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BellaOnline's LDS Families Editor

Creative Cooking With Kids

Cooking for our families is a chore or pleasure (sometimes both) that stares us in the face in one of those relentless dust-devil-like cycles created in the tornado of life with a large family. Ok yes, people in small families also must eat with fair regularity, but I swear that the number of meals I prepare seems to have increased with the number of children I have. Iíve just popped the last of the breakfast dishes in to wash when some little (often whiny) voice inevitably insists Iím huuunnnnngry! It is so tempting to just get it done myself as quickly as possible so I can move on in the day to the million other things they need, but taking the time to allow (or require) the children to help prepare meals for the family now and again is too great a prospect to miss.

Besides teaching one of those real-world skills we parents are so fond of (think missions, college, family-starting), cooking together does give some prime bonding opportunities and may even help picky eaters come to terms with those gastronomic items they so disdain. Do it creatively to help them develop familiarity with an array of ingredients and adaptability in the kitchen. Here I pull, as I so frequently do, from my own childhood, as well as what I do in my own home now, to give a few suggestions.

These techniques can be involved at times, and yes, probably will end up creating more of a mess than your cooking all on your own will, but they are worth a try now and again.

May your pots boil and your teens wash dishes!

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