USA: Cooking with Kids

USA: Cooking with Kids

cooking with kidsCooking with kids is one of my favorite activities. I have to admit, I don’t do it often enough. Mostly because of the limited space in our kitchen where two is a crowd.

My parents would let us kids into the kitchen as often as they could. We were cooking family dinners at very young ages. I remember having to do all the peeling while my older siblings were taking care of the more complex things around the kitchen. My sister was the baker. As a young girl she was baking elaborate cakes, and to these days, she impresses people with her kitchen skills.

Due to both of my kids being burned in the past (just a little, but enough for them to remember), they are pretty standoffish to the idea of being too close to a hot stove. In this situation, making them help me while I bake is more enjoyable.

Also, our older daughter is very picky and I’m hoping that letting her be involved in the kitchen will help her become more open to foods. She loves sweets, of course, so I love baking with her. By doing it, I hope, being in the kitchen will be associated with something positive for her.

Both of the kids love our family cooking project: “quest for the best cinnamon rolls“. I feel like this project has made them, especially the picky one, very excited about being in the kitchen.

We started it 3 months ago, and so far we’ve tried 3 recipes. In the meantime we have also baked our regular cinnamon rolls several times.

Cooking with kids is fun and messy, and it’s a great opportunity to spend quality time with them.   I’m always trying to sneak a little more of the good stuff into our recipes, and  with baking, it seems like hiding the nutrients into the food is less of a hassle then fighting over eating a piece of a carrot. So, why not?

cooking with kids family project_ewa samples photography-4

Our last recipe wasn’t really a cinnamon rolls recipe, but it was close enough for me to add it to our project. I got it from one of my clients, who saw me doing this project and she shared the link to this “Whole grain cinnamon swirl bread“.


I wanted to try it because of the of possibility of sneaking quinoa into the recipe as well as all kinds of different goodies.

Creating the whole-grain mix was a great thing to learn about, and I actually started using it in all kinds of recipes. My kids don’t even know they eat quinoa anymore. I’m loving it.

cooking with kids family project_ewa samples photography-5

If you struggle with a picky eater, finding things in the kitchen that make them excited about food is really a great way to get around it. It makes them focus on the positive things in food, not the bad things.

cooking with kids family project_ewa samples photography-2

With this project we are doing, I still let them be picky, and I find it interesting to see that our older daughter is less picky with eating what we bake than the younger one, who normally is very open to trying new things, and eating in general. Every time we bake new thing, the kids can express their thoughts about the dish. We talk about what they don’t like in it. And after that we get excited about the next recipe we will try.

cooking with kids family project_ewa samples photography-1

How about you? Do you have any picky eaters in your home? Any interesting family projects going on? Please comment below to share!

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Ewa Samples (Mom Photographer).  Ewa can be found sharing her pictures over at Ewa Samples Photography. She is also on Facebook and Instagram.

Photo credits to the author.

Ewa Samples

Ewa was born, and raised in Poland. She graduated University with a master's degree in Mass-Media Education. This daring mom hitchhiked from Berlin, Germany through Switzerland and France to Barcelona, Spain and back again! She left Poland to become an Au Pair in California and looked after twins of gay parents for almost 2 years. There, she met her future husband through Couch Surfing, an international non-profit network that connects travelers with locals. Today she enjoys her life one picture at a time. She runs a photography business in sunny California and document her daughters life one picture at a time. You can find this artistic mom on her blog, Ewa Samples Photography, on Twitter @EwaSamples or on Facebook!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle Plus

UNITED KINGDOM:  Baking with Betty

UNITED KINGDOM: Baking with Betty

baking with bettyThe sun is shining through the trees at the bottom of the garden and dancing dappled light on the kitchen window. It gilds the pot of basil on the sill and warms our faces and illuminates the dust of flour in the air around us as Betty bends to her task.

She stands sturdily beside me, elevated on a kitchen chair, wrapped in a bright plastic apron. I have tied her hair up – though untidy tendrils still make their way across her cheek – and as she leans over to check her progress I have to resist the urge to kiss the perfect dimple in the nape of her neck.

Betty and I are baking. With nimble little fingers she is sieving the flour and baking powder, tap-tapping it against her palm like a tambourine and watching the clouds of white fall into the bowl. From time to time she looks up at me and grins, exposing the sweetly crooked front tooth that is the result of falling on her face mid-dash down the garden path a year ago. Betty does everything at a dash: most of her toys have to have wheels just to keep up with her. But today, she is by my side and she stays there. It’s Wednesday: our baking day, the day I don’t go to work. So here we are, elbow to elbow, delighting at our creations and the alchemy we work.

