4 Fun Recipes to Get Kids Cooking

Get grandkids going in the kitchen with four fun recipes from The Kids Cook Monday initiative.

By The Editors

Imagine being able to improve your grandchildren's outlook on eating, cooking, and health in just a few hours each week. Imagine, at the same time, bettering their school performance and imparting years of family history, all while strengthening your relationship. Thanks to The Kids Cook Monday initiative, it can all be a reality.

Created to unite families through the power of dinner, The Kids Cook Monday encourages grandparents, parents, and kids to prepare food and eat together one night of the week, every week — preferably Monday. "We see it as a reset day," says project associate Joanna Lee, "a day to set intentions for the rest of week."

The campaign recently launched its official website, filled with kid-friendly recipes, cooking videos, and children's nutrition resources. It emphasizes interactivity, with special attention devoted to getting young people in the kitchen. When they help to make their own meals, Lee says, "they learn basic cooking skills like measuring ingredients, tossing salads, and kneading dough, which will continue to come in handy as they prepare food for the rest of their lives." In a country where one in three kids is considered overweight or obese, these skills are more necessary than ever.

The campaign also promotes good, old-fashioned family dinner, which has been proven to help kids in myriad ways. Research shows that kids who eat dinner with their families are more likely to excel in school, less likely to abuse drugs, and  more inclined to approach a parent with a problem. A recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that such kids are less likely to become obese, as well.

For grandparents who want to get involved in the process, Lee suggests using the website's resources to teach little chefs about the cultural origins of the dishes you prepare together, and keeping an eye out for teaching moments. "Take the time to explain that whole wheat bread makes you fuller longer or that carrots are full of eyesight-enhancing vitamin A," she says, and "encourage kids to try everything they help concoct."

Ultimately, consistency is key. "The simplest way to get involved," Lee says, "is to make family dinners your first priority of the first night of every week."

For more age-appropriate meal ideas or to find out how you can get involved, visit The Kids Cook Monday or email the campaign at info@TheKidsCookMonday.org.

And now, check out these four recipes shared exclusively with Grandparents.com:

 

Adapted from Kids Cook Monday! © 2011.

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