It’s great fun to cook with your kids – and it helps them learn to “cook from scratch” with comfort, while developing healthy eating habits.
Whole foods plant-based eating right from the start!
As we looked out the window at minus 7 degrees in Buffalo, Wyoming, Kalea and I decided it was the perfect time to make seasoned roasted vegetables. Kalea, now 9 years old, has been cooking with her mom since she was able to sit up on her own; her mom would sit her on the counter and let her stir whatever she was making.
Whole foods plant based eating right from the start of introducing solids, lets a child develop “broad minded” taste buds; making your own baby food can help you avoid the salty, sugary trap that narrows the taste interests.
Kids Love Participating
Kalea did the zucchini sticks – lightly breaded with balsamic vinegar (blackberry/ginger infused) and whole grain breadcrumbs, while I sliced the sweet potatoes. The balsamic vinegar was also added to the inverted mushroom caps. Kalea snapped off the woody asparagus ends (just grasp each end, bend and it snaps just at the point where it gets tender). Then came my favorite part of this cooking adventure. I just handed Kalea the spices and said “give the veggies a good shake of the rosemary, oregano and thyme, and then a light sprinkling of Turmeric. And for the sweet potato sticks let’s also shake some ginger. AND she did it – so naturally and confidently – no questions asked!. For sure it’s helpful to follow some recipes and see what amounts and combinations of spices they use. However, it’s also great to let yourself be relaxed and creative with spices; look at the food you’re preparing, watch the density of the spice as you add it, savor the flavors when it’s done, and remember what you taste and like.
We cooked the veggies at 375 for 30 minutes, then drained garbanzo beans (saved the liquid for “Aqua Faba”) and layered them overtop, with some Gara Masala for seasoning, and cooked for an additional 20 minutes.
While everything was cooking, Kalea put together a delicious spinach and mixed green salad with pineapple, avocado, slivered cabbage and a few chopped pecans. Kalea and her 7 year-old sister (who is also proficient in the kitchen) enjoyed setting an “elegant” table (their choice of words) and put out the array of foods. After singing “Johnny Appleseed”, we all admired Kalea’s work, savored the flavors, and talked excitedly about the new baby sister born that morning just before the blizzard!