When I started writing this blog in 2006, my boys were all very young. I was pregnant with Monkey Boy, and the other two were still in diapers, so they weren’t much help in the kitchen. Still, I wanted them to start learning about cooking at an early age, so I had a laundry basket full of plastic measuring cups and spoons, bowls, and other plastic and wooden utensils that they could play with while I cooked. They played with pots and pans and leftover yogurt containers, pretending to mix up their favorite concoctions. Hockey Guy’s first written ingredient list for pizza went something like this:
1 pound flour
2 cups sugar
2 pounds cheese
Cute, huh? We saved the recipe for posterity, but decided we didn’t need to actually make this version.
I look at the boys now, seven years later, and all the activity as we get meals ready. Some days they jump right in and want to help, other days not so much, and the same can be said about clean up. But I persist, knowing that they are learning valuable skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives, and that we are building family bonds over food we prepare together.
One of the best ways to get kids to eat healthy food is to have them help make it, and salads are a perfect place to start learning how to prep fruits and vegetables. Younger children can learn knife skills with supervision, and older children can probably make this colorful fruit salad by themselves.
Make sure to visit The Kids Cook Monday for more recipes to cook with your kids, and check out the rest of our Kids Cook Monday recipes below.
Fresh fruit is important for best flavor, though in a pinch I have used frozen mango and thawed it. We love this salad for warm summer evenings and cookouts, just keep it chilled until ready to eat. You can make the lemon honey dressing up to one day ahead, and the finished salad is best eaten within a few hours.
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, + extra leaves for garnish
- 1 pound mango chunks
- 1 pound kiwis, peeled and sliced
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
- In the small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, and chopped fresh mint. Set aside while preparing the fruit to allow the mint to infuse the mixture. You can make this up to one day ahead.
- Put the fruit pieces in the large bowl and gently toss with the lemon mixture. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Best eaten within a few hours.
large storage bowl with lid
Preparation Time includes 30 minutes chilling time. You can make the lemon honey dressing up to one day ahead.