Cooking with young children can be both fun and messy! If you would like to give it a try you will need a few simple kitchen supplies and food items. It is best to start with something simple like scrambled eggs…with an Italian twist!
Italian Inspired Scrambled Eggs
First, you will need to gather your cooking tools. On a clean counter place a large mixing bowl, a medium frying pan, a cutting board, a kitchen knife (keep at a safe distance from the kids), a metal whisk, a measuring cup (this will be used for cheese…I use a 3/4 cup but you should use what seems right), a teaspoon, a tablespoon and a plastic spouted measuring cup. Then gather the food you plan on using.
Remove from your fridge the eggs, tomatoes, shredded cheese, milk and fresh oregano. You will need to get your olive oil as well. After that, bring into the kitchen a step stool for each of the children that will be helping you cook. It is also helpful to have on hand a large roll of paper towels for any inevitable spills!
In my example I will be suggesting how to cook with two children. Once the children have rolled up their sleeves, washed their hands carefully, and mounted their step stools, you are ready to mix the ingredients. For very young children, it is best if you crack the eggs yourself, into the mixing bowl.
When all six eggs are prepped, pour the milk into the spouted measuring cup. The first child will then transfer it into the bowl.
Next, have the second child lightly beat the mixture together using the metal whisk.
Now fill the teaspoon with olive oil and have the first child put it into the frying pan. The kids can watch as you coat the pan with oil.
Then it is time to transfer the liquid from the mixing bowl into the pan.
After doing this, pour grated cheese into the measuring cup. The second child will use the measuring cup to sprinkle cheese onto the uncooked eggs.
Next, have the kids watch as you dice the tomatoes on a cutting board. Take the knife away and let the first child place the tomatoes in the egg mixture. Any unused tomato pieces can be used as a garnish.
Lastly, remove the fresh oregano leaves from the stem. After discarding the stem, chop the leaves on the cutting board. When you have finished, put the knife carefully in the kitchen sink. Then have the second child scatter the oregano into the pan.
Once the kids are safely off the stools, everyone can make their way over to the stove. Carry the pan to the stove and tell the kids to stand at a safe distance while you turn it on. Stir the eggs with the tablespoon. It can be fun for kids to watch something cook, so perhaps lift them up to see how the eggs are changing in the frying pan.
Many children love the idea of eating something they have created. You will find that they get such a sense of accomplishment when they taste the final product. As they get used to helping with simple cooking activities you can introduce more complicated culinary adventures. Perhaps after mastering chocolate chip cookies and pancakes, your kids will be ready to try their hand at gourmet pizza!
Eggs: great source of protein to keep you satisfied and B-vitamins
Tomatoes: source of vitamin C needed to boost your immune system & build collagen for skin and packed with lycopene, an anti-oxidant to protect against harmful free radicals
Dairy (Milk & Cheese): full of calcium & vitamin D needed for growing strong bones & teeth and also source of protein
Oregano: contains antioxidants to help protect and boost your immune system
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: a hearth healthy mono-unsaturated fat that has anti-inflammatory properties