Feeding my kids is difficult. For kids who used to eat tofu with all sorts of vegetables almost everyday for lunch, they have really changed their ways! We have gone from chili, tofu, and fish to macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, and spaghetti. How did this happen to us? Somewhere in between three kids, busier schedules, and pure exhaustion we lost our drive to get the kids to eat a variety of foods. I am not proud of it at all, but things happen and instead of getting upset about it, I decided I was going to put my six year old to work. Thanks to the book Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma, I was inspired to get my son in the kitchen. Be sure to check out Kay Wyma's blog here.
My six year old is the one who often looks at my dinners and then walks to the pantry to make a peanut butter sandwich. I have gotten tired of having to make two dinners! One week I went on dinner strike. I decided that since no one else was eating, I just wouldn't cook. Guess where that got me! Nowhere. The result...the boys ate peanut butter for a few days and I was hungry every night because unlike the boys, I will not settle for peanut butter everyday!
This week, I had my son look through some of our cookbooks to find a recipe that he would like to cook with me for the whole family. We found a recipe in Little Kitchen by Sabrina Parrini that we decided to try out. He saw some chicken kabobs with rice and we decided those would be perfect! He also needed to choose a vegetable...he chose strawberries...I guess we have some work ahead of us. After realizing strawberries were a fruit he went to his all time favorite vegetable, broccoli.
When he woke up from his nap (yes, my six year old took a two hour nap today and was asleep before 8:30) we started cooking, and he started complaining.
We started with the broccoli. He had to rinse it, cut it, and put it in the pan. He moaned and groaned the WHOLE time.
Next, was the rice. The rice wasn't so bad. He measured the rice and water by himself and put the pan on the stove. I told him that was all he had to do until it boiled. He perked up at that. Early cooking lesson...rice is easy!
He also cut up some strawberries while I cut up the chicken. He helped me put the chicken on the skewers and then mixed up the honey and soy sauce for the marinade. By this time the complaining had stopped...thank goodness!
He was not a fan of the way the soy sauce smelled, but he got over it knowing that I was saving some chicken to be grilled plain.
After all of this prep work he had the freedom to leave. All that was left was the grilling, and my husband was going to do that part.
When dinner was ready it looked and smelled delicious. I had my son put the rice in a bowl and when he saw it he said, "Wow. That looks good!" I reminded him that he did it all on his own and he gave me a hug. Sometimes he is so embarrassed by his accomplishments, or maybe just my praise :-)
The presentation gets a 10! He was ready to dig in. Both boys loved that they got to eat their chicken off of a stick.
No one complained about what we were eating. My six year old was pretty excited about how everything looked, and even my three year old told us that the best part of his day was when his brother made him dinner.
Dinner was relaxed, included some lively conversation, and was an absolute success! This has been one of my favorite "blogging" projects to date!
Although, I originally started this so that my six year old could see how much time and effort goes into making dinner, it turned into a really fun experience for us all! If he is always going to plan and cook such a delicious meal, I would love it if he could cook EVERY night :-)