We all have THOSE days when we turn to our pantry or fridge late in the day
and ask, 'what shall I make for dinner?' The way of dealing this problem is a
life skill that can be developed from a young age, along with children's confidence to directly  confront challenges.
 
Consider offering your child the chance to plan a meal for a night in your home and develop their confidence in the kitchen using  ingredients already in your pantry or fridge.
 
Method:
 
1. Have your child make a list of main ingredients already in your kitchen which he or she would like to include in a family meal; for example, macaroni, tomato sauce, peppers, cheese.
 
2. Enter the ingredients in an Internet search bar like Google, or on a recipe website such as allrecipes.comfood.com or foodnetwork.com.
 
3. Choose a recipe from the search results to make and enjoy . 

PS Last weekend we enjoyed a new pasta bake as a result of this activity,
searching 'pasta, bake, marinara sauce':
http://realmomkitchen.com/6196/super-fast-pasta-bake/ 
 
Bon  Appetit and happy planning!

 
 
At the beginning of this post, we should apologize to Godiva Chocolatier for sharing the secret to making Chocolate Covered Strawberries ... in fact, the process is easy enough for children to help, and develop their confidence in the kitchen at the same time.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

You will need:

Whole Strawberries
Semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
White chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (optional)
Oil
Parchment Paper

Method:

1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2. Wash and dry the strawberries.

3. Place the semi-sweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and melt it, making sure the chocolate does not burn. This step, along with step 4 should  be completed by an adult as the bowl containing the chocolate can get very hot. *

4. Add a few drops of oil to the melted chocolate and mix it in with a spoon, to make the chocolate a little smoother.

5. Let the chocolate cool for a few minutes, taking care to make sure the outside of the bowl and melted chocolate isn't still hot before your child takes over with the truly fun part in step 6.
 
6. Each strawberry can now be dipped in the chocolate by your child and placed carefully on the parchment lined tray.

7. If you and your child want to get even fancier, melt the white chocolate in a similiar fashion to the semi-sweet chocolate in steps three to five, once all of the strawberries have been dipped. Then have your child take a spoon, and drizzle the white chocolate across the strawberries, to create a zig zag pattern.

8. Place the tray of strawberries into the refrigerator for the chocolate to harden.

* The chocolate can alternatively be melted in a double-boiler and transferred to a bowl to cool.

Chocolate covered strawberries provide a great hostess gift or dessert for your own table. Best of all, it can be kid-made with beautiful results. 
 
 
Picture
As the weather starts to get warmer, many children (and kids at heart) have ice  cream on their minds.
 
Let your child stretch their imaginations while thinking about this delicious summer treat, by creating a new flavour of  ice cream. Pickles? Pizza? Popcorn? The possibilities for brainstorming and creativity are endless.
 
Method:
 

1. Tell your child that  today she or he is going to pretend to be an ice cream maker and create a new flavour of ice cream.
 
2. Brainstorm a list of new ice cream flavours together with your child. Then have him or her choose their favourite flavour to develop.
 
3. Ask your child to describe what their ice cream would look like. Ask him or her to consider the ice cream's colour(s), texture and added ingredients.
 
4. Let your child draw their new ice cream scooped into a cone or a cup.
 
Challenges:
 
1. Ask your child to come up with a name for their ice cream. For example, I'm in a Pickle.
 
2. Browse the Internet together: (i) to determine whether your child's new ice cream flavour actually already exists, what it looks like and the ingredients included (if available); and (ii) to build their research skills while having fun.
 
Sweet dreams to you!