Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cooking with your kids

Some of my favorite childhood memories involve cooking with my Mema. She was patient with me, and taught me so much. Even when there appeared to be nothing to eat, she could whip up a meal out of what she had. She didn't care if I messed up something and had to start over, and she didn't care how much of a mess I made in the process. She let me experiment with some very odd ingredients as well! I learned so much from her, and I hope I can give my kids at least a little of what she gave me.

I believe that cooking with your children is a great way to get them to eat. If they are invested in what is on their plate, they are going to be more willing to try it. Talking about the ingredients as you use them is a great way to discuss their nutritional value. Plus, they get to take pride in creating something yummy! My 6 year old son loves making little things all by himself - sandwiches, toast, pouring his own beverages, etc. My 3 year old daughter loves to help me stir and add pre-measured ingredients.

So get in the kitchen with your kids and cook - they might teach you a little something too. :)


Meal shown above: Skillet Enchilladas
1 lb. lean ground beef or shredded chicken
1/4 - 1/2 chopped onion (I eyeball this)
Taco seasoning - chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, onion powder (whatever does it for you)
1 cup reduced fat shredded cheese
1/4 cup light sour cream
4-5 whole wheat tortillas, cut into small pieces (I use a pizza cutter)

-Brown ground beef and onions together, and drain any excess fat
-Add in tomatoes and seasonings and cook for 5 minutes
-Add in remaining ingredients and cook for 5-10 more minutes, or until tortilla pieces are very soft
(If mixture is too thick, add in a little water at a time to thin out. I usually end up adding about 1/2 cup of water)

*You can also add any other Mexican ingredients you want - corn, black beans, etc. Beans are a great substitute for the meat if you want to make it a vegetarian meal.

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