When kids ask if they can help make dinner, we can respond with appreciation. This may increase your prep time and double the mess, but the rewards are worth it. One of our kids checked out a cookbook from the school library last week and brought home extra enthusiasm. Studying The Boxcar Children Cookbook won’t turn your child into a snobbish young chef, thankfully.
When he was a beginning reader, our oldest son received a set of The Boxcar Children books as a gift from my precious lit-minded friend, Mary. If you’ve read this kid lit, you know that the siblings in the story learn to fend for themselves in many ways. They prepare food simply and realistically. If you want to encourage your kids to learn how it’s done, let them read a few of the books in this series.
In other cooking adventures, our third-grader insisted that I buy a copy of his school’s cookbook, created as a fundraiser by teachers. My first reaction was that we already have a bulging closet full of cookbooks. But I realized that if there were ever a time to expand his repertoire (his top three cookery skills are peeling carrots, making fruit salads and blending smoothies), this was the time. His teacher contributed several recipes to the book, and when he brought his copy home from school, he read it from front to back as if it were as satisfying as one of his comic books. The first recipe we made together was his teacher’s salsa. This may sound elementary – which is why it’s perfect for the elementary school set.
So if you’re thinking about giving your kids a gift from the heart this month . . . check out The Boxcar Children and prepare real food together while you let the children make some of the decisions.