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Kids in the Kitchen


Published: 07/13/2012


One of the best ways to promote healthy
eating with kids is to get them involved preparing meals. It’s a great
opportunity to establish good dietary habits but there are other benefits.
Cooking is a life skill and will prepare them for adult life. Further, as they
gain in skill, more of the family meal preparation can become part of their
regular household duties. Finally, being together with your kids in the kitchen
is fun! It’s an opportunity to talk, laugh and strengthen bonds.


Even young children can help out by cracking open the eggs,

grating the cheese or measuring dry ingredients. And
remember, kids are not only learning to cook, they are practicing basic math
skills, like weights and measures and counting.


No matter what you do when working with kids, safety is the first concern.

Here are a few important things to keep in mind at all times when working

in the kitchen, with or without the children.


Kitchen safety


* Wash hands with hot, soapy water before
starting to cook.

* Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing that
could get caught on things; keep long hair tied back.

* Wear an apron to keep clothes clean.

* Don’t let kids work alone.

* Wipe up spills as soon as they happen.

* Use hot pads or oven mitts when handling
things that come from the oven or microwave and remember they can stay hot for
some time.

* Pick up knives and scissors by the

* Keep a first-aid kit handy.

* If someone gets a burn, run it under cold


Food safety


* Make sure all work surfaces, utensils,
dishes and towels are clean.

* Use a wooden or plastic cutting board and
wash it with hot soapy water after each use.

* Take care to keep raw meat and eggs away
from other foods to prevent contamination.

* Smell the food you plan to use to make
sure it’s fresh; if there is an odd odour, throw it out.

* Wash all fruits and vegetables before

* Store any leftovers right away in
containers in the refrigerator or freezer.


Here are a couple of easy, yummy things to make to get you and your kids started.


French Toast

You will need:

Non-stick sauté pan

Medium-sized mixing bowl

Shallow baking dish or pie plate



Cooling rack

Cookie sheet



1 cup whole milk

3 eggs

2 Tbsp. honey

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

8 slices of day-old bread (egg bread is a
good choice)

1 Tbsp. butter

Maple syrup or sliced fresh fruit



Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Set cooling rack on the cookie sheet. In the bowl, whisk
together milk, eggs, honey, vanilla and salt. Pour in to the shallow pan or pie


Dip bread into egg mixture one slice at a time and let it soak for about 30 seconds. Place bread on

 cooling rack and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Melt butter in sauté pan over medium-low heat.


Place egg-soaked bread slice into pan and
cook 2-3 minutes until golden. Flip and cook on the other side. Place slice on
rack in the oven and prepare the next slice for cooking.


Serve immediately with syrup or fruit.
Serves four.


Quick Quesadillas


You will need:

Baking sheet

Parchment paper

Pastry brush


Cutting board.

Sharp knife



4 large flour tortillas

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced

1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

2 Tbsp oil


Light sour cream




Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Spread parchment paper over baking sheet. Brush 1/4 of the oil
on one tortilla and place on baking sheet, oil side down.


Spread half the chicken on the tortilla,
leaving a 1/2 in. around the edge. Top chicken with half the cheese. Brush
second tortilla with oil and place over chicken and cheese, oil side up.


Repeat with the remaining tortillas,
chicken and cheese. Place baking pan in the oven and bake for 5-6 minutes until
cheese is melted. Remove from oven and place on cutting board. Slice
quesadillas into quarters.


Serve with salsa and sour cream. Serves four.


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