4 Important Reasons to Cook with Your Kids + 3 Recipes We Love
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Fiskars. Although we were compensated to write this post, all opinions and content are our own, and we stand behind and use all brands and products we endorse on our site.
As much as the boys love helping us with our home improvement projects, they love just as much to be in the kitchen cooking right beside us.
You know how much we absolutely love our Fiskars products and especially their knives. We’ve been using their products for years now and have been getting to know their team even more and can say first-hand how much we not only love the products, but also the team of people behind them.
If you’ve been a reader of ours, you’ve probably noticed that we use their hammers on the jobs site daily, their knives in the kitchen, their shears in the garden, and their many other products to do all of our DIY crafts such as their screwdrivers and scissors. Besides being super cute, Jamie’s been especially impressed with the comfort and quality.
Another one of our favorite things about Fiskars is the safety that they put into all of their products. When it comes to knives, they have covers for all of the blades.
And after we’re away from our kids for 8-10 hours a day, we get home, look forward to cooking a meal, and literally want them by our side. But also have to think about safety.
If you remember, that’s why we invested in the induction cooktop, they can be sitting on the countertop and we don’t have to worry about them getting burned. Because realistically if we shoo our kids away the second we pick them up and get home from school, they’re off to bed in no time.
This is the biggest reason why we always want to involve our kids in the kitchen, we want to spend time with them. But through wanting to spend time with them, we’ve quickly realized some other valuable lessons they’re learning by being in the kitchen with us.
5 Important Reasons to Cook with Your Kids
I don’t share this enough on the blog, but I was born and raised in the restaurant industry.
I’ve mentioned that my dad was a talented carpenter and my mom was a teacher, but they were both incredible cooks as well owning a restaurant for 20 + years. This restaurant was the place my brothers and I were born and raised within.
My parent’s restaurant was known for some really good home-cooked meals and was one of the best breakfast spots around. A few things they were known for were their infamous potato salad, homemade mashed potatoes, bran muffins, caramel rolls, and things as simple as our hash browns, homemade ranch, and the perfect sunny side-up egg.
Everything was homemade and as many times as I try to replicate the recipes, it’s never quite the same. But we’re going to share three of our family favorites with you today that we cook it up in our home regularly.
Growing up in the restaurant industry, I learned a lot at a young age, especially the value of hard work. And I love that I get to carry our family legacy down to our boys and although we’re not in a restaurant, we can instill these qualities into our kids at home by having them work and cook alongside us.
When Greyson was three years old, we started gardening together.
It was such a cool year. We got to watch him get so excited when something so big grew from a tiny seed. Now that he’s four and we’re on our second year of gardening, he’s been asking all the questions and it’s just been getting more exciting! He even picked out exactly what he wanted to grow.
Zucchinis are now his favorite! And he grew these giant ones right here. Did you know the actual flower plant of a Zucchini is edible? I didn’t either, until Greyson asked and I had to educate myself.
So many questions start at four years old, some that I’m not even sure how to answer, so I have been learning myself too. But by involving Greyson in cooking meals with us each morning or night, it has led to so many questions about not only where our food comes from, but also learning about hot, cold, sharp, dull, and all things safety.
2. Healthy Habits
Involving your kids with cooking definitely helps with healthier habits. Greyson (4) has struggled with eating well, while Beckam (2) will eat anything in site.
This is why we’ve made it a priority to really involve Greyson with the garden and cooking each night. When he is the one growing things in his garden, and using those foods to cook up our meals, he wants to eat them.
Now the struggle is getting them from the garden to inside before he eats them all, because he is always so proud! And no matter how not ripe it is, he always says, “mom, this is delicious!”
3. Family Culture
As business owners ourselves, shutting it off is really hard for both Jamie and me. It feels as if we are always on and working around the clock, but we really try to dedicate breakfast and dinners to family time. We turn our notifications off and be present with our kids.
This means instead of being preoccupied with making dinner and getting it on the table as fast as we can, we try to all work together and make it a fun activity.
Our favorite meals of the day are Saturday and Sunday breakfast. Every weekend we cook our breakfasts and literally go all out!
It’s so fun. And we eat it all.
We’re making eggs, potatoes, peppers, sausage skillets, waffles, muffins, breakfast sandwiches, breakfast tacos. Nothing is off the table. Whatever anyone is craving, we’re making it! And we turn it into a family affair.
And growing up, Saturday and Sunday mornings were my favorite too. Although we didn’t cook anything at home, we were up and serving our community by 5:00 am. Still miss it. One of my favorite recipes was my parent’s bran muffins. And we’re sharing it below.
