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Cooking With Kids

Dinner. The word strikes fear into my heart.  I have to cook it almost every day.  In the most stressful times I will find myself stuck in a cooking rut faced with whiney children.  What’s a parent to do? Cook with the kids. Request this book! It’s a bit counterintuitive because it definitely takes more time than cooking solo. However, when my children are invested in the meal through planning and effort we reap several benefits: Cooking becomes family time instead of a chore for Mom or Dad.  The children are excited to eat the dinner they helped prepare  We tend to eat healthier meals. Ready to try it out? Plan: Let your children (if they are old enough) help choose the meal to cook. You can browse cookbooks or websites together or just ask them for their ideas.  In our home, I prompt them to include seasonal fruits and veggies, or let them know ingredients we have on hand. Even letting them choose from a list pre-approved by me makes them feel more invested in the meal. Request this book! Prep:  The last thing you want to do when you are cooking with children is fumble around for equipment and ingredients.  An advantage of planning is that it gives me a grocery list.  We go through our recipe together and get out what we need. Even my 8 year old still needs a footstool, and everybody gets an apron. Read the recipe as you go: When you model reading directions it helps your child’s reading development.  Directional reading requires different reading skills than reading a story.  If your children are reading independently, let them read the recipe to you. Be [...]

Healthy Cooking With the Library

Hi. I'm Erin. I write at A Bird and A Bean and I love summer. Hot, lazy days with the kids. Gardening. Cookouts. Swimming. Vacations with the family. Time "off." But, moms don't really get a vacation....even on vacation. I actually don't mind. Vacations look different when you have little kids. Still awesome and fun, but just not as relaxing. The Onion sums that whole thing up pretty well in this hilarious article that I like to share, "Mom Spends Beach Vacation Assuming All Household Duties In Closer Proximity To Ocean."Cracks me up. One thing I do try to do less of in the summer whether we are on a vacation or a stay-cation... is turn the oven on. It just heats the whole house right up. No thank you. But, I like to still get the veggies in and keep things on the healthy side. We love utilizing the grill and crock-pot in the summer. But, things can get boring. Grilling the same burgers and hotdogs. Making the same old chili in the crock-pot. I decided to keep things interesting by checking out the library's cookbook and food magazine selection. There are so many choices. You know all those magazines you see in the line at the grocery store and want to buy?? They are all at the library! Look at this fantastic cookbook selection! And this is just a small portion of what they have. You can easily find some new fresh and healthy recipes for your family this summer. It was hard to narrow it down. I was drawn to so many.. crockpot books, grilling cookbooks and a popsicle recipe books. I loved the zucchini and tomato recipe book idea, too. I [...]