The popular publishing house Pleasant Company created the American Girls book series for young girls over a decade ago. Since then, they have branched out, creating fiction and non-fiction books for kids of all ages.
The Mix-It-Up Cookbook introduces children to various basic recipes, such as pancakes, milkshakes, burritos, pizzas and macaroni. The colorful illustrations and straightforward instructions are both eye-catching and informative. The recipes are simple and the meals are healthy, not to mention yummy. Each recipe offers various ways to "mix it up." For example, prepare some scrambled eggs, add them to a warm flour tortilla and voila - you have a breakfast burrito all ready to go.
The book is also spiral-bound, meaning that it will lay flat on the countertop while you cook. This leaves both hands available to cut, mix and stir. Rather than trying to balance ingredients, bowls and utensils in one hand while propping the book open with the other hand, show kids that both hands should be available to cook. That will further reinforce kitchen safety.
From tossing a simple salad to setting the table, there are many ways to include all family members in mealtime. Get your kids in the kitchen and teach them how to be safe, how to follow instructions, and how to cook. Encourage them to make up their own fun dishes (within reason, of course) and you may soon turn your reluctant helper into a willing kitchen aide. Who knows -- you might have a future chef on your hands and not know it.
Now, if you are feeling really adventurous, have your munchkins help you prepare next week's grocery list!
Related Booklist: Cooking Up a Storm