(A version of this article first appeared in Kingston Neighbours Magazine, January, 2023.)
Is everyone feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on 2023?!
A new year means a new beginning, and perhaps some new resolutions for you and your family. Nutrition and money-saving plans usually top the list of goals people make in January. Our family is no different. Among our family’s goals over the last several years:
- eat more vegetables
- include the kids when planning and preparing meals
- try new recipes
- make as much food at home as possible
We create a weekly meal plan on Sundays and then shop around it. My partner and I take turns making dinner, based on our work schedules and the kids’ extracurriculars. The kids, who are 12 and 16, are also responsible for making one dinner every week, usually on the weekend. Knowing ahead of time who is making dinner, and what they’re making, definitely alleviates some day-to-day stress. It also gives the kids an opportunity to practise the crucial life skills of meal planning and cooking. Win-win!
Our youngest also loves to bake delectable desserts. She discovered her baking passion during all the COVID lockdowns. It first started when she and her older brother baked a pecan pie together. Then she moved on to cookies, cakes, muffins — you name it, I think she’s baked it.
We have several cookbooks we look through for inspiration. One of my favourites is a cookbook the kids gave me: Cooking Light The Ultimate Kid-Approved Cookbook: Food Kids Will Eat, Meals Moms Will Love. It contains a pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting recipe we *have* to make every year for my husband’s birthday because it’s that good!
If you are looking to start cooking and baking at home with your kids, here are some other books to get you started.
Kid Chef Bakes, by Lisa Huff — With bright photos, conversion charts and a glossary, this cookbook is handily divided into two parts for young bakers. Part One covers the basics, including kitchen safety rules, essential pantry ingredients and basic baking techniques, like how to crack and separate eggs. Part Two is all recipes, over 75 of them!
Cook It! The Dr. Seuss Cookbook For Kid Chefs, by Daniel Gercke — Published just last year, this book will tickle young chefs’ funny bones with great recipes like “Pink Ink Drink a la Ink” and “Roast Beast with Grinchy Citrus Sauce.” I also love that there is an entire section on “How To Clean Up: A Cat In The Hat Specialty” because cleaning is an oft-forgotten part for kids!
So as you start the New Year, I hope you start involving your kids more in the kitchen. Let me know how it goes! Until next month, Happy New Year and happy eating.