovative educator Maria Montessori, who developed a unique philosophy of education that more than a century later still bears her name, believed that the teacher’s primary job was to provide opportunities for children to learn and flourish by way of their natural curiosity and intuition.

Parents who provide what Montessori called “practical life activities” for their children—the everyday activities of living—are acting as their kids’ first and best teachers. And what life skill is more practical than food preparation, an activity parents can expose their kids to every day?

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In the Spotlight: Carolyn Connor



I met Carolyn Connor at a Nutrition First “Healthy Habits” conference in Seattle when she invited me to sell my veggie-related picture books in the conference hall. I didn’t get to attend the sessions, but I loved meeting the many amazing people who dropped by my booth–smart, savvy men and women who are committed to children’s health and nutrition.

Nutrition First is the WIC (Women, Infants and Children Food and Nutrition Service) Association for Washington State. Their mission is to ensure that young children of families with limited resources have opportunities for better nutrition to improve overall health.

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Parsnip Recipes, Kid Approved




Parsnips are not a vegetable I grew up with–and apparently I’m not alone. In one school in Southern California where I was presenting young author assemblies, not a single student or staff member had ever eaten a parsnip. Most of them had never even heard of a parsnip!

In fact, I’d never eaten a parsnip till after I’d already written a picture book called Once Upon a Parsnip. Serendipitously, a friend served apple-parsnip soup for a luncheon I was invited to just a month before Parsnip went into production. Suzanne is an excellent cook who worked as a professional chef for much of her adult life, and her delicious soup inspired me to include an adaptation of the recipe as back matter in my book. You’ll find the recipe below.

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Pumpkin Seeds: Spicy or Sweet



PepitasLet’s face it: Kids like to snack. We all like to snack! And it’s so easy to toss a bag of tortilla chips or potato chips in your grocery cart….

And they are OH-so-lacking in nutritional value!

A serving of tortilla chips, for example, has 2 grams of protein–compared to the 21 grams in a serving of Spicy Jamaican Jerk Pepitas.

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