Before I ever got married and had children, I had certain things in mind that I wanted to do with my family and teach my children starting at a young age, and cooking was right at the top of that list. Preparing meals together not only strengthens family bonds, but it's also a very worthwhile educational activity for children. They get hands-on experience with math and science, hygiene, and literacy, and cooking also helps build fine motor skills and coordination. They learn about the importance of good nutrition, as well as gaining a sense of self-competence and personal responsibility.
I started simply with just a laundry basket full of mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, and wood and plastic utensils for the boys to play with. As babies and toddlers, they pretended to make food and share it with us. During the preschool years, they began to make easy things with me in the kitchen. I taught them how to stir, whisk, measure, and cut, and kitchen safety rules. We haven't lost any fingers yet! My boys have learned to identify all sorts of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and they have learned where that food comes from. They even get out in our garden and help harvest. We've always pursued the goal of teaching our children about real food.
In 2011, I began a partnership with The Kids Cook Monday, which is part of The Monday Campaigns, in an effort to help spread the ideals of families cooking together. I began documenting some of our cooking adventures with the boys and sharing them with others through this blog, The Kids Cook Monday website, and other media outlets. The KCM website is full of recipes and tools that you can use to help you get started cooking with your children.
Here is a complete list with links to all the recipes that we have created for The Kids Cook Monday, which I update regularly.