Eat Well, Play Well And More at The Health Museum-Houston

We love going to The Health Museum in Houston at least once a year. Right now there is an Eat Well, Play Well traveling exhibit that helps us learn all about how the food and activity choices we make impacts our overall body health. The exhibit will be there through Labor Day. It was great and very interactive! One station let you choose different foods and match them up to suggested serving sizes. I’ll say that my daughter and I did not do so great on that one! I describe more about it below but first I want to tell you about the rest of the museum.

This year I bought a Living Social deal for an annual membership because it was such a good deal! It’s a smaller museum than many, but we can easily spend a few hours there each time we go. What I love about it is that the exhibits are focused on health and medical science and help teach us all about how our bodies work. Some of the exhibits are about the physical makeup of our bodies like how your heart pumps blood or what is inside your teeth or even how your lungs pump oxygen.

Houston Health Museum Visit

There is another section that focuses on how our brains work and another part where the emphasis is all about what makes us unique. Things like our physical traits (what color are our eyes and why, do we have freckles and how many other people who visit the museum have had them too). There is an exhibit that my kids love to go to where it takes a picture of your face and you answer questions about your lifestyle—like do you  smoke, use sunscreen or get enough sleep.  It will then create a computer generated image of what you will look like at a certain age (usually a decade or two or more) and shows how lifestyle changes can make a difference.

Health Museum Visit

One of our favorite parts is the 4D theatre. These short films take us inside our bodies on a virtual tour to learn about how we fight off germs or other topics. An 4D means there is usually a surprise (like steam or a light spray of water) to keep it even more entertaining for effect.

What makes these exhibits nice is that everyone learns while having fun!

The exhibits I have already described are permanent exhibits but they also have rotating exhibits that come in. My kids still remember one of the first times we went there, several years ago, climbing on a giant tongue and learning about how we taste!

This exhibit challenged you to match up foods with suggested serving sizes. It was harder than it seemed!

This exhibit challenged you to match up foods with suggested serving sizes. It was harder than it seemed!

Houston Health Museum Visit

This exhibit hightlights the importance of eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables!

Houston Health Museum

My son especially loved the one where you choose a food and then push a wheel to see how long it takes to burn off those calories. I was surprised that even the fruit took longer than I expected.

This exhibits helps you understand how much energy it takes to burn the calories from a variety of different foods.

This exhibits helps you understand how much energy it takes to burn the calories from a variety of different foods.

HealthMuseumcalories2

My son found it to be a lot more difficult to turn the wheel fast enough to burn calories…even though he generally has a lot of energy to burn!

The Screen Time exhibit was really neat because it took the amount of time that you might spend with electronics and equates it to real life examples of what you could be doing instead or how it really affects your health. I knew limiting electronics time is important but this helped even the kids understand a little more why I care so much!

HealthMuseumscreentime HealthMuseumscreentime3    Houston Health Musem

My favorite station was the Supermarket Nutrition game. Here, you choose whether you want to just do some shopping or create a meal using “cards” of ingredients and groceries that include nutrition information. As you add the “cards” to your session, it adds them all up. At the end, it tallies things up and gives you a rating on how well you did creating a balanced meal.  I tried it one time choosing all kinds of junk food and it did not like that!  It gave me all sorts of suggestions for improvement. Another time, I thought I had done a pretty good job choosing grilled chicken, a vegetable and water to drink but it said I was low on whole grains and fruits or veggies—whoops! It was a fun way to learn about how to make healthy food choices.

 

This is the supermarket game station.

This is the supermarket game station.

Houston Health Museum

I chose different cards for the "menu" to see how I rated.

I chose different cards for the “menu” to see how I rated.

Houston Health Museum Houston Health Museum

I was missing one of the ingredient groups!

I was missing one of the ingredient groups!

Houston Health Museum One of my daughter’s friends and her mom came to the museum with us that day and they loved it! They had never been. It’s like an undiscovered treasure.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that we also o love the gift shop.  They have lots of unique games, books and activities.  My daughter was making a hard case for the stuffed keychains of parasites, lice and other things like that. At least they had cute little faces on them.  You know, who doesn’t need a keychain of some lice or DNA chain?

If you’re in the Houston area or plan to visit , consider adding The Health Museum to your summer outing itinerary! And if you have a Children’s  Museum annual membership, you can get into The Health Museum for free as part of their reciprocal museum program. From another city? Check out the list of reciprocal museums and zoos and you may be able to get in for free too! (call ahead first to make sure they will honor that though).

