If we really want our kids to grow up loving good food that they can shop for, prepare, and cook for themselves, we need to get our kids into the kitchen. Summer is the perfect season for spending more time leisurely cooking with your kids, and if you have the help of an inspiring cookbook or two, even better.
This year I have my older boys cooking dinner once or twice a week. They’re also on call for breakfast and lunch duty occasionally, and the result is that my 14-year-old is now a waffle-making master. Earlier this week I borrowed his phone to look up something on the Internet, and you can only imagine how thrilled I was to discover his most recent Google search was for a recipe!
The one book that we’ve been cooking from with great enthusiasm this month is blogger Erin Gleeson’s The Forest Feast for Kids. Filled with colourful vegetarian recipes – which span meals, beverages, party foods and snacks – this kid-friendly cookbook might be a little on the simple side for my high schoolers, but I like that they’re learning more about creating meals without meat, something we occasionally struggle with in a house full of four boys. Favourite recipes to date include:
- Bay Potatoes
- Curly Kale and Curly Pasta Salad
- Butternut Quesadillas
- Fried Banana Splits
However, the visual recipes, which are laid out in four or five steps, are perfect for beginning cooks around 5 or 6 years of age, but as someone with a young toddler in the house, I really appreciate the inspiration for quick-cooking, healthy meals I can make for the baby myself.
My favourite part of this clever recipe collection is the ‘Parties’ chapter found at the back of the book. Within it, four simple yet satisfying party themes include menu suggestions and recipes, not to mention crafty table decorations and serving suggestions. If this appeals to you too, keep an eye on the site and you just might see an idea or two shared in my column over the coming weeks!