Last week, I invited y’all into my home as I shared a very special cooking session with my favourite little 6-year old. Reid and I made a flavourful Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole that the whole family loved! And, the most important thing is that we made it together – from reading the recipe to preparing the ingredients, Reid was a fixture in the kitchen.
Teaching children to cook is an essential life skill, and if you’re looking for inspiration, Ben’s Beginners activities and recipes are a great place to get started. You’ll find interactive activities that teach basic cooking skills like peeling and stirring, as well as easy and delicious recipes for kids and parents to cook together.
This past weekend, look what we made! Turkey Meatballs & Rice!
While Reid is an enthusiastic sous chef, his older brother, Ryder, is more reluctant to help out. He’s at that “awesome” age where things just aren’t cool enough for him. Plus, he has very specific, healthy preferences that aren’t a bad thing – not by any means – but we normally have to alter recipes to suit his tastes. Thankfully, the Ben’s Beginners recipes allow for simple customization, and in our case, we used ground turkey in place of ground beef, and opted for Uncle Ben’s 100% Natural Whole Grain Brown Rice.
If you check out my previous post, you’ll see how Ben’s Beginners online lessons allow children to work at their own pace and provide a chance for them to develop an awareness for the ingredients they’re using. Since Ryder is 8-years old, he was able to participate in more of the lesson than Reid, helping me measure, chop and even form the meatballs.
Of course, he’s also a lot more precise than his little brother, so we did spend more time ensuring everything was just right! (Looks like 1 cup to me too, Ryder!)
Now I have a confession to make: my husband is the real chef in our family. He’s daring with his approach, always trying new things and shaking up our menus. Although I do the bulk of the cooking, we always look forward to when he takes over because we’ll never know what to expect. So, getting father and son together to cook a meal was a treat.
But, why is cooking as a family so important? The Uncle Ben’s brand conducted a “Kitchen Confidence Survey”, asking more than 4,000 parents of kids under 18 in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom about their family’s cooking skills and traditions. The Survey led to surprising results:
– 98 percent of parents in Canada feel it is important that their children know how to cook or bake. However, only 36 percent cook with their children weekly, while 29 per cent cook with their children monthly or less
– Seven in 10 households eat together as a family five or more nights a week in Canada
– Only a third of Canadian parents feel highly skilled in their abilities to create a balanced meal, season, and pan fry, and two-thirds of parents in Canada do not have a high level of confidence in their children’s ability to follow a recipe
It’s the perfect time to do better. October 15, 2016 is the first International Cook with Your Kids Day. On this day, Canadian families are encouraged to set aside time to learn to cook together.
Of course, if you love to cook with your little ones and do it on the regular, check this out! The Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest awards three (3) Grand Prize winners $10,000 CAD which may be used towards a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). To enter, simply take a photo of yourself (and your kids!) cooking a rice-based dish and upload it to the contest website. (Ends October 30th)
As for our Turkey Meatballs & Rice? Happy to share it was a success!
Don’t forget to check out my #LookWhatWeMade giveaway – one lucky reader will win an Uncle Ben’s #LookWhatWeMade prize pack valued at $150! The prize pack includes a selection of Uncle Ben’s products, cookware and kitchenware for you to enjoy!
And on October 15th – and beyond – get in the kitchen with your kids, and get cooking!