Secrets to the best mashed potatoes | Simple Bites #eatseasonalholiday

Kitchen Tasks for Kids Ages 9 to 11

“Do you have anything I can chop?” When my nine-year-old Noah joins me in the kitchen, this is a question I can expect him to ask every time.

He likes to work on his knife skills, and I require him do so only when I’m right by his side. This is one of the many understandings between us that has been established over years of teamwork. And I mean years.

Noah was my very first sous chef, starting around 15 months, on a chair next to me as I cooked and baked. At four he was making his own sandwiches. At five he was rolling doughnuts and doing most everything on this list of tasks for 3-5 year-olds.

He’s always been keen to learn in the kitchen, an in case you were wondering, he knows I’m writing this post and is okay with it. He’s all for inspiring other kids to get cooking, too.

[Read more…]

Rolling flour tortillas

Kitchen Tasks for Kids Ages 6 to 8

So you’ve survived cooking with pre-schoolers. Congratulations! I have good news for you: the next stage is really, really fun.

From rolling meatballs to chopping apples, watching the Yorkshire pudding rise or turning fruit into sauce, the kitchen is now a science lab, the heart of the home, and the best restaurant in town.

Around age six and continuing through seven, children graduate from play cooking to serious cooking and they are eager to make a good impression. They can plan a simple menu and pull together an entire meal, if given the chance. Now, more than ever, it’s important to give them space to be creative. Guide them, give instructions, but don’t hover. And heap on the praise.

[Read more…]

Kitchen tasks kids can do ages 3-5 | Simple Bites

Kitchen Tasks for Kids Ages 3-5

The subject of children’s kitchen tasks came up quite a bit during my recent round of interviews for cookbook promo, which got me thinking.

Over the years (we’ve had five good ones here) I’ve never really shared a guide to kid’s cooking skills by age. I’ve got children of my own in three distinct categories, so note-taking on this subject is easy. Noah, Mateo and Clara remind me daily of what they are capable of and are always surprising me with new accomplishments.

So this is the first post in a little blog series covering kitchen tasks for kids. We’ll look at ages 3-5, 6-8 and 9-11. After that they will be off and away on their own! Or at least that is the plan.

It’s important to remember that skills vary greatly at this age (and every age, really) so take this list with a grain of salt. Don’t worry if your pre-schooler isn’t making sandwiches or peeling eggs just yet.

[Read more…]

Kids in the kitchen: applesauce

Kids in the Kitchen: Canning Applesauce {video}

What happens when you let three young siblings loose in the kitchen to collaborate on a winter canning project? A boatload of cuteness, a few laughs and delicious applesauce for all.

Today I’ve got a sweet video to share with you; a rare live glimpse into my kitchen and the three little monkeys that share it with me. It’s ever so fun and maybe, just maybe, demonstrates that kids can indeed help with putting up foods.

[Read more…]

Simple, natural kitchen cures for a cold || Simple Bites #tip

Simple, natural kitchen cures for a cold

It felt like I was beating off a cold for the better portion of the holidays. You know that feeling when you wake up and go ‘Uh Oh’ because your throat feels dry and your head aches slightly. Yeah, not fun.

Because I was party planning and had house guests, I didn’t want to get laid up for a minute. It was time for some cold-curing home remedies.

Back in October, when I was yet again battling the onset of a cold, I asked my friends on Instagram what they do to kill a cold. Of course their response was swift and ever so smart. I saved their tips for my own reference, but I can’t keep them all to myself.

Should you be as unfortunate as to find yourself similarly sick, my hope is that you can turn to your kitchen for a natural cure using one or two of these suggestions.

[Read more…]