Cooking with your children: A new family tradition

Young mother and son in kitchen making cookies.Cooking with your children around the holidays is an amazing way to introduce family traditions, teach basic cooking skills and develop young taste buds — which can lead to better nutrition. Often children who participate in helping prepare the meal are more inclined to try new foods.

Start with simple kitchen tasks like gathering ingredients, bowls, measuring cups and spoons. Young children can stir batter or help crack eggs. Gradually have children move on to other, more complex task.

Be sure to keep safety first. Remember good hand washing and to match tasks given to children with their age and development. Adults should supervise at all times when children are involved in cooking.

Peachy gingersnap crisp recipe

Are you getting hungry? Get your kids together and try cooking the following peachy gingersnap crisp recipe from MPTV Kids in the Kitchen.

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 8 gingersnap cookies
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon margarine or butter
  • 2 16-ounce cans of peach slices in fruit juice, drained (or 5 fresh peaches)
  • Frozen yogurt

Materials needed

  • 8-inch square baking pan
  • Resealable plastic bag
  • Medium bowl
  • 2 table knives
  • Can opener
  • Oven mitts
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden rolling pin (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spray the baking pan with vegetable oil cooking spray.
  3. Put the cookies into the plastic bag and close tightly. Crush them with your hands (or a rolling pin.)
  4. Put the crushed gingersnaps, brown sugar, and cinnamon in the bowl. Add the margarine (or butter).
  5. Hold a table knife in each hand and draw the knives across each other to cut the margarine (or butter) into the dry ingredients. Keep cutting until the mixture is crumbly.
  6. Open the 2 cans of peaches. Drain the liquid. If you are using fresh peaches, wash them. Use a paring knife to remove the skin and cut them into ¾ inch slices.
  7. Arrange the peaches in the baking dish. Then sprinkle the gingersnap mixture over the peaches.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from the oven with oven mitts. Serve warm or at room temperature with frozen yogurt topping.

I invite you to post a comment and share the recipes you enjoy cooking with your family.

- Carly D. G. Léon, MS, RD, CD, CNSC, clinical dietitian specialist, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Carly D. G. Léon, MS, RD, CD, CNSC 

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