With school holidays upon many of us, we thought some holiday inspiration might be needed! We love sharing foodie tips and recipes, and we thought – let’s get the kids involved. Bringing the kids into the kitchen is a great way to teach your children about food, to start encouraging healthy habits, and to keep them busy.
Our resident Super Dad, Brad, shared his strategy when it comes to cooking with his kids:
“It’s a good idea to get kids intrigued. Don’t just show them how to do something, let them get involved. Teach them how you turn flour, eggs and milk into batter, or let them experience the difference between a raw carrot, and a roasted one. Let them peel veggies, grate cheese, stir things. You obviously have to be careful where they get involved (open gas flames, scorching oil and children don’t go so well together), but just letting them be a part of things will inspire their natural curiosity. Of course, when you let the kids into the kitchen, it just becomes mayhem – floury hand prints everywhere, and lentils all over the floor – but they’re with you, it’s messy and it’s fun. Just let it happen. We make pancakes, and we let the kids pour the milk, or break the eggs. We also make pizza at home, and we give them their own small ball of dough and they roll out their own mini pizza bases, and make their own pizzas. We show them how to do it, but then they get to choose what toppings they want, from fresh tomato sauce, cheese, freshly cut peppers, and whatever else is available. It’s a great way to spend time as a family and teach our kids about food.”
It’s also a great opportunity to teach your children about leading a healthier, happier and more sustainable life. Starting with your weekly Munching Mongoose box! Let the kids help you unpack the box, and take them through all the delicious produce. Teach them about the different fruits and veggies, let them feel and taste. And help them understand where their food comes from. Tell them about the lovely jersey cows from Mooberry Farms that make our milk, and dairy products, or that all our fruit and veg comes from local farmers in and around Joburg. Take them through the basics of seasonal eating (give this blog post a read for some inspiration) and why eating according to the seasons is better for us, and better for our planet. By growing some of your own herbs and veggies, you can also show kids where their food comes from, and what makes for healthy veggies. And then, let your kids help you cook with all the delicious, seasonal goodies that came in your box for the week, or from your garden.
And finally, remember to be patient with your kids. They may not chop onions as fast as you, or whisk as smoothly as you or even understand the concept of “don’t double dip the spoon after it has been in your mouth” (we are all family after all), but letting them do things themselves helps them grow their skills, and allows them to feel proud of what they can achieve. And doing this together is just the cherry on top.
To inspire you, we’re sharing some kid-friendly recipes, using the delicious produce in your boxes this week. Happy Munching!