Recipes for Fun: Cooking With Kids

Cooking together can be a delicious learning experience for children and their parents. Your kids can explore new foods. You can even incorporate some fruit and vegetable tastings into the cooking lessons. A kitchen adventure is also a great way to spend quality time with your kids.

So today we’ve put together a few simple suggestions and three recipes to get you and your kids started. You might want to begin with these steps:

1. Shopping adventure. Take the kids with you to the grocery store to shop for ingredients. While you’re there, take your kids on a tour of the produce section. If they can’t name a lot of the vegetables, that could be a sign that you’re not serving enough vegetables at home. Select a few new vegetables and place them in your cart.

2. Prep time. Wash hands before you start cooking! This goes for grown-ups too!!

3. Read-along time. Ask your child to read the instructions aloud as you prepare the food. If a child is too young to read, make a game of finding letters and numbers in the recipe.

4. Practice math. Your child can build math skills by counting and helping to measure ingredients. When cooking with more than one child, ask each child to count stirs or spoonfuls.

Fruit and Peanut Butter Parfait

Ingredients (serves 6)
• 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
• 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon toasted barley or rye
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
• 2 tablespoons all-natural, creamy peanut butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 cups vanilla frozen Greek yogurt
• 1 cup diced Granny Smith apples
• 1 cup blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Combine rolled oats, almonds, sugar, barley or rye, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
3. Heat syrup, peanut butter and vanilla in a saucepan over high heat, stirring until smooth. Add that sauce to the oat mixture; toss to coat.
4. Spread oat mixture on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake 9 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.
5. Combine apples and blueberries
6. Divide yogurt among 6 parfait glasses; place 1/3 cup of fruit in each, top each serving with 1/3 cup granola mixture.

Nutrition information:  Calories: 246; Fat: 5.1g;  saturated fat: 0.7g; monounsaturated fat: 2.7g; Polyunsaturated fat: 1.6g; Protein: 13g; Carbohydrate: 42g; Fiber: 2g; Cholesterol: 5mg; Sodium: 193mg

Egg in a Basket

Ingredients (serves 4)
• 4 (1-ounce) slices multigrain bread
• 4 large eggs, preferably organic or from a vegetarian-fed hen
• 4 teaspoons grated, fresh pecorino Romano cheese (about 1/4 ounce)
• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Position an oven rack in the middle setting. Place a non-stick baking sheet on the rack. Preheat oven to 400°. Baking sheet should be hot.
2. Cut a hole into the center of each toast, using a 3-inch biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter. Save cutouts.
3. Arrange bread slices on hot sheet pan.
4. Crack eggs into separate cups, pour one egg into the hole of each slice of bread. Sprinkle eggs evenly with cheese and parsley.
5. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes or until egg whites are set. Sprinkle with pepper, and serve with toast cutout for dipping.

Nutrition information: Calories: 137; fat: 4.7g; saturated fat: 1.7g; monounsaturated fat: 1.9g; polyunsaturated fat: 1.3g; protein: 6.1g; carbohydrate: 12.8g; fiber: 2.1g; cholesterol: 197mg; sodium: 273mg


Sloppy Joes

Ingredients (serves 4)
• 1 large carrot, grated or shredded
• 10 ounces lean ground beef, 93 percent lean to 7 percent fat ratio
• 3/4 cup diced onion
• 1/2 cup shredded beets
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup all natural ketchup, without high fructose corn syrup
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon low-sodium tomato paste
• 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
• 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
• 4 whole grain hamburger buns
• 1 head celery, leaves removed, cut into 2-3 inch sticks


1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add carrot, beets, beef and onion to pan; cook 5-10 minutes or until beef is browned and vegetables are tender.
2. Add garlic powder and pepper; cook 1 minute.
3. Combine 1/4 cup ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, tomato paste, vinegar and tomato sauce in a small bowl. Add ketchup mixture to pan, stirring to evenly coat beef mixture. Simmer for 5-10 minutes or until thickened.
4. While sauce thickens, arrange buns, cut side up, in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place about 1/4 cup of the cooked beef mixture on bottom half of each of the buns; top each with top half of bun.
5. Serve with a side of celery stick “fries”

Nutrition information:  Calories: 373; fat: 10g; saturated fat: 3.6g; monounsaturated fat: 3.5g; polyunsaturated fat: 2.3g; protein: 22.8g; carbohydrate: 52.2g; fiber: 4.2g; cholesterol: 38mg; sodium: 716mg

Chef-Richard-headshot-REVISED-2014-300x241.jpgABOUT CHEF RICHARD
Chef Richard Plasencia, executive chef at South Miami Hospital, joined Baptist Health South Florida in 2011 for the
opening of West Kendall Baptist Hospital. He is an award-winning chef who is passionate about creating and sharing fresh local and seasonal recipes seasoned with flavor and good health. In addition to an interest in nutrition, Chef Richard has an extensive history in the hospitality industry.

He served as Chef at Town Kitchen & Bar, Jake’s, the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, the Shore Club, Por Fin, and the Conrad Hotel. He also was part of several teams that received the Mobile 4 and 5 star awards, as well as Cioppino being named to America’s Top 50 restaurants by Esquire Magazine 2005, during his time at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. Chef Richard Plasencia graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a Bachelor of Science in culinary arts.

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