Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kids In the Kitchen

Last night at dinner my 5 year old proclaimed, "this is the best salad ever!"  All my kids had seconds on salad last night.  When my 5 year old asked, "Mom, why is this salad soo good?", my response was "because you made it!".  When kids are involved with meal planning & preparation it makes a huge difference.

Dinner last night was pizza and salad, and my girls made it.  The girls were closely supervised and involved in every step of the meal: planning the dinner, gathering ingredients, preparation, setting the table and sweeping the floor.  I had lofty ambitions of having my girls (ages 3 & 5) help roll out the dough and thought it could be a fun activity while getting dinner made.  Well, that didn't quite happen.  Due to time constraints and flour fights, I pulled them off the dough and put them on the cheese station!  I rolled the dough and put it on the pans.  They were my supervisors for the sauce - telling me how much sauce to put on and where to spread it, then I gave them each a bag of shredded mozzerella and let them go to town (after they washed their hands of course!).  Normally I would have also included some veggies - black olives, peppers, mushrooms, etc.  But this was a last minute meal idea and we used what we had on hand.

For the salad, the girls picked from the fridge what they wanted to include, nothing fancy: lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrots.  I did the washing and chopping, they took care of the assembly.  We sat down and ate together as a family.  During dinner the girls shared how much fun they had and ideas for pizza toppings and salad fixings for dinners to come.  They were proud of the meal they created and I was very proud of them.

(This was also a very affordable dinner.  Pizza dough is $.99 for each ball at Trader Joe's.  Tomato Sauce is $.99 per jar at Wegman's, and cheese is around $1.99 a bag at Wegman's.)

Have a great day!

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