4. Self Sufficient & Patience
And lastly, cooking with your kids helps them to be self-sufficient. Ever since we lost my dad (the day my mom closed the restaurant) I just think about all the things that my mom has had to learn how to do on her own, that my dad once did. Not only am I teaching my kids how to cook, but my husband sometimes too. 🙂
As much as we can, we want to raise our boys to know how to do all the things.
And teaching your kids how to cook goes so far past just raising them to cook or being self sufficient. It also teaches you patience as a parent.
I watch Jamie teach the boys things in the shop all the time and am always in awe of how patient he is with them. I’ll be honest, I have never been a patient person.
But as I’ve allowed our boys to experience things with me that are new to them, it’s taught me so much patience. And same goes with Jamie.
And in the end, nothing makes me happier than when we see our boys do something for the first time on their own from something we have taught them, like when Greyson first cracked his own egg. I’ll never forget that excitement and the look in his eyes.
So here are just a few of our family staple recipes, from our parent’s restaurant to what we’re cooking up in the c2s kitchen.
Our 3 Staple Family Recipes
1. Guest House Bran Muffin Recipe
The infamous Bran Muffins grew up on these and is one of the local’s favorites! And also a good source of fiber and a recipe that lasts forever. This batch makes you a ton but is so easy to freeze so whenever you need a few more fresh muffins all you have to do is scoop some more out and bake.
- 1 box Kellogg's All-Bran Buds (17.7oz box)
- 1 cup Crisco shortening
- 3 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbs baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 qt buttermilk
- 5 cups flour
Brings 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1-box of Kellogg's All-Bran Buds (17.7oz box). Let this mixture sit while you get the other ingredients mixed together.
In a large mixing bowl add 1 cup Crisco shortening (I use the pre-measured sticks), 3 cups sugar, 4 eggs, 2 tbs baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 1 qt buttermilk, and 5 cups flour.
Mix together and then add softened bran buds. Pour muffin batter into a large container, cover and store in the fridge for 7-10 days. When ready to bake, scoop batter into muffin tins. I use a regular size ice cream scoop full. Bake for 16 minutes at 400 degrees. If you want to bake all of the muffins at once it will make 4 1/2 dozen and they freeze very nicely.
I oftentimes have taken some of our diced zucchini (1) from the garden and tossed it in at the end before we bake it and it is delicious!
2. Uncle Frank’s Stir Fry Recipe
MMM, this one has been a staple in our family for quite some time and as each meal progresses, so has the recipe. It started off as my uncle Frank’s but whenever we have leftover veggies, they get added in.
- 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper (or whatever peppers you like)
- 2 bunches of green onion
- olive oil
- handful of peanuts
- chicken or other meat or none
- soy sauce
- ground or fresh ginger
- splash of wine or water
- red pepper
- rice or lettuce leaves (or both)
Chop up the 2 peppers and the 2 bunches of green onions and saute in olive oil. When it comes to stir fry, the more vegetables the merrier! So if you have more in your fridge or garden, dice them up and throw them in.
Once the vegetables are sautéing, add 1 cup of peanuts and saute for another minute.
In a separate fry pan, cook your diced up meat or fish.
In a separate bowl, make up the sauce. Mix 6 tbsp soy sauce, 4 tbsp water or wine, 2 tbsp ginger, 1 tsp red pepper, 1 tsp cornstarch and mix together. Pour into a frying pan and bring to a boil on low while continuously stirring.
Once the vegetables, meat, and sauce are done, mix all together. And serve over rice or throw it into some lettuce wraps! Most times, we do both.
3. Grandma Isabel Vodka Slush
And of course, with every good meal, you need a good drink. Grandma Isabel’s vodka slush recipe has been a staple recipe in all of our family’s homes. It’s so refreshing and being you can freeze it, it lasts for a very long time.
- 7 cups of water and 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups of water and 4 green tea bags
- 12 oz Orange Juice concentrate (thawed)
- 12 oz Lemonade concentrated (thawed)
- 2 cups Vodka
- Mixer - 7up or Ginger Ale
- 5-quart container (we like to use a 5 qt ice cream bucket with the lid)
- Make simple syrup by brining the 7 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar to a soft boil, turn off and cool.
- Steep the 4 green tea bags in 2 cups of water - bring to a hard boil, turn off and add tea bags, steep for 5 minutes and cool completely.
- Once both solutions are cooled mix container with orange juice concentrate, lemonade concentrate and vodka.
- Freeze mixture overnight (vodka will prevent the mixture from freezing solid).
- Mix slush thoroughly in the container to distribute evenly.
- Scoop slush in a glass and add mixer (7up or Ginger Ale) to dilute.
We hope you guys all enjoyed these recipes and we can’t wait to see what you cook up and think of them! And if you like them, let us know, because we have lots more favorites and are would love to share them.