Summer Bucket List: 25 Ideas for Kids In the Kitchen (Free Downloadable)

Summer Bucket List Meets Kids In the Kitchen | Free Downloadable | Meal Planning Magic

Summer Bucket List For Kids in the Kitchen

For the last couple of years, we have created Summer Bucket Lists. Wanting to get my kids in the kitchen a little more is always on my own list! Bucket lists area a fun way to set some goals to make some memories and spend time together too.  At the end of summer, it’s neat to look back and see what we’ve actually done and where we’ve gone! We’re going on three weeks since the official start of summer here (a.k.a. school’s out!) and while we’re not quite lacking for things to do, I know before too long I’ll be hearing the familiar cry of “Mom, I’m bored!” So, in the last month or so, I’ve been seeing several different ideas for Boredom Jars on Pinterest like this one or this one. The idea is that you make up a list of ideas for your kids to pull from a jar when they exclaim “I’m bored!” and more screen time is just not going to cut it anymore! I’ve got one of those in the works (just need to print out the strips) but from all the ideas I saw, no one really had any that were food related to encourage kids to get cooking or learning about food!

25 Ideas and Activities–Free Downloadable!

So I came up with one of my own and I’m sharing it with you all. I had a collection of these ideas rolling around in my mind for quite some time plus, I polled my own kids for some ideas too. Now I have a place to put all those ideas and we can actually DO some of them. Here’s the list:

Foodie Fun For Kids
Activity Ideas List
25 Ideas To Get You Cooking!

Note to Kids: Ask an adult to help you with cooking especially if you need to use a knife, oven, stovetop or other tools that can be dangerous. All ages can do these activities—younger children may need more adult help than older children though.

1. Learn how to cook something new. Then name your signature dish a fun name and serve it to your family or friends.

2. Look at a globe or world map and choose a country to learn more about. Then learn how to make a classic dish from that country.

3. Go to a Farmers’ Market. Find one near you by visiting LocalHarvest.org. What new foods will you discover?

4. Make a meal plan for one day for your family: breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. Ask a grown up to help you get the ingredients to make the meals for that day. Don’t forget the fruits and vegetables!

5. Set up a restaurant in your home using things you may already have around like placemats, napkins, silverware, music and more. You can get creative and even make and decorate menus for your guests (family or friends) and serve your next meal in style!

6. See how many different colors of fruits and vegetables you can eat in one day. Check out Crunch A Color or Today I Ate A Rainbow to help you keep track. How many can you eat?

7. Keep track of how much water you can drink in one week. Set a family goal to drink a bathtub amount of water (5,000 8 oz. cups!) and see how long it takes you to reach that goal!

8. Go fruit picking at a local pick-your-own farm. Find one near you by going to PickYourOwn.org.

9. Learn how to cook something new from scratch that you might normally buy (like macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, pizza, spaghetti, etc.)—no boxes allowed!

10. Have a holiday themed cooking party. Any day is a great day for a party—choose a holiday and menu, invite over some friends and cook together!

11. Choose a theme for a meal and have a grown up help you make it. How about a meal that is all miniature foods or everything that is all one color (naturally, of course!)

12. Have a bake sale and choose a cause to donate the money too. Some ideas: Cookies for Kids Cancer or Share Our Strength. Don’t forget the healthy goodies too, and even treats for pets!

13. Watch a cooking show on television, online or on video. We like Food Detectives, Food Network’s Challenge, The Chew and Good Eats.

14. Host a cook-off challenge for your friends. Have a grownup help choose some “secret” ingredients for the challenge and have them time you to see what delicious things you can make using them. Then share!

15. Watch a movie and then make food around that theme. Like African food for Madagascar or Chinese food for Kung Fu Panda.

16. Watch a cooking how-to show. Then make something you learned from the show. We like ActivityTV (DVDs and online).

17. Go to a food festival. Look in your local newspaper or online to find one near you. What else can you learn about the theme?

18. Do a blind taste test of fruits and vegetables for your family or friends. Cut up samples of several different varieties. For fun, keep track of what they liked and didn’t like (and compare to what you thought they might or might not!)

19. Learn how to read a nutrition label. The website Nourish Interactive has some great printables to help you learn how!

