Country Kitchen: Fun Foods For Youngsters to Prepa

Country Kitchen: Fun Foods For Youngsters to Prepa
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The pre-schooler browsed through the children's items at our yard sale. Our grandchildren had decided they could part with some of their treasures, always an attraction for youngsters accompanying their parents.
This little girl looked at tiny toys and larger stuffed animals. There was a collection of dolls, some little cars, crayons, jewelry, and miniature tea set. However, the item that caught her eye she found among the cookbooks...a cookbook with colorful cover with recipes for kids.

"I want this," she announced.

"Are you going to cook?" I asked and informed her that it was a cookbook with recipes for youngsters.

"We cook, Nana," she said, looking at her grandmother.

When they left, she was chattering about cooking and holding the book up for Nana to view.

This reminded me of my cooking done as a child and later with my daughter. Now it's often cooking with my grandchildren and grand nieces.

Encouraging Children to Cook

Cooking with children takes patience; however, this activity can be enjoyable and teach youngsters to be helpful in years to come. My daughter became very good at meal preparation when she reached her teen years. She'd call me at work and ask what she should make for supper. Now she enjoys cooking and teaching her children to cook, too.

I grew up in a household where my mom let us cook, too. In fact, she encouraged my sister and me to take over whatever meal preparation we desired because she was busy with outside chores on our farm.

Later, Sister and I enjoyed 4-H cooking classes where we learned to follow recipes more precisely. My mom came from a family of old-fashioned cooks who used printed or hand written recipes mainly for desserts and other baked goods. Even those recipes listed ingredients such as a "pinch", "tea cupful", "coffee cupful" , "enough to make a stiff dough."

In 4-H and later Home Economics, I learned about more precise measurements as well as a variety of cooking equipment. We cooked and baked on a wood burning cook stove at home so our heat wasn't precise either. My 4-H leader had an electric stove, as did the Home Economics class at school.

Recipes for Youngsters

Among the simplest meals for young cooks to prepare are those which don't require any or much cooking. Teaching them to plan breakfast or lunch can be a way to encourage them to eat better meals.

ENGLISH MUFFINS make a good base for a variety of recipes that are easy for youngsters to prepare.

*Toast and spread with pizza sauce, then sprinkle shredded cheese over them. Place under broiler, oven, or microwave until heated through and cheese is melted. You also can add slices of pepperoni.

*Toast and spread muffins with cinnamon and sugar. You also can place a few chocolate bits on the muffin, place in microwave briefly until they are melted.

*Toast and use for making sandwiches, either open faced or two-sliced. For open faced sandwiches, place tuna salad or ham on the muffin, then a slice of cheese of desired flavor. Place under the broiler or in the microwave briefly until melted.

(When using toaster, oven, broiler, or microwave you may need to supervise younger children.)

Article (C) 2004 Mary Emma Allen

About the Author

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About The Author

Mary Emma Allen researches and writes from her multi-generational NH home. Check out her new site, Tea Time Notes

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