Benefits of Cooking with Your Kids
The holidays are in full swing! Family and friends are gathering and prized family recipes are being prepared. It’s the perfect time to get cooking with your kids. They learn best and will follow your lead when it comes to preparing food and forming healthy eating habits now that will last a lifetime.
Cooking with your kids can support you introducing new foods and developing their palate, spending quality time together, passing down family traditions and recipes, as well as building basic skills. That’s right, skills like reading and following recipes and math, science and vocabulary can be reinforced through cooking.
Here are some tips to help make cooking with your kids memorable:
Decide what you want to prepare together.
Plan to cook when you have plenty of time.
Let your child do as much as possible.
Talk about the food used for the recipe and the health benefits they provide.
Teach them about food safety.
Engage their senses through touch and taste.
Most of all, have FUN! Give these holiday recipes a try.
Yield: 25 brownies
6 tablespoons butter or stick margarine
1 cup Dutch process cocoa
3 tablespoons evaporated fat-free milk
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, softened
1 tablespoon crème de menthe or 1/4 teaspoon mint extract*
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine
Preheat oven to 325℉.
To prepare the brownies, melt 6 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in cocoa and milk; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla; cook mixture 1 minute, stirring constantly. (Mixture will be granular.) Remove mixture from heat; cool 5 minutes. Add egg whites, 1 at a time, stirring well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to the cocoa mixture, stirring until well-blended. Pour the batter into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325℉ for 25 minutes or until brownie barely springs back when touched lightly in center; cool completely on a wire rack.
To prepare icing, combine powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, and crème de menthe or mint extract. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Spread the icing evenly over brownie layer; refrigerate 30 minutes or until icing is set.
To prepare glaze, place chocolate in a small microwave-safe dish. Microwave at high for 45 seconds; stir in 1 tablespoon butter. Microwave at high for 20 seconds. Stir until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over icing; refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the glaze is set.
- When making the icing with the ¼ teaspoon of mint extract (instead of the crème de menthe), be sure to add a tablespoon of water to make up the difference in volume. You can add in additional water one teaspoon at a time until the icing reaches your desired consistency.
Light Hot Chocolate
Yield: 4 servings
⅓ cup chopped peeled fresh ginger, optional
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
4 cups 1% reduced-fat milk
½ cup fat-free chocolate syrup
Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and is golden (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in milk and syrup; cook over medium-low heat, stirring with a whisk. Heat to 180℉ or until tiny bubbles form around edge of pan, stirring frequently (do not boil). Strain mixture through a sieve; discard solids.