The holidays are coming! With special treats and family gatherings, it’s the perfect time to teach your kids about nutrition, especially when you have little ones. Kids not only get to try new foods, but they get a big boost of confidence when they see the family enjoying their creations. Hence, it’s a great time to introduce them to the kitchen…as your little helpers!
Don’t estimate the abilities of the little ones. There’s always something for everyone to do, whether it’s cutting up food, washing to handling the dough. It’s a time of experiments, creating, bonding and just having fun. Cooking together also creates an enriching learning environment. It’s a time where they learn essential life skills, along with reading and mathematics. They get to learn boring stuff the fun way.
To keep them excited about cooking, assign tasks where they are able to prepare based on their abilities.
- Three to five-year-old: They can mix together simple ingredients, snap green beans, tear lettuce for a salad, and press cookie cutters
- Six to seven-year-old: Peel corn, use a vegetable peeler, crack and peel eggs, measure ingredients, mash potatoes and eggs
- Eight to nine-year-old: Juice citrus fruits, pound meats on a cutting board, cut small soft veggies with a small knife
- Kids ten years and older: Slice and chop vegetables, boil potatoes and eggs, bake food, stir fry simple vegetables
Here’s a recipe that the whole family can get involved in – Mini teriyaki meatballs with broccoli.
For the meatballs:
- Broccoli florets
- ½ cup finely grated carrot
- 1 ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
- 600g ground meat of your choice
- 1 egg
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup of soy sauce
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
- ¼ cup of water
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp honey
- Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and mix till the honey dissolves.
- To make the meatballs, combine together all the ingredients for the meatballs. Form it into small balls. The kids can help you mix them and shape them into small balls. Don’t worry if they are not uniform in size.
- In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the meatballs and fry them on all sides about 5 – 6 minutes. Add in the broccoli and stir continuously.
- Add in the teriyaki sauce mix, bring to a simmer till meatballs are cooked and the broccoli is soft.
- Serve it over hot rice. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.