Grandparents in the Sarasota area are always seeking new ways to interact constructively with their grandchildren. Many will say that getting them into the kitchen is one of the most fun. An hour or so together creating a masterpiece can nurture more than the tummy; it will make you a primary ingredient in your grandchild’s book of memories.
Sarasota kid-cooking resources include Sur la Table located in Pineapple Square at 22 N. Lemon Ave. and Williams-Sonoma in Southgate Shopping Center at US 41 and Siesta Drive. The Publix website offers nearly 50 kid-friendly recipes and offers cooking classes locally for kids through their Apron’s program.
Use the Internet to find additional sources for ideas. To get you started, check out Veggie Pizza from Children’s Recipes, Party-themed Rice Krispies® Treats from www.ricekrispies.com/recipes and Breakfast Tacos from Grandparents’ Café.
When beginning a cooking session with your grandchild, safety is first and foremost. While some of these tips are simply common sense, they’re important to remember.
- Consider the youngster’s age and ability to follow simple directions.
- Provide sturdy counter-height chairs or stools for the child.
- Make certain that their clothing is well-fitting and not loose or flowing.
- Depending on the child’s age, you may want to restrict the cooking lesson to the prep side of the kitchen rather than the stovetop or oven.
- If cooking on a stovetop, be sure pan handles are protected and turned away from eager hands.
- Have all ingredients on the counter prior to enlisting the help of your grandchild.
- If you’re not sure, check with parents regarding any food allergies your grandkids might have.
Choosing your menu
- Offer a variety of options for the cooking experience. Include some tried and true recipes, as well as some that might create a new taste adventure.
- Keep it simple. The fewer the ingredients, the easier it will be to keep the child’s interest piqued and your kitchen intact.
- Opt for healthy foods and use the time to reinforce the need to maintain a balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and nutrients.
- If your grandchild is overweight, resist the urge to use the cooking lesson as a reminder. Let this be a positive experience.
Whatever the recipe, add cupfuls of laughter, patience and creativity. Bon appetite!