20. Pick a fruit or vegetable to learn more about. Make something using that as the main ingredient and share with your family what you learned about it like where it is from or what vitamins it has in it.

21. Read a food related book…it can be a cookbook or a fiction book. Your local library has lots of cooking books for kids!

22. Go on a grocery store tour. Ask your local store if they do this (Whole Foods is one that does in our area) or visit Field Trip Factory to find out about others. Get a group of friends together and make it a fun outing!

23. Interview an older family member and find out what their favorite foods were when they were your age. Help make a meal using some of those foods.

24. Find out where your food comes from. For example, when you buy produce, it will have a little sticker or sign that tells you how far it came. Meat and fish will often have a little sign that tells where it came from (or ask the butcher to tell you). Keep track for one week on a map to see how far things traveled to get to you. Then try to find foods that travel the least for the next week.

25. Make a family history meal. Ask your parents where your family is from and find out what traditional meal comes from that area then make it! (For example, Spain may make paella, the southeastern United States may make peach pie, etc.)

How To Make It

I’ve made it simple for you by providing a PDF file of the list here for you to print out and another PDF file here to print the jar labels here. I just printed our list out on different colored paper, then cut them into strips, folded them up and added them to the jar. I added a label to the top and front and tied a cute ribbon on the jar. My daughter colored the rectangular label with rainbow stripes but feel free to add any fun design you want! I used a Mason jar because I happened to have a few extras but you can also repurpose a plastic peanut butter or mayonnaise jar (especially good idea if you have littler ones and you don’t want to worry about the possibility of glass breaking!) I think this whole thing took me less than 15 minutes to complete!

Using a paper cutter makes cutting up the list and labels quick and easy.

Using a paper cutter makes cutting up the list and labels quick and easy.

I used my Cricut machine to cut out the circles but you can use a jar lid to trace the circle and cut out with regular scissors. I used decorative edge scissors for the design on the blue paper.

I used my Cricut machine to cut out the circles but you can use a jar lid to trace the circle and cut out with regular scissors. I used decorative edge scissors for the design on the blue paper.

Reuse a cleaned out peanut butter jar if you want something that is shatterproof-better for little ones!

Reuse a cleaned out peanut butter jar if you want something that is shatterproof-better for little ones!

I can’t wait to get started on our list this summer! Which one will you do first? I hope you and the kids in your life enjoy this little project.

A Few Of My Favorite Things: Kids In The Kitchen

Oprah did it. Ellen does it. Now I’m adding my hat into the ring and starting my Favorite Things series this month. I’ve got lists of all sorts of gadgets, appliances, cookbooks, games and other tools to help you make the most of your time in the kitchen–both for gift giving this holiday season and maybe to add to your own holiday wish lists. Sadly, I can’t give these away to you free like Oprah and Ellen, but hopefully they will help you check a few things off your holiday shopping list. So consider my gift the gift of extra time by doing some preshopping for you!

Today I’m starting with my Favorite Things for Kids in the Kitchen. These are just a few…feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments section. Happy browsing!

Crunch A Color Game

Brenda’s Notes: I received this game after participating in a Twitter chat and we’ve enjoyed playing it during our meals. The concept is simple: earn cards with points for eating healthy foods. Fruits and veggies give you the most points. Bonus points are given for things like trying a new food or helping to set the table or use good manners. The winner is the one who eats foods to earn the most points (and usually the most variety will give you the most points). Being that my children are somewhat competitive, this was right up their alley and actually works most times to get them to eat a greater variety of foods. Designed by a mom for parents, this game hits the mark on encouraging healthy eating habits. Be sure to check back later this week as I’ll be doing a giveaway of this game!

Junior Silicone Rolling Pin (avaiable in a variety of colors)

Brenda’s Notes: I picked up some of these at my local Marshall’s a couple of years ago–both for my own kids and also to give as gifts. They are GREAT! My kids love to use them when rolling out any kind of dough when they are helping me bake. They are perfectly sized for little hands (and my kids are older elementary aged and still use them). The silicone makes sticking less of an issue and they come in lots of fun colors. Pair with a kids cookbook and apron and you’ve got a budding chef gift ready to go!

Cook It In a Cup & Party In a Cup


Brenda’s Notes: My daughter had been circling this book over and over from a catalog we get of kids education toys so last summer I decided to give it a try. What kid doesn’t love miniaturized foods? What I love is that it takes familiar foods like lasagna or meatloaf and individualizes them. The instructions are simple to follow and kids can do much of the hands on work all by themselves. While we don’t own Party in a Cup (but it’s on my daughter’s list for this year!), I have seen it before and it does have more party food but not just sweets. Things like pasta or fruit salads served in those cute little cups. Don’t be thrown off by the pink cover–it’s not just for girls!

Family Time Fun Dinner Games & Activities

Brenda’s Notes: I bought this game for my family probably too years ago. Not that we need conversation starters so much but it is fun and my kids love to pull out the cards and ask the questions. Sometimes the questions encourage taking an extra bite of food while others are just for fun like, A, B, City where the first person starts by naming a geographic location that starts with the letter A, the next starts with B or the Acronym Challenge where the person who’s it names their favorite foods to spell out their name. The version I bought is for kids ages 6-12 (and adults of course) while the other version (shown below) is for kids ages 3-5.

Today I Ate A Rainbow Chart & Book Set

Brenda’s Notes: I got this set last spring and it is a very cute way to teach kids the importance of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. My kids like to use the magnets to keep track of the colors they eat each day. You might be surprised about how much you are (or are not!) eating each day. We sure were! The book makes the reasoning relatable to kids and the kit also comes with shopping list pads and a bookmark to help reinforce healthy habits. Designed by a mom for parents, this is a fun tool for the whole family.

Super Healthy Kids plate

Brenda’s Notes: No doubt, you may have heard of the USDA’s redesign earlier this year of their recommended daily healthy food allowances in the form of a plate rather than the pyramid that many of us are used to. Well, long before that redesign, Amy from Super Healthy Kids designed a plate that encourages just that–filling your plate with half fruits or vegetables and then balancing the rest with protein or whole grains. This plate makes it fun and easy for kids to keep track of how much they’re putting on their plates and choosing a healthy balance of foods that fuel their bodies.

Kids Favorites Made Healthy Cookbook

Brenda’s Notes: I love this book! It’s color pages make it attractive to both parents and kids when choosing recipes. Best of all the recipes are kid-friendly (obviously) and easy for kids to help with. You can read my review of this book here. And what’s not to like when it’s kid friendly AND healthy!

Playful Chef Deluxe Cooking Kit

AND/OR
Sassafras Little Cook Kid’s Kitchen Tool Kit

Brenda’s Notes: While I don’t have either one of these exact sets, my kids have received kid-sized utensils as gifts in the past and also aprons made just for them. What I love about sets like this is that the cooking utensils are perfect for little hands. They can easily grip, scoop, spoon and stir to feel like real pros in the kitchen. What better way to encourage the cook in every kid?

I hope you’ve enjoyed browsing some of my favorite things! I’ve got more to share in the coming days and weeks like going green products, appliances, gadgets and much more! Be sure to subscribe via email or reader, Facebook, Twitter or GoogleConnect (or whatever you prefer!) to get the updates.

Disclaimer: I have received for free only the products as noted in my Notes. Most of them were purchased by me or received as gifts from family or friends. I received no other compesation and all opinions are my own. However I am an Amazon affiliate so if you order these items through my links here it does help me out through referral fees. Thanks for that if you do!

Kids Cook Monday & A Weekend Challenge

You know how I love to get kids into the kitchen, right? Well, this past weekend I was presented with an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up! Several months ago I joined a Facebook group for Mario Bosquez’s Weekend Cooking Challenge on Martha Stewart Living Radio (one of my favorite satellite radio channels to listen to while I’m in the car!) The idea behind the group is that once a month Mario and a guest chef present a recipe for the group’s members to make and then post their pictures, comments, tips and encouragement on cooking day. It’s kind of like a virtual cooking party!

This weekend’s challenge was to make a Blackberry Blueberry Crumble. Since I had (literally) pounds and pounds of both varieties picked at a local farm on an earlier summer outing just waiting in my freezer I was there! So I recruited my daughter to help me out and I cannot tell you how easy it was! Truly, it took us about 15 minutes to assemble and then bake. And the taste…talk about yummy! We served ours with a little whipped cream as we didn’t have any vanilla ice cream on hand. It was a hit. And I must say it made a great late night snack and breakfast too. :-)

So what does this have to do with kids cooking on Mondays? Well, it’s not so much about actually cooking on MONDAY but just getting your kids in the kitchen with you. Kids Cook Monday is program I recently learned about that “encourages families to cook and eat meals together in order to teach important skills to children, such as teamwork, portion control, following instructions, and even motor skills. Research has shown that kids who eat family dinners tend to get better grades, develop communications skills, and are less likely to be obese. Empowering children to take control of what they eat allows them to consider how much and what they’re eating.” The idea is that once a week you and your children plan a meal and cook it together. Partnered with Columbia Univeristy’s Mailman School of Public Health and John Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Health, they are committed to helping our nation end preventable diseases.

I hope to make Kids Cook Monday a regular feature of my blog, too, to hopefully inspire and encourage you all too!

Here are some pictures from our cooking session (recipe follows)!

Measuring out the brown sugar.
Mixing together the filling ingredients…yummm–berries!

Mixing together the crumble topping ingredients!

It’s ready to go into the oven!

Yummy! Our crumble fresh out of the oven–ready to eat!

Here’s the recipe for the Blackberry Blueberry Crumble:

Blueberry Blackberry Crumble
Recipe by: Kate Goodyear, Pastry Chef at Soho House Group

Ingredients
2 pounds fresh blueberries
1 pint fresh blackberries
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Juice of 1 lemon
Crumble topping
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup old fashioned oats
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 oz (that’s one 1/2 cup stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

Directions
1) Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2) In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, blackberries, 1/3 cup brown sugar, cornstarch, salt and the lemon juice and toss well.
3) Pour into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish.
4) For the topping, place the flour, oats, sugar, the brown sugar, ground ginger, and the salt in a bowl.
5) Add the butter and mix by hand until it’s in large crumbles.
6) Spread the topping evenly over the fruit, making sure the fruit is covered.
7) Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the fruit is tender and bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature with buttermilk ice cream or the ice cream of your choice.

Serves 8-12

Kate’s Notes:
In the middle of June, with the weather heating up, New York City’s farmers’ markets are beginning to bloom with berries and the first of the stone fruits, cherries. Take advantage of its largesse with a fresh fruit crumble. I like the combination of blueberries and blackberries – the blueberries are a bit sweeter and the blackberries give some tang. In addition, the dark blue/purple of the fruit is gorgeous against some white ice cream. If you can’t find one of the fruits, feel free to substitute anything that looks beautiful and tastes delicious. This crumble recipe works all year long – pair with apples and pears in the fall.

Muffin Tin Monday–a new idea! {Menu Inspiration Idea}


Remember last week I mentioned that I had discovered many new blogs while it was raining so much and we were stuck inside? Well, one of those blogs was Muffin Tin Monday. Here, you’ll find a weekly challenge to serve meals to your family in fun muffin tins. A take on the bento style lunches (more on that later!), muffin tins jazz up the presentation of food and help make it more appealing for kids. Since I’m new to this whole thing my effort this week was a bit low key and I actually didn’t use the muffin tin. Instead, I used silicone muffin cups to hold cut up watermelon, guacamole and sour cream to go along with the chicken and cheese quesadillas I made for the kids.

It was funny because when I served up the plates, both their eyes got big and they got these funny smiles on their faces. They really loved them. And the bonus? They ate nearly all of their lunch! Here’s looking to more ideas to make lunchtime (or anytime) a little more fun this summer–or whenever!

I’m A Featured Blogger on Mamapedia!

I'm a featured blogger on Mamapedia Voices

Hey y’all!  I’m so excited to share with you that I am a featured blogger on Mamapedia.com!  Check out my article on Kids in the Kitchen.  If it seems familiar, that’s because it is!  I posted it on my own blog here last month.  In it you’ll find lots of tips for getting your children…even your toddlers…cooking in the kitchen with you and learning to try new foods.  What a fun way to spend time together!  And the lessons they’ll learn will be more than just learning to cook.  Be sure to search the cookbook reviews I’ve done for family and kid-friendly ideas too.  Have fun and I hope you like it!

Kids In the Kitchen: More Than Just Learning How to Cook

For as long as I can remember I’ve been cooking in the kitchen. I’d have to say it really took off when I was a teenager. I even planned themed parties for my friends and all the food. So it was only natural that when I had children of my own I would include them in the kitchen as soon as I could.

My children have been cooking with me pretty much since the time they could stand up. We started with a simple recipe: banana bread. What kid wouldn’t like mashing up a banana? Now that they are a bit older, they help in lots of different ways in the kitchen. The added bonus: they are much more likely to try new foods (or even old foods) when they’ve helped prepare them!

