Christmas and baking go together like Santa and his elves. When you have kids you want to include them in the process and there are safe and fun ways to do so from a young age. I’m sharing three family-friendly recipes (and suggested parts that kids of all ages can help with) to kick off your holiday baking binge this year!
Skip the frozen or delivery pizza and start a weekly homemade pizza tradition! This pizza recipe is my easy, quick way to have homemade pizza, from the crust up, on the table in less than an hour. You can customize it to white, whole wheat, or a mix, for crust and, of course, any toppings or cheese you’d like!
Cooking with children from a young age can help them learn basic counting and reading skills, grasp the concept of following directions, develop their fine motor skills, and, the thing most parents are focused on around food at that age, encourage an adventurous palate.
Buuuutt… I KNOW, it’s also a lot of work to cook with a preschooler. Trust me, I get it. I know the idea of allowing them “help” can seem like it will take too much time. I’ve discovered, however, that if you plan ahead a bit and go into it with the right attitude, it can be a wonderful experience for both of you.
If you’re a Maritimer, well, actually, even if you’re NOT a Maritimer, you’ve likely heard of Maud Lewis, especially after that blockbuster movie last year profiling her life. Her distinctive folk art and fascinating life story makes her a memorable artist, and she is particularly appealing to children.
This month’s pick for the Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club is Maud Lewis 1 2 3. It’s a board book filled with images of her colourful iconic paintings that encourages children to count items found in each piece of art (ex. 10 roofs, 4 blue tulips). One of the things we loved about this book was it’s a bit of an I Spy style book so my children were both immediately drawn to it. We’ve talked about who Maud Lewis was and her impact on the Nova Scotia art scene and we were inspired to create two reading extension activities from this book to explore their natural interest in her style of painting and her life story – one Christmas card one, and one Christmas cookie one!
When I heard about HelloFresh expanding to Halifax I was SUPER excited. Like telling all my friends: “GUYS, they deliver all the ingredients right to your DOOR. NO grocery store, NO wasted food!” It seemed too good to be true and that was the reaction of most of my friends. So I decided to test it out for you (I know, I’m a giver. It was all for you guys).
I recently found out that my four year old daughter knows how to make pancake batter (from scratch) by herself. She knows the ingredients she needs, the measuring tools to gather and what order everything goes in the bowl. She learned how to do it at her grandparents’ house.
After hearing about this my mind immediately jumped to an image of myself relaxing with a glass of wine while my two kids whip up dinner. I reached out to Wendy MacCallum, a Halifax nutrition consultant and author of two cookbooks for families, to see if she had any tips on how soon this fantasy could become a reality.
Meal planning is a challenge for even the most organized person (I speak from experience here). Once you throw in jobs and kids and other responsibilities it gets even harder to find the time to plan your weekly meals and create a shopping list that ensures you have everything you need for the week. Then I figured out a system that simplified this process and the task became a BREEZE.