Do you feel like you’re doing all the work at Easter? This year, get your children involved in the kitchen activities rather than doing everything yourself. Together, you’ll create a memory that will also become a tradition!
Decide what you’re going to make for the Easter meal and assign appropriate jobs to your children. Obviously for safety, a very young child should not use an oven or stove. However, they may be able to help with preparing the salad, opening cans, making dessert or arranging food on a plate.
While you’re preparing the main entrée, ask your toddler to begin tearing the greens for a tossed salad. With a plastic vegetable knife, an older child may be able to cut up cucumber, tomato and other softer salad ingredients. Provide the ingredients to make homemade salad dressing using oil, vinegar and seasonings and take turns shaking the dressing to mix.
Let the make Bunny Pears for the family. On small plates, place a canned pear half with the narrow end at the top. Press two raisins into the pears as eyes. Add a cinnamon red hot for the nose and two almonds as the bunny’s ears. Add a spoon of cottage cheese to the larger end for the cottony tail. Refrigerate the pears until they’re ready to eat.
If your children are old enough, ask them to peel and slice potatoes. If mashing, have the child set a timer for the cook time. Once the potatoes are done, drain the scalding water and then let the kids add the ingredients and mix or mash.
Prepare cupcakes ahead of time and have the child decorate them. Food coloring can be added to plain vanilla frosting or you can use flavored frosting. Provide candies such as licorice ropes, jelly beans and cinnamon candy to decorate the tops of the frosted cupcakes. Add a few drops of green food coloring to shredded coconut, mix together and sprinkle on the cupcakes to resemble grass.
A child who can read and follow directions can be entrusted with other dishes. Provide the ingredients they need and allow them to do the rest. You may be surprised to find that your child actually enjoys cooking and is quite good at it.
Learning how to let go and involve your child in holiday meal preparation isn’t easy if you’ve always done it all yourself, but vow to make this year different! Have fun and you’ll find that your efforts are going to create family bonds and traditions that will never be forgotten.