Friday, July 13, 2012

Raw Food Kitchen Prep for Kids!

Me, with my Mom , Dad and two of my four brothers.
Um, isn't my Dad's beard SO awesome?! Seriously.  I have no words.
This is a different post for me, but it's so important - because it's concerning our future!
Something a lot of people don't know about about me is that I come from a large family of home-schooled kids. I'm actually the only one of the bunch who graduated fully home-schooled and I owe this to my awesome and super intelligent Mom. Thanks Mom!
Some of my favorite memories growing up involved food, and how often us kids were allowed be in the kitchen. My oldest brother and I were always responsible for post-dinner clean-up but doing it together was always the fun part. My Mom would petition us to help make salads, and stir big pots of yummy soup, or cheesy sauces. Being apart of the food that was made in our home was a huge responsibility to me, and made the act of eating it even more enjoyable. I was also more apt to "trying new things" when my little chubby hands were involved in the making of it. 
My only "real school" experience was a brief stint at our local public elementary school.  Even then our  lunches were homemade and exciting. You can't see in this photo, but I had an awesome Snoopy Lunch-pale, and my big Brother had a Star Wars one. I'd also like to note my ruffles of awesome-ness.
Now I'm older with a hubby and a home of my own, and even though Mr AtV and I don't plan on having children we certainly like being the "cool" Aunt and Uncle, and we love our friends kids. I feel so lucky to be able to call upon those childhood kitchen memories of mine, to inspire and encourage other parents and parental figures to bring their kids into the kitchen with them! 
Sure, some of my recipes might be intimidating at first, and having little helpers might draw out the execution time, but the reward you get is certainly priceless: building memories!
Knife-Free Raw Food Kitchen Prep for Kids
  This list is specifically for those of you who have younger "big kids" in your life. 
A BIG hello and thank you to my AtV readers who are parents/parental figures! I know there's a lot of ya!
As your kids get older you can expand upon the level of skill that is required for kitchen prep, i.e.: using a food processor, high speed blender, and proper knife skills. 
  • Washing Organic Leafy Greens like Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Kale, Etc: Get the young ones involved with washing and drying the leaves. If you have a double sink fill up one half way with water. Instruct them to “dip one leaf at a time into the water”, set each “clean leaf” into a “clean pile” and when the washing has finished move on to drying each leaf with either a clean cloth or paper towel. Have more than one little helper? Set up a “line” for them – have one do the washing and one do the drying. Team work can really be a lot of fun!
  • Juicing Citrus (Lemons/Limes/Oranges/Grapefruit) by hand: Fresh Lemon and Lime juice is a huge staple in my kitchen and I always do this by hand. I usually make a batch of Lemon juice once a week, using 6 to 8 lemons. Bonus Tip: Teach your kids about "the zest" of the citrus, have them grate it with a fine tooth grater before they juice the fruit.
  • Dates - Removing the Pit: Soak the dates in warm water until they have softened through. Have your little ones use a fork to open into to date and remove the pit. 
  • Shucking Peas! This needs no explanation.
  • Grapes: Remove them from the stems for easier eating, and prepping for use in recipes like my Grape Green Smoothie!
  • Cherries: Buy a cherry pitter and let the kids go crazy.
  • Cookies: Purchase one of those super cool cookie scoopers (that look like ice cream scoopers) and get your kids shaping some cookies! This is especially great if you're making big batches as I often do, to stay well stocked up on healthy sweets like Chocolate Crumble Cookies, or the very popular Coconut Lemon Meltaways.
  • Shredding Veggies: (This can apply to the veggies that you enjoy in salads or the veggies you need for making other recipes): Set your kids up with Carrots/Zucchini/Parsnip/Daikon/etc and let them shred while you move around the kitchen getting other food prep done. Recipes that call for shredded veggies:
  1. Harvest Pumpkin Stuffing
  2. Shredded Cheesy Zucchini
  3. Creamy White Cheese
  4. Butternut Squash Cheese or Mozzarella-Parm Cheese
  5. Loaded Creamy “no pasta” Salad
  6. Smokey Sweet Carrot Mash
  7. Holiday Mashed Parsnips with Corn, Scallion and fresh Parsley
  8. Mexi-Coleslaw
For more recipes that include “shredded” veggies go to the search box found on the upper right hand side of the home page, type in “shredded” or a veggie of your choice and hit search! 



---
This is an on-going list. As I add to it I will let you know, so be sure to stay tuned for more kid-friendly raw food kitchen prep tips!
xoxo,

10 comments:

  1. Love this post, Sarahfae (and your dad's beard!). And I don't even have kids yet. :)
    Speaking of cherries, I use a tool called a Cherry Chomper that I'm sure kids would love!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This brought back very happy memories! Thank you, dear. I am so very proud of you! ♡ ~ mom

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lovely, lovely post. I love the personal interest piece. I got recipes out the yin yang. I can't wait for my chief sprout rinser to get a lil bit bigger.....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wonderful post! My four year old can read on, off, pulse, chop, mix, puree, liquify and mix because he always gets to press the buttons on the food processor and blender. You are right, cooking together accomplishes much more than just eating, it nourishes the soul.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I LOVE this. I agree, it's SO important to get kids involved in the kitchen and to help them become competent at food prep skills. How cool that you were homeschooled. I HSed my own kids for quite a few years and it was a wonderful experience. Wish I'd done it longer.

    ReplyDelete
  6. what a great post! getting kids involved in the food process is so important!

    ReplyDelete
  7. WOW... so much love in this one!
    My baby and I cook together, he helps me putting the ingredients together and stir them, plus taking a bite to everything, of course :-)
    Hugs to my favourite raw chef!
    Clo

    ReplyDelete
  8. 70's glasses! Hubs has some in our engagement picture. By which I have calculated your age within 4 years btw. lol

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love your recipes. You are an inspiration

    ReplyDelete