The only reason I decided to have kids is so that one day I no longer have to cook or clean for myself. Too much to ask? Ok…I’m totally joking, BUT, I really did daydream about my kids being in the kitchen with me before I had them! The problem is…the fantasy is so far from what actually happens in the kitchen! Inviting your kids into the kitchen with you comes with challenges, mess, even power struggles! This is the reality. But I’m here to tell you that it is so, so, worth it!
I will be the first to admit that the kitchen is my territory. Picture that episode of Seinfeld where the soup chef decided the fate of his customers. NO SOUP FOR YOU. Ya. That’s me. I like things done a certain way. Making tacos? Make sure you julienne your veggies..don’t cut them into rounds. STOP. STOP CUTTING THEM INTO ROUNDS!! *Everyone leaves kitchen* I’m working on letting go of my need for control in the kitchen (ok, life in general). And what better way than inviting your children to join you in the kitchen? They are beautiful little mirrors that help make you better. That is what I like to think anyways. It helps you practice patience and being a bit more carefree. Loosey Goosey as my friend Erin and I say. Be loosey, be goosey. (This is a bit of a life mantra for me!)
A mess is inevitable. You have to go into it knowing that it will be messy. And likely, there will be some waste. Cooking or baking is such an amazing exercise for kids. They learn fine motor skills by picking up measuring cups and spoons and dumping ingredients into your bowl/blender/food processor. They also learn the names of ingredients, which expands their vocabulary. Sensory play is such a valuable and important part of a child’s development. But the BEST part…is that they become engaged in the process of making food. And when kids are engaged in making food they are more likely to eat what they make (or at least try it!) A win for parents who may have a picky eater on their hands.
These energy balls are a great way to get your kids involved in the kitchen. It gives them the opportunity to measure and dump ingredients, push buttons to start and stop the food processor AND they get their hands on what they have made by rolling up these little energy balls. And remember – they don’t have to be perfect – be loosey, be goosey!
I am teaming up with fellow nutritionista Amanda Cook and bringing you two amazing workshops! The first one we will be talking about Superfoods for kids and the second we will be tackling the topic of Feeding Picky Eaters. Check out my events page HERE for details! Hope to see you there!