Sunday, October 4, 2015

Kids in the Kitchen: Pizza Stuffed Peppers

As some of you may know I am big on kids in the kitchen and I think it's important for kids to learn kitchen safety, and cooking/baking skills at a young age. I'm a firm believer that you should integrate the things that you want to be a part of your children's lives from day one. When my daughter was a baby and I was cooking I would put her in her high chair and let her feel and play with sweet potato peels and things like that, she's always been a part of the kitchen experience. Now that she's older she helps me make several things and can prepare some things on her own.

We made this recipe for pizza stuffed peppers and here's how my daughter who is three and half years old was able to help and do pretty much everything that was needed. 

She washed the peppers by standing on a stool and rinsing them under cold water. I handed her the peppers one by one and took them and set them on a paper towel after she finished.

Then when it came time to cut the tops off of the peppers I took a sharp knife and made a starter cut for my daughter. Then I gave her a butter knife and let her cut the rest of the top off the pepper.

Then I showed her how to use the butter knife to remove the seeds and what not from the pepper, then she took over and did it.

Next it came time to measure out the sauce. I didn't want her to pour it from the jar because there was a lot in the jar, it was heavy, and I didn't want it all pouring out at once. So I gave her the measuring cup and a spoon and showed her the line for how much we needed. She spooned it into the measuring cup until she had the right amount. This is itself is a lesson about the kitchen and life skill of measurement.

This next part some people get really nervous about and just never let their kids anywhere near the stove until they are 12 or older. I want my daughter to know how to properly handle being near a stove, and I of course am always right there with her. It's also just a safety thing for me that I wanted her to learn, she understands what parts are hot and is extremely cautious. And of course everyone knows their own child and not every child is mature enough at three to handle stirring something on the stove without getting burnt. Do not try this with your child if you know they won't take it seriously. This is something we have really worked up to, starting with me holding her while I would stir something (of course nothing that would be popping grease or something like that) and now having her standing on a stool and stirring the things we are making together. This recipe was great for this because these ingredients just needed to be heated a bit and stirred together because it was going into the oven afterwards.

I put the heated mixture into a bowl and then I put a pepper into another bowl so it would stay standing up and gave her a spoon so she could put the mixture into the peppers.

This final picture really shows how rewarding having your kids in the kitchen is. She was so proud of the food she had made when it was done. I have read that picky eaters are more likely to eat things that they picked the ingredients for at the store or helped to make, and my daughter loved this meal. She's not super picky to begin with though.

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