The Joys of Cooking with Your Children

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Guest post by Carlie Kercheval.

Cooking with my children is a tradition that I have carried down from my days as a child. I have the fondest memories cooking with both of my great-grandmothers, grandmothers, as well as my own mother. Too many to recount, the memories of these special times with each of these special women has made a large impact on who I am today. Nearly all of my fondest childhood memories took place in the kitchens of these great women. It is an absolute joy and honor to pass this tradition of cooking on to my own children. Cooking as a family is an every day occurrence in our house. And the great news is, my husband loves to cook as well. As a matter of fact, he is a cook in the United States Army. So not only do my children get to cook with mom, they also have the blessing of cooking with dad as well.

One of the challenges our family faces when we cook is cooking allergy-friendly foods for our youngest son who has several food allergies. He is allergic to wheat, dairy, egg whites, all nuts, and soy. Because of this we cook many gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and casein-free foods. Recently I found Mystie’s book Simplified Dinners: gluten-free and dairy-free made easy. This book blessed our family on so many levels. First off, the obvious blessing was that we found a book that covered most of our son’s major food allergies. Secondly, it gave us a way to simplify life by teaching us to create a way to have the ingredients to cook several foods by building up our food supply according to the “master pantry” list. And last, but certainly not least, it also helps my need to be frugal by eliminating any food waste by only having ingredients you will need and use for the recipes. (You can read my review of Simplified Dinners here.)

Get your Kids in the Kitchen

For dinner last night, we decided to cook the Orange Honey Slow-Cooker Chicken from Simplified Dinners: gluten-free and dairy-free made easy. My two youngest children (sons ages 4 and 5) helped me prepare it.

Part of the recipe called for orange juice, so we decided to whip out the Vitamix and make our own! The boys just LOVE pushing those levers and turning that dial to see how loud and fast the machine gets. It is times like these that I know our children will remember. They feel so good about themselves when you give them tasks that come with responsibility. I see the delight in my children’s eyes when they are able to complete an age-appropriate task on their own. And cooking with mom and dad is no exception.

I encourage all of you out there to cook with your children. For those of you who already do so, you understand the joy it brings to the family. For those of you who want to but feel like it is too stressful, just take your time and ease into it. Like everything else in life, the more you do something, the easier it becomes. Not only is cooking a life skill that benefit any person, it is also a beautiful way to create every day memories with your precious children – who are only in your care for a short time before they become adults and have families of their own.

Make the time to cook with your children. I promise you it will become a joyful experience!

Carlie is a homeschooling mom by day and a blogger by night. She enjoys being married to the love of her life {Michael} while together they fulfill God’s purpose for their lives. Currently living in Germany by way of the US Army, Carlie is smitten by the beautiful scenery and captures as much of it as she can behind the lens of her camera. You can connect with her on her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

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