Friday, September 13, 2013

{Sibling Play} Cooking Matters: #KidsintheKitchen

A few months ago, when I brought my popular monthly Baby Play Series to a close as Caterpillar clearly became a toddler, I decided to follow it up with a series on Tot + PreK Sibling Play. I kicked off the series in April and then followed it each month (on the 2nd Friday) with one simple sibling play idea: May - Sandbox Play, a guest post from Mama Smiles; June - Water Play + Nature Explorations; July - Pretend Play. Travel in August threw the series off, though my Tot School Series began in August and features many sibling play ideas as my preschooler loves being involved in Tot School with his younger brother. 

Now that Fall is approaching and our schedule is getting a bit more consistent, I plan to stay on track with this new series and share simple and easy Sibling Play ideas each 2nd Friday (or Saturday, as the case may be) of the month. Today, it's all about Kids in the Kitchen! 

I wanted to share the importance of including our kids in meal and snack prep this month since September is Hunger Action Month and an important component to fighting hunger is promoting healthy eating and getting children involved in the kitchen, which Cooking Matters (a No Kid Hungry - Share Our Strength program) highlights.

Even though the boys are young, getting them involved in the kitchen now lays the foundation for them to make healthy food choices and to be engaged in creating the food that they eat. We love to make "cookies," but often make non-traditional cookies, such as no-bake cookies that include lots of healthy ingredients, like oats, peanut butter and flax seeds and very little (or no) sugar. 

Our favorite no-bake, no sugar cookies are our 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies made with oats, real maple syrup and peanut butter. We've also made a version that uses sunflower seed butter, honey and oats, a great alternative for children with nut allergies. Our most recent no-bake cookies were chocolate cookies inspired by Shugary Sweet's Skinny No Bake Cookies. I made a few changes to the recipe. I did not add the protein powder/shake mix or the espresso powder or the chocolate chips, but the cookies were still a big hit -- with chocolate, banana and peanut butter, how could they not be? The best part, other than eating them, was having the boys help me make them. 

Another advantage to having the boys involved with baking/making cookies is all of the counting and measuring that happens through following a recipe. Plus, cooking together allows the boys to practice cooperation, teamwork and taking turns. (Don't worry - that's a fake pout. He didn't really mind waiting his turn). Here's a tip: since many no-bake cookies often need some time in the refrigerator to "set" before they can be eaten, we will often make them before nap time with the promise that the cookies will be waiting for them after they sleep. Works, almost, every time! 

Do you enjoy spending time with your kids in the kitchen? What's your favorite recipe? Please share! I'd love to pin it to my Seasonal Eats! Board where I store all of my recipes for seasonal fruits and veggies and my favorite creative cooking ideas for the boys. 

Sharing at: Kids in the Kitchen Friday Link-Up, The Weekly Kid's Co-Op, The Sunday Showcase, Magic Moments Monday, Tuesday Tots, Mom's Library and It's Playtime!

You might also like:
Family Breakfast 
Making Pizza At Home
Pop Tarts from Scratch


  1. that's wonderful your kids are learning so early! thank you so much for linking up to Kids in the Kitchen :)

  2. getting them started young is the best way to keep them involved.

  3. They are adorable in their cooking aprons! We love to cook with the little ones too. They are so proud when they eat food that they made themselves.

  4. Thanks for sharing a Magic Moments Monday! We've been sharing this post and it is featured in November! Really, really think that fostering strong relationships between siblings is important and love that you have been working on a series for it. You are just genius!