Jena DeMoss: Tasty times together in the kitchen

Published 5:45 pm Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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Did you know that kids who regularly help in the kitchen grow up confident to prepare their own meals? As a result, they’ll not only learn how to eat balanced meals, but they may become less picky, too. If there’s one thing that brings people together, it’s food – so choose a recipe, grab an apron, and reap the benefits of time together in the kitchen. How to include the littles? Let’s find out:

Come One, Come All: Little kids, big kids – there’s no age limit when it comes to cooking. Sure, the task will need to be different, but even a child as young as two years old can help. A mixing bowl and spoon can do wonders for the little ones, and asking school-age kids to help measure ingredients can promote concentration and math skills.

Designate Special Tools: Colorful mixing bowls, nifty spatulas, a homemade apron – show kids that cooking should be fun and enjoyed. With their own gadgets and gear, they’ll be asking for homemade meals more often.

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Make, Taste, Enjoy: Who doesn’t love a little taste test? If you find that you have some picky personalities on your hands – helping in the kitchen is key. Kids are more likely to eat what the make. Therefore, bring out all the food groups and use them in different ways. The more exposure to foods, the better.

Deciding Factor: Turn the trickiest question of the day around and ask your kids – “What’s for dinner tonight?” Allowing your kids to come up with meal ideas can help elevate some stress throughout the week. If you find that they only suggest their go-to foods (example: mac-n-cheese), offer a choice: Would you like spaghetti or tacos tonight? They’ll feel empowered that they got to make this mealtime call and their diet will be full of variety, too.

Customer in Training: Grab the little toddler cart and make your way through the grocery aisles together. A meal begins with a plan. Therefore, expose them to all the options within the grocery store. Have them pick up fun foods, yet look at healthier options, too.

As parents, we pass many skills down to our children. Make sure the ability to cook is one of them (regardless if you’re a great chef or not).

Blender Avocado-Pistachio Froyo

Serves 8 (¼ cup each)

All you need

• 4 medium very ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and roughly chopped

• ¾ cup Hy-Vee granulated sugar

• 1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios, plus additional for garnish

• ¼ tsp Hy-Vee almond extract

• 3 (5.3-oz each) containers Hy-Vee vanilla Greek yogurt

• Hy-Vee honey, for serving

• Flaked sea salt, for serving

All you do

1. Place avocados into a blender and blend until smooth; scraping sides as needed. Add granulated sugar, shelled pistachios, almond extract and vanilla Greek yogurt. Blend until combined and pistachios are chopped.

2. Place froyo into a large freezer grade container and freeze for at least 4 hours or until completely frozen.

When ready to serve, scoop into ice cream dishes and top with honey, flaked sea salt and additional chopped pistachios, if desired.

Recipe source: