I love to cook with my kids. My daughter is only two and she already likes to help me cook dinner every night. It is really amazing what kids can do when we let them get involved. My daughter will stir food for me, add ingredients, and help me measure ingredients. Cooking is not only a quality way to spend time with your children but can me a good learning opportunity by teaching fractions and measurements.
This week we made Apple Butter. I let the kids take turns pealing the apples with my apple corer and placing the apples in a measuring cup. Once I asked how many cups we had we transfered the apples to the stove top pot and simmered the apples until they were soft while we added the spices. The kids helped me measure and place the spices in the pot, as well as stirred the apples. Then we added the apple mixture to the sterilized jars and placed them in our food storage leaving one for tasting. We finished by making peanut butter and apple butter sandwiches.
A few things to remember when cooking with kids:
1. Make sure to identify hot surfaces and pans. I always make sure they know when something is hot and should not be touched.
2. Supervise but try to allow the kids to do some of the work. They want to be involved and by 3 years old they should be capable of pouring measured ingredients into the mixture or mixing the recipe with a spoon or whisk.
3. Always emphasize that cooking does not only involve making the food but cleaning up afterward. This will teach them responsibility.
APPLE BUTTER RECIPE:
3TBS apple cider 3 cups sugar
2 tsp lemon juice 4 cups chopped apples
1/8 tsp cloves 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp nutmeg
Cook apples till soft. Mash with masher (if too dry add some water). Add other ingredients and cook till it boils and thickens. (It will continue to thicken once it cools in the jars).