Kids In The Kitchen

What do you make in the kitchen with your kids (besides a mess)?

Even before the cooler weather arrived, I started hankering for autumn foods--hearty soups, homemade bread and especially, pumpkin muffins.  Honestly, the pumpkin muffins come out of my oven several times throughout the year, no matter the season.  Not only are they delicious, pumpkin is a "super food."  And, oh yeah, these muffins are ridiculously easy to make.

It's that final motivating factor that got me thinking about having Lauren help me bake the muffins.  All you need is a can of pumpkin, a box of spice cake mix, a half-cup of water, chopped nuts (I usually use walnuts--finely chopped for the toddler) and a half-teaspoon of your favorite autumnal spice (allspice, nutmeg, or cinnamon).  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  

Really, it's that easy.  And yes, they're that good.

I thought this would be a perfect way to start getting Lauren involved in the kitchen.  She's just about 18 months old now.  So we pulled a kitchen chair over to the counter, and she did her best to "mix" the batter together.   Then I got out the hand mixer to get things moving and because I knew Lauren would think that was pretty cool.  In the end, we got the muffins made, she had her first "licking the beaters" moment, and I took some pictures to preserve the memory of Lauren's first real kitchen experience.  

What recipes do you like to make with your kids helping out?  Be sure to let us all know the appropriate age, if necessary. 

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  • by Susan Location: Washington on Oct 27, 2011 at 06:54 AM
    My 3 year old son loves to help me cook as well. He really enjoys making mini-pigs in blankets. I take a small can of crescent rolls (4 pack) and unroll them. I cut each triangle into 4 smaller triangles. He puts one cheddar lil smokey on each triangle and roll up. Pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes and thats it. He feels like he has really done something and is so proud of himself after cooking his own lunch!!
  • by Kelly Location: Bear Grass on Oct 5, 2011 at 11:36 AM
    My son has loved to cook every since about the same age. He is almost 10 now & loves to cook. He comes in the kitchen all the time & tells me he wants to cook. He haas several of his own cookbooks that are designed for kids & he has cooked several things out of them, from french toast to chicken wraps. He has even made waffles & pancakes before. But I think his favorite thing to cook is desserts & he does a really good job with it too, especially cakes!! He can even do a pretty good job of frosting it. I hope he continues to be like this because it will serve him well later in life.
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