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Saturday, March 15 2008

Preparing the Easter meal is yet another chance to engage your kids in cooking. After they've gorged on their chocolate Easter bunny and jelly beans, it'll be time for them to step up to the mixing bowl and help you put together an amazing Easter dinner.

Young ones need your help. Set up a work station for them built around the recipe you want them to make. Get out all the necessary ingredients, bowls, measuring spoons, measuring cups, etc., beforehand so your child is ready to go. Sometimes you lose their attention if you have to stop and go get, unwrap, or wash something in the middle of trying to make the recipe.

If your kids are already experienced cooks, give them a favorite Easter recipe and let them go at it. This works well with teens or tweens who don't like to be told what to do. Ask them to read through the recipe and ask any questions like "Where do we keep the flour?" which they already know.

Another important factor in choosing which recipe that your child will follow is to give them choices. They tend to pick the one that is their favorite to eat, or the one that involves chocolate or other sweets.

Little kids can do whole recipes, with your help, or they can do certain tasks such as:

• Stir anything. Just remind them to go slow and stir "around" not "up."

• Pour pre-measured cups of flour, milk, or water into the bowl.

• Crack eggs. Have them crack the eggs into a separate bowl so that bits of shell can be removed first (Hint: Use a large piece of egg shell to scoop out the little bits of shell. Works like a charm.)

• Shake the salt, pepper, cinnamon, or onion flakes into the bowl.

• Peel potatoes or carrots.

• Mash potatoes.

• Wipe down the counters.

• Set the table.

Older kids can proudly cook or bake their favorite recipes, and they can also help you with:

• Chopping and slicing.

• Cleaning up after themselves.

• Washing dishes.

• Grating cheese.

• Making the glaze for the ham.

• Opening cans.

• Totally setting the table; including putting on the nice tablecloth, the fine china, and your good glassware.

Let your kids get creative with the centerpiece. Give them some props like flowers, interesting vases, Easter eggs, twigs, berries and other pieces of nature, baskets, ribbon, fabric, and anything else they can use. I am sure their vivid imaginations will come up something that you will be proud to have sitting on your Easter table!

The Easter meal is a special time and can be made even more special when everyone helps in the kitchen. Kids of all ages can help, and in fact, there is quite a lot they can do. Just make sure they're not in their fancy Easter clothes while they're cooking.

If you'd like more tips about cooking with kids, visit where Peggy has tips, ideas, jokes, and easy recipes for kids. You can even sign up for the free Parent Tips Newsletter. Come check it out!

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 03:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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