The slow cooker is the perfect tool for kids that are not old enough to help with stove top dinners, but who really want to help none the less.
Gather your kids around the table and explain what the slow cooker is if they don’t already know. Print out some recipes (especially those with pictures), and let each child choose one they’d like to help cook.
After your child picks his recipe, let him create his own grocery list (younger kids can draw the items instead of writing). This is a good opportunity to introduce them to the produce section, the dairy section, the frozen food section, etc. Of course, if you have a child that is more interested in the free cookies, forget this step and go when they are in school!
Place the slow cooker and all ingredients in the middle of the table. It’s a good idea to have any cans opened, with the lids out of the way.
Read the directions together, and let your child add the ingredients. It’s a perfect time to talk bout the importance of washing your hands after handling meat, etc.
If your child is learning about measurements at school, this is a great time to sneak in a quick lesson while calculating measurements. For example, you could say, “I can’t find our tablespoon. We’ll have to use a teaspoon. How many teaspoons are in one tablespoon?” Even if they are not learning about measurements yet, it's a great time to introduce it to them.
Another valuable lesson is time. For example, you can say, “If we cook this dinner on high for one hour, and then on low for five, how many hours will it cook total?”
Here is a very basic recipe for first time ‘chefs’. Not only is it simple, it’ll have your kids eating fruit!
Warm Berry Delight Recipe
• 1 16 ounce package of frozen blueberries
• 1 16 ounce package of frozen blackberries
• 1 12 ounce bag of frozen raspberries
I use the frozen fruit without the added syrup, but you can use either.
1. Place all ingredients in crock pot. You don’t have to use the entire bag.
2. Add 1/2 cup of water.
Side Note: This is the perfect time to sneak in another lesson. For example, “Let’s add two cups of blueberries and one cup of blackberries." Or, if you are feeling creative (or brave), let your child decide how many cups of each fruit to add.
3. Cook on high for two hours or low for four hours.
4. Serve alone, or on top of ice cream, cheesecake, etc. You can also serve in a bowl with a little sugar sprinkled on top.
This recipe can be adapted to whatever frozen fruit you have in your freezer.