I’ve added something NEW to the column this month “Tips For The Table” . Besides a few recipes, I thought I’d throw in some helpful tips that I did with my own children when they were little. Things that preserved my sanity when my “kids were in the kitchen”. I Hope you find them useful!
Tips For the Table:
Are you tired of dreaming up dinner every night? Are you sick of hearing: “What’s for dinner?” the minute the children walk in the door? Do you need to teach some responsibility to your children? Why not let each child take a day of the week to plan dinner. It can be their “secret”.
The rules: The dinner must be nutritious, The dinner must be within X amount of money for the budget, etc. Design your rules around your family’s likes and dislikes, allergies etc. Haul out the cookbooks or hit the Internet for ideas. This is a great way for them to expand their reading skills as well as develop a new hobby “cooking!” Who knows you may have a budding chef in the family! Then it’s off to the grocery store. Choose one day when you all do the shopping for that week’s meals. No one knows who is making what. Now isn’t that fun instead of boring?
Having a budget will make them conscious of how difficult the real world is and planning and making dinner will give them an appreciation of all that you do!
A big bonus is that cooking provides an abundance of math skills for your child + mom gets a night or two off depending on how many children you have! If your children are young, they can still get in on the action with your help. It’s still a win-win proposition!
I’ll take mine in a cup to go… When I’m serving fishy crackers, pretzels, animal crackers etc at school for snack time I put them on an opened napkin. As a mom I put them in a Dixie cup so that my children didn’t spill things; they worked far better than bowls. They could also tote them outside. I’d write their name on the cup with a marker so I knew whose was whose when they’d leave them here and there to go play. This was great for car rides as well.
Pass the Popsicle stick please: I use tongue depressor - size Popsicle sticks in my classroom for my students to use instead of plastic knives for Play-doh play. You may think that those plastic knives aren’t sharp, but they are, especially in the hands of an excited 4-year-old. They also work great in the kitchen when a young child wants to butter their bread or spread peanut butter or jelly on a sandwich by themselves. If they want to cut up their own vegetables a pumpkin carving knife works great, but I still supervise. I also use a kitchen scissors to cut steak, pizza, French toast etc. because it’s so much faster when you have 3 kids than using a knife!
Washcloths to the rescue: I kept soft baby washcloths in my kitchen drawer along with my dishrags for dirty faces and hands. Each of my children had their own color.
Special cupboard and drawer: Instead of keeping all of the cleaning stuff that was dangerous under the kitchen sink, I kept the Tupperware there. I showed my children where the “Kid’s off limits stuff” was so that it would not be a tempting mystery cupboard that was up high and out of reach, and they helped me paste a “Mr. Yuk” and poison control sticker on that cupboard. I also gave them their own kitchen drawer with their plastic plates, sippie cups, special folks, spoons, washcloths, place mats, the baby’s bibs etc. in it. They could all reach that and it made them feel helpful when we set the table.
Pumpkin Pancake Cookies: My grandson Joshua is teething so he will love a tiny pumpkin pancake cookie just the right size for his little hands, and I hope you will too.
Painted Sugar Cookies
I enjoy making special cookies by painting them! Your children will have fun making an extra special cookie for someone they love too without a whole lot of fuss! Here’s how:
Mud Ball Crunchies:
Pumpkin Chex Bread: One of my student’s mommies turned this in for our Classroom Cookbook. In her “About the recipe” section she wrote: “Grama’s fall favorite.”
Now that you’ve got some yummy treats, wash them down with these fragrant smelling ciders!
Apple Cranberry Cider:
Does Pumpkin Custard with Peppery Pecans sound yummy? Click here for that recipe.
And if you’d like to whip up a batch of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins then click here.
Finally, I thought what fall dinner would be complete for any child without a meal of Chunky Cat Barf. If you’d like to try this delectable delight click here! Too funny!
Whatever you’re cookin’ up in the kitchen I hope you have a fall-fun-tastic time with your little punkin(s)!