This is just as new to me as it is to Betty. I have always cooked, rarely baked. I have produced breakfasts, lunches, dinners; steaming layers of lasagne (“with GREEN pasta, Mummy!”); round, ripe tomatoes stuffed with rice; home-made turkey burgers with a secret parcel of melted cheese inside; roast chicken, roast lamb, roast beef; fat, gleaming omelettes; pancakes on feast days and naughty nuggets and chips on holidays and just-because-we-can days. But baking: that was for people who had time. I provided proudly but quickly and efficiently and then I got on with the next thing on my list.

What Betty and I do now is different. I watch her tap the egg oh so carefully on the rim of the mixing bowl before gripping it with both her little thumbs and attempting to prise it apart. Her approach is not working, so she grips it harder with her little fist and the egg crunches and splatters into the creamy whiteness of the blended butter and sugar. She makes a sound of consternation and looks up at me. I laugh, and she relaxes, and together we pick out the bits of shell. We are both learning to be patient, to enjoy the process as much as the outcome. She is so entranced by what happens when she stirs the ingredients together that she forgets to fidget and want to run. I am so entranced by her absorption that I forget to worry about what’s next on the list.

Week by week we work our way through her favourites. My baby daughter has my heart already but week by week I give it to her all over again in every offering: tender yellow vanilla-scented cupcakes that she decorates with butterflies; sturdy banana and cherry loaf; chocolate chip cookies that expand so alarmingly while cooking that we shriek and slam the oven door shut quickly and giggle. We make flapjacks, shaking oats and raisins into the mixing bowl and I smile to see her eyes widen and her hand wobble at the weight of the golden syrup we spoon in next, inhaling the bitter metal smell of the glutinous mass, our mouths watering.

Sometimes Betty gets tired and pushes the bowl back over to me to mix. Sometimes she rests her head against my side and curls a small arm around my back, sucking the first two fingers of her other hand as she watches me turn the mixture over and again and back on itself until the lumps are gone and the components blended. Then she stirs to help me transfer it into multicoloured cases, or buttered tins, before setting about licking the spoon clean, rosy pink tongue lapping like a kitten’s.

When our cakes are baked and ready, our kitchen smells of love.

This is an original post to World Moms Blog from our contributor in the UK and mum to 2 daughters and to 2 step-sons, Sophie Walker.

The image used in this post is credited to the author.

Sophie Walker (UK)

Writer, mother, runner: Sophie works for an international news agency and has written about economics, politics, trade, war, diplomacy and finance from datelines as diverse as Paris, Washington, Hong Kong, Kabul, Baghdad and Islamabad. She now lives in London with her husband, two daughters and two step-sons. Sophie's elder daughter Grace was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome several years ago. Grace is a bright, artistic girl who nonetheless struggles to fit into a world she often finds hard to understand. Sophie and Grace have come across great kindness but more often been shocked by how little people know and understand about autism and by how difficult it is to get Grace the help she needs. Sophie writes about Grace’s daily challenges, and those of the grueling training regimes she sets herself to run long-distance events in order to raise awareness and funds for Britain’s National Autistic Society so that Grace and children like her can blossom. Her book "Grace Under Pressure: Going The Distance as an Asperger's Mum" was published by Little, Brown (Piatkus) in 2012. Her blog is called Grace Under Pressure.

More Posts

Ohio, USA: Interview with Amy Hillis (Transplanted Thoughts)

Ohio, USA: Interview with Amy Hillis (Transplanted Thoughts)

Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?

I was born in Chicago, grew up in the suburbs. In 2004, my husband and I moved to Ohio. We live about an hour east of Cincinnati in a small town. Well, it’s small after growing up under the influence of Chicago! We bought a 150 year old house and are ever-so-slowly restoring it.

What language(s) do you speak?

I minored in French in college, but only speak English.

When did you first become a mother?

My daughter was born in August, 1990. I was 19 years old. I’ve had 7 children between my 2 marriages. Two have passed away. (more…)

Amy Hillis (USA)

Amy is a native Chicagoan that currently resides just outside of Cincinnati, OH. A city girl, through and through, she’s still adjusting to small town life. Amy has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art with a minor in French from Elmhurst College. She was working on her Master’s degree at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, when she became pregnant with her 3rd child. Although this angel boy was only here for a very short time – he left quite a legacy. Nathaniel was born with a rare genetic disorder called Citrullinemia. Amy and her husband, James, went on to have 4 more boys, 3 of whom were also born with Citrullinemia. In January 2011, her youngest son, David passed away from complications of a liver transplant performed to 'cure' the Citrullinemia. Now a stay-home mom of 5, she started blogging in October 2010, while David was still in the hospital. Two of her other sons have had successful liver transplants to cure their genetic disorders. Her 2 older children still live in Chicago. When not hanging out with her kids, she spends her ‘me’ time writing, sewing, reading & walking. Amy also spends a generous amount of time online. She can be found on Twitter @transplantedx3. On Facebook and on her Website <a href=""My Tear-Stained Life

More Posts - Website

Follow Me: