I think it’s important to have your kids help out in the kitchen when you’re cooking a meal. In the past, I would have my kids sit in front of the TV, play a video game, or play with their toys while I slaved away in the kitchen. As long as they were out of my hair I can quickly cook their meal and we can get about our day. More often than not, I would have a kid come back to me asking a question, or there would be crying because someone isn’t playing fair, or it was just too darn quiet and if you have small kids that’s a good indication that they’re up to no good. I would have to leave the kitchen to investigate, which could lead to burning of food.
So I’ve thought about the meal prep that I do and realized that there are a few things that the kids could do to help. Need an onion? Send a minion to get it and if they have no idea what an eggplant is, well hey now it’s a learning experience isn’t it. Show them what it is, how to cook it, what the nutritional value is. Need 3 eggs? Send a minion to count it out. Why not do math? “I need 5 eggs minus 2! Bring me back the answer!!” If it’s something that needs to be mixed, like cake batter for example, have the kids do it. Family fun for all! Yeah it’ll take a bit longer to cook the meal, but at least the kids are learning, they’re helping, and it teaches them how to cook. I don’t know how many people I’ve come across in my life that have no idea how to cook. A man that knows how to cook, like PaleoJoe, is an amazing man indeed.
Since they’ve been helping me cook their food I’ve also noticed that they eat more of it. Before, they would question the food and sometimes even refuse to eat it. Then sometimes they would be surprised that it tastes good. My response is, “Of course it’s good! Why would I feed you things that are bad?” Now that I’ve broken down the cooking process and they’ve seen me cook it they are more than willing to give everything a try.
Last Thursday, after I had picked the kids up from the babysitter’s we stopped at the grocery store to pick up dinner. I asked them, “What do you want to eat?” and of course they respond with “Chicken Nuggets from McDonald’s!!” I am pretty sure that their Dad takes them there and I know that other family members have done that too, but this Mama says NO! I got into a discussion with them and broke down as simply as I could so that they would understand that fast food chicken nuggets are unhealthy and not REAL chicken. I had asked them, “Do you want to eventually get sick from eating the processed foods to the point where you can’t go outside and play, or do you want the REAL chicken that will keep you healthy so you can go outside and play?” Being kids they picked the healthy choice so they can go play.
We are now at the store and I picked out some chicken breast, broccoli, and grapes for our meal. When we got home I set my boy to cleaning the grapes:
My girl helped me with the chicken strips and here is the recipe:
CHICKEN STRIPS A LA LOVEYS
1 lb. of chicken breast (cut into strips)
1 egg (beaten)
1/2 cup of almond flour
4 tablespoons of coconut oil
Seasoning (salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder or fresh minced garlic, etc. Up to you what you would like to season your chicken with.)
1. Preheat your frying pan with with coconut oil over medium high heat.
2. Season your chicken strips. Dip in egg yolk. Toss in almond flour and tap excess flour off.
3. Place chicken in pan and let cook for 3-5 minutes on each side.
4. Chicken should be a nice golden brown when done cooking. Turn off stove and transfer chicken strips to a plate.
I know… it may be a little dangerous for a 4-year old girl to do, but I used long tongs and I watched her the entire time.
5. Chicken strips COMPLETE!! You can serve it as an entree with a side of your choice of veggies, or you can serve them up as appetizers.
I served them to the kids with a side of grilled onions, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli and garlic.
TIME TO EAT!!
I know that the rice isn’t very paleo friendly, but they had requested it, and I made sure that they ate all of their chicken and most of their veggies before digging in to the rice. For dessert they had a couple of grapes, and then we spent the rest of the night cuddling and watching Disney.
So if you have the time, have the kids help out in the kitchen. It is better for everyone in the long run. They learn about food and how to cook, and you get to spend time with your kids. Young kids WANT to spend time with their parents. They don’t have friends calling/texting, they don’t have facebook to check every five minutes, and unless they follow the late night tv dramas/comedies/etc then they have the time to spend it with you. These young ones grow up so fast. Don’t regret not taking the time to spend it with them. Cat’s in the cradle…Harry Chapin. Nuff said.