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Have fun cooking with your kids at home
When you’re at home with your kids, a fun way to spend time with them is to invite them to lend a hand in the kitchen. Kids love to be around their parents and help out--particularly when food is involved. It is also a wonderful idea to bring something new to the table (literally and figuratively), especially now when kids have been home for days and growing more restless by the minute. Cooking is not only a fun new activity to introduce to your children but also a great opportunity to pass on family recipes, talk about nutrition, and nurture gratitude for food. Kids can also learn that by putting in the effort, they can get a (delicious) reward! That’s the icing on the cake. One piece of advice for cooking with kids is to delegate tasks based on their ages and experiences. For example, younger children could gather and stir ingredients in a bowl, which helps them learn new words. Older children could crack eggs and test out their math skills by measuring ingredients and converting units. Late teens could use the stove and cutting board, and, of course, everyone can help with the taste testing! Now, roll up your sleeves, tie on the aprons, and get to cooking! Fast Food At Home Your kids may miss going through the McDonald’s drive-through or carrying out a steaming box of freshly made pizza, but don’t fret! You can always deliver healthier alternatives through these recipes. Build-Your-Own Pizza Ground Beef Tacos Chinese Pork Fried Rice Turkey Sloppy Joes Deli in Your Kitchen Salads are both easy and delicious meals to quickly whip up! You can follow the recipes below or get creative with the ingredients. You can even turn some of the salads below into sandwiches or sides for other meals! Egg Salad Tuna Salad Pesto Pasta Potato Salad MasterChef Junior-Level With these recipes, your kids can try their hand at meals that are a little more advanced! After tackling these yummy dishes, you can then surprise your junior master chefs with a certificate because they deserve it. Kid-Pleasin’ Lasagna Baked Potato Soup Chicken Zucchini Casserole Tortilla Bake Desserts Galore These fun and easy recipes can make great after-dinner treats or yummy snacks between meals. Feel free to get creative with the decorating, too! If you have icing or sprinkles, why not? Cooking is all about experimentation. Banana Bread Chocolate Brownies Oatmeal Cookies Cornbread Muffins Now that you have a list of recipes to try out with your kids, you can have fun for days and raise little chefs! This is an amazing way for you to spend quality time with your loved ones and create memories you can look back on fondly. Take plenty of pictures and frame them for the kitchen! For some extra fun, you can turn this into a 30-day cooking challenge, look up more recipes, or create your own based on what’s in your pantry. Maybe you can focus on breakfast one week with fun omelets and waffles! Maybe your kid particularly likes Asian cuisine and wants to experiment with turning instant ramen into a gourmet noodle dish! There is so much room for fun and learning here, so enjoy and happy cooking with your kids! Share pictures of what you make by tagging us on Twitter and Instagram and using hashtag #JEIChefKids.
Back to school lunches without the hassle
School is just around the corner, and that means no more raiding the fridge for last-minute lunch ideas. Lunches need to be quick to assemble, nutritionally complete, and last sitting in a lunch bag for a couple of hours. This can be tough, meeting all three of the criteria mentioned above, but it is not an impossible task! This past summer we created a list of easy meal ideas for summer lunches. With back to school season fast approaching, parents not only have to worry about packing a quick, nutritious lunch but how that packed lunch is going to impact their child’s day. Often times, children indulge in what parents have packed for them during the regular lunch period. Other times, they drool over what their peers have been packed whether that’s because it looks, smells, or tastes more delicious then what was packed for them. Some times, they don’t eat their lunch at all because they are worrisome of what their peers may say once they open their lunch box. That is why it is important to emphasize planning lunches ahead of time or even having your child involved in the lunch-making process. By doing this, it ensures those lunches are doing exactly what they need to be doing: nurturing your child mid-way through that long, exhausting school day. To take away some of the school year preparation anxiety, we have gathered together some unique ways your child can enjoy their lunch without any lunch-time anxieties! Meal Prep - Turkey taco lunch bowl - Buffalo chicken meatball bento box - Build your own pizza - Meat and cheese pinwheels - PB&J triangles - Sandwich skewers - Tomato bruschetta 2 ways - Lettuce wrap box - Mediterranean box Prep for the Week - Egg salad - Tuna salad - Couscous salad - Banana bread - Energy balls - Pasta salad with fruit - Pesto pasta with tomatoes Night Before Snack Prep - Froyo fruit cups - Homemade chewy granola bars - Yogurt parfait box - Peanut butter protein box - Strawberry fruit rollers - Hard-boiled eggs - Sliced cucumber - Melons - Mangoes - Cheese and crackers No Prep Snacks - Cheese sticks - Fruits and vegetables (i.e. bananas, apples, clementines, grapes, carrots) - Yogurt - Fruit cups - Applesauce - Pretzels - Nuts
Bridge the Gap and Start the School Year Right!