When I first started bringing my kids into the kitchen, I mainly viewed it as another way to spend time together. But over the years, I have discovered that it is an opportunity for them to learn so much more. They learn patience as they wait for me to measure out ingredients or while things bake or cook until they are done. Vocabulary is boosted when they learn new words for the ingredients you use or techniques. As they grow, practicing reading the recipe helps them learn new words and make the comprehension connection when they see how everything goes together. Math sneaks its way into meal prep too; counting the number of ingredients to include, learning about different units of measurement and more. Practicing teamwork is an added bonus as they learn to take turns with you or with sibling helping too. For young children, motor skills are enhanced when they learn how to pour, mix, roll and stir. New textures are also introduced with the opportunity to notice differences between liquids, dry ingredients, batter and doughs. Other shapes and textures can be noted in the ingredients as well like different types of fruit, nuts, whole grains and more.

Tips for Getting Started:
• Use plastic bowls, measuring spoons & cups and other equipment, if possible.
• Expect a mess! And at the end, use that mess to teach them how to clean up—a valuable life skill!
• Be patient—kids sometimes take a long time and are messier than you might be.
• Bring cooking down to kid level; use a small table to prepare on or provide a chair or stool to stand on.
• Check your moods before starting—your child’s and yours! Choose a time when everyone is well-rested and in a good mood.
• Prepare ingredients in advance, if possible like pre-measuring ingredients, chopping items, etc. This will make things go smoother and more quickly—especially since kids’ attention spans can sometimes be really short!
• Teach children that ovens and stoves are hot and that is for the grown-ups. I taught my children to stand in the same spot on a nearby rug every time I opened and closed the oven—it’s a habit they still practice today!

Are you anxious to bring your kids into the kitchen with you but need a little guidance on what they can do? Here are a few guidelines by age:

One- to two-year-olds can:

  • dump in premeasured dry ingredients and help stir
  • help shape cookies and other dough
  • tell you when the timer goes off
  • hand you an egg or other ingredients

Three to four-year-olds can also:
  • help measure ingredients
  • help crack eggs and mix ingredients
  • help pour batter into a pan
  • hold a mixer with you (his hand under yours)
  • arrange food on a serving plate

Five- to six-year-olds can also:
  • help read a recipe
  • learn how to measure and mix dry ingredients
  • crack eggs and learn how to separate yolk from white
  • learn how to safely use mixer or wire whisk
  • set a timer

Seven-to eight-year-olds can also:
  • read a recipe out loud
  • follow most of a recipe with your help and supervision, except placing things in or pulling them out of an oven

Nine-year-olds and up can:
follow a recipe without help

Now go make some memories and yummy food and get your kids into the kitchen with you!

Cooking Fun With Kids!



We were at the library a couple of weeks ago and came upon a fun-looking DVD from ActivityTV. What treasure we had stumbled upon! We first picked up the Lunches & Desserts program. Each segment can stand alone or you can watch them all in a row. Each one sounded more appetizing than the next! Soon, we had a plan to make our Sunday dinner and dessert together. We decided on the Chicken Quesadillas and Baked Snowcaps.

What I love about this series is that the host clearly explains all the equipment and ingredients that will be used and also goes over kitchen safety rules before each segment. Then, she involves three kids in preparation of the recipe. The kid-helpers ask plenty of questions that help real kids understand the process (and sometimes the science) of what they are making.

I’m not sure if it’s just because we made it together, but I have to say the quesadillas we made were some of the tastiest ever! We served ours with all the toppings–guacamole, sour cream, chopped tomatoes and salsa. Yum–it’s making me hungry now. Even better, we had enough leftovers for us to send in the kids’ lunch the next day (using one of our insulated lunch containers of course)! And it’s no secret that when you involve your kids in cooking what you want them to eat they’re more likely to actually eat it if they helped prepare it–yes, even for the pickiest eaters!

There are recipes for Beginners through Expert and really, I’d say even young children can tackle some of the more advanced recipes–they may just take a little longer and require a bit more hands-on help from a grown-up. The video gives you plenty of time to write down all the ingredients and instructions or you can just go to their website to print a copy of your recipe with everything you need to get started. Check out your own local library

We can’t wait to try some of the other recipes! Be sure to check back soon (or better yet, subscribe to get my updates regularly) as I’ll be reviewing some neat cookbooks for kids that we enjoy using in our own home.