I try and involve Sweetpea in the kitchen as much as possible - even when I think something isn't well suited for cooking with a toddler she begs to help, so I'm always thinking of ways she can help. I whole heartedly believe that kids are more adventurous eaters when they get involved in the cooking process. Sweetpea is so proud of herself and our meal when she helps - how could she not at least try something she helped create?
This particular recipe is perfectly suited for little hands. It's based off of Rachael Ray's recipe with a few adjustments.
- One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (1/2 palmful)
- 2 pinches ground cinnamon
- Salt and pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth
- One 15-ounce can black beans, drained
- juice of one lime
- 1/2 cup sour cream
To follow the original recipe (found here) with your kids, saute the onion, garlic and chipotle in a pan on the stove and add the beer to let it cook down before starting with the remaining ingredients. Reduce the chicken broth to 3 cups. Let your little helper mix the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and then add it to the sauteed ingredients. This adds an extra bowl to clean, but it separates your child from the stove.
In addition to having fun, we're sneaking some learning in as well. Sweetpea practices her motor skills as she holds the measuring cups/spoons and dumps them into the pot and when she's mixing all the ingredients. We practice counting as we're adding ingredients and as we add more recipes to the rotation she's becoming familiar with a variety of foods and flavors.
Do you cook with your kids? I'd love to hear your suggestions and recipes!