Just got back from the farmers' market? Then it's time to get cooking!
Now that the excitement of the farmers’ market is over, it’s time to bring those fresh ingredients from farm to table. Get the entire family involved in planning and prepping the weekly menu for a table full of diners eager to eat up the fruits of their efforts.
For a meal plan that works for your family, introduce a few new recipes into your repertoire each week. Or if, for example, your kids are adamant about pasta on Tuesdays keep that meal as is but instead of jarred tomato sauce, include the ingredients from the farmers’ market in the pot. This, like other small ingredient swaps, offers a seemingly new menu for adults, with the familiarity factor kids need, while introducing the family to a few new foods.
Use these recipes as a starting point for your own weekly menu, substituting what’s in season and local in your area. Along with these five fresh recipes, you’ll find ideas for kid-friendly cooking tasks and ingredient swaps.
Knife skills for kids
- Set out rules, such as no cutting without supervision and only adults take knives out of the drawer or knife block.
- Depending on their height, have the child stand on a stool with a gripped surface or have them seated at the kitchen table.
- Clear off a large cutting board so you can see exactly where their fingers are at all times.
- Get them comfortable by introducing a vegetable peeler before a knife.
- Stick to small paring knives, preferably ones with grips on the handle.
- Have them hold the knife firmly with one hand and the food they’re cutting with the other.
- Pre-cut vegetables and fruits to have flat bottoms so they don’t roll around.
- Keep reminding them to tuck the fingers holding the food to resemble a bear claw or any other animal they find relatable.
- When slicing, have them keep the knife tip on the cutting board at all times, using a rocking motion instead of picking it up to chop.
- Although it may seem counterintuitive, it’s important to use sharp knives; dull knives cause slipping.