We all want to raise our kids to be healthy eaters. Right? We also want meal times to be pleasant. Don’t we? And, we surely want to raise our kids to be competent, able adults. Of course we do.
An in-home cooking camp does all of those things and builds lasting memories together as a family.
Not much of a cook yourself? No problem. Explore with your kids. And if you love cooking, relinquish control. This is not about perfection, and there should be no high expectations for the finished product. It’s about exploring as a family – in the kitchen – and hopefully having your kids learn at least one skill each time you do an in-home cooking camp.
For this adventure, you will need:
1. Kids (Exhibit A):
My silly children, Hannah age 9, and Evan, age 6.
2. At least one parent, but both parents are best. If you do this as a family, it will have maximum impact. Good emotion (fun times with family) surrounding a learning experience will be sure to solidify in their minds for years to come.
3. A recipe or task to create.
Follow along with our family as we do a Dinner Helpers Camp by making Vitamix's bacon cheddar potato soup (linked!) with a mixed green salad. We also started making some homemade ice cream that we finished making the next evening.
You will soon learn that this is less about the recipe that you are creating than it is the experience together. Let’s practice some kitchen skills and have some fun!
Before you get started with anything in the kitchen, reinforce your hand washing rule in your home.
Make it fun. Have them sing the Happy Birthday song while washing their hands with warm soapy water.
After Hannah washed her hands, she started helping my husband Jeff start the ice cream preparation.
While we have Hannah working on the ice cream, we start Evan on the chopping of onions for the potato bacon soup. A veggie chopper like this one from Pampered Chef is a wonderful tool that allows kids to chop food without the risk of getting cut. And it’s fun for them!
Hannah is managing the bacon on the stove. Since she is now 9 years old and has been helping me since toddlerhood, we allowed her to cook the bacon with close supervision.
SKILL: COOKING WITH HEAT
After the bacon was cooked, we had Hannah break the bacon up into small piece before it went into the Vitamix.
SKILL: HAND PREPARATION
The soup calls for shredded cheddar cheese. Evan practiced his measuring skills by measuring out some cheese.
Now it’s time to put all the components of the bacon cheddar soup into the Vitamix. Hannah’s turn is up! In these photos – what you don’t see – is that Hannah spilled the milk all over the place when she was pouring it into the blender. She was pretty upset with herself, but we said that it was part of cooking. Messes happen!
We got the Vitamix on the soup setting, and we’re ready to get the table set!
Kids love to be helpful and part of the team! And our team is Family Lemond.
SKILL: SETTING THE TABLE
Family Lemond was thrilled at the finished product, and the kids loved the fact that they helped make the soup.
Challenge: Tell your kids that the family is doing a cooking camp together and do it. Make being in the kitchen an event that they see as fun. Even if you are just making dinner, each experience is something they will cherish for years to come. Family memories + kitchen skills = devine.
From our home to yours.