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Cook up fun in the kitchen

Microsoft News 4/14/2020 Trish Winter-Hunt

For the past month, my entire family has been working and learning from home. While we’re grateful to be safe and healthy, we also find ourselves looking for new things to do. During this time of concentrated togetherness, I’ve also realized some undeniable truths:

  1. My kids seem to have an unquenchable desire for snacks, but a limited appetite for dinner
  2. My culinary creativity extends as far as slicing up hotdogs for boxed mac and cheese

So, if you’re like me and looking for ideas to both entertain and nourish your family, here are a few to spark your imagination and make mealtime a little more fun. After all, as the world-famous chef Julia Child once said, “No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”

How do I prepare the kitchen for kids and vice versa?

  • Kids love to help, but counter height can be a barrier. Give them a boost with a durable step-stool that grows with them and keeps them secure with built-in safety rails.
  • A great set of sharp knives is a must for any kitchen—unless you have small children. This 3-piece nylon knife set helps kids learn proper cutting, slicing, and chopping techniques while protecting their fingers.
  • Be sure to closely supervise little ones around the stove as well—for added security and peace of mind, you can easily install knob covers and stove guards.
  • Every budding chef needs an apron. Not only do they hold kitchen tools, but they also protect clothes from spills and messes. And trust me, if kids are involved, spills and messes are inevitable. Choose from a wide variety of matching sets and fun designs or opt for something a bit more personalized.

What should we cook?

  • Whether you’re baking, cooking, or simply assembling ingredients, these crowd-sourced ideas and professional recipes created just for kids, will inspire and delight all age-levels while satisfying even the most picky eater.
  • No ingredients? No problem. Order your groceries online through places like Instacart or Shipt and have everything you need delivered directly to you. Stay safe, stay home, stay well-stocked.

How can I make this more fun?

  • Take the night off and let the kids prepare your next meal. They can even create and design their very own custom menu to host an in-home dinner party just for the family.
  • Let your kids show off their newfound culinary skills when they host their very own cooking show. To get started, all you need is a phone and a tripod. Download a free app like Instagram or Skype to broadcast live or record and share with friends later.
  • Put sibling rivalry to good use with a friendly cooking competition. Take a cue from Chopped Junior and create dishes throwing together random ingredients or try to crown your own MasterChef Junior by testing culinary abilities. No matter who wins, everyone will walk away well-fed.
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