Children, Parents and Grandparents cooking together, sharing old family recipes and secret ingredients passed generation to generation is becoming a lost art in far too many households. These days, it’s hard for busy parents to find the time to put together a balanced meal let alone the time to teach their kids basic cooking techniques. I can’t deny that getting kids in the kitchen requires more time, more than a little patience and some extra clean up. I do know that it’s well worth the effort.
I’ll never forget the times I spent cooking with my grandmother. I learned more than recipes, how to measure and ingredients that could be substituted. I learned patience and how to put love in to a meal. I also became open to trying new things, something I have already noticed my 2 year old doing as well. And that’s where parents can play a role. For kids today, healthy eating essentially means eating more fruits and vegetables, having whole grains and beans, and choosing leaner types of animal foods more often – like chicken and fish.
Cooking in the kitchen with your toddler extends beyond a single meal. These moments have both short-term and long-term benefits.
Some of the short-term benefits:
- It encourages kids to try healthy foods.
- Fussy eaters are more interested in food they helped prepare.
- Kids busy cooking aren’t in front of the TV.
Some long-term benefits:
- Cooking is a skill your children will utilize for the rest of their lives.
- Positive cooking experiences can help build self-confidence.
- Early healthy eating habits may continue into adult hood.
MinuteRice’s newest product, Minute® Steamers (available in the frozen food aisle), are the perfect solution to creating quick, easy meals with your toddler. To make it even easier, Minute Steamers offers Four Ingredient Meals with Four-Minute Steamers. These recipes combine ingredients I have in the pantry,fridge or garden like fresh vegetables, cream of chicken, or milk with Steamers to create yummy, simple meals the whole family can enjoy. Plus, your toddler will love measuring, pouring, stirring and creating with you.
Check out this 4 ingredient recipe Easy Arroz con Pollo from their website. It’s a nice one dish chicken and rice recipe with a spanish influence that is easy enough for the kids to join in and help!
- 1 bag Minute® Steamers – Spanish Rice
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
- 1 small tomato, diced
- 1 cup cooked, diced chicken
- Prepare rice according to package directions.
- Combine rice, peas and carrots, tomato and chicken in a medium bowl.
- Put it in the microwave for 2 minutes.
- *Tip* For extra flavor, add ¼ cup sliced Spanish olives. Garnish with sliced green onions.