Cooking With Kids
Have you ever heard of Cooking With C.H.O.I.C.E.S.? The Center Helping Obesity in Children End Successfully, Inc., is a grassroots organization that was formed in April 2002 to join the fight against the deadly epidemic of childhood obesity. The Center aims to spread awareness of this critical issue and significantly reduce the presence of childhood obesity in our communities. It is an ambitious goal and if it seems as if we are in a hurry, it is because we are!
I was excited to learn that they offer a FREE 7 week cooking class series for children 8 years old & up and an accompanying adult. The last few months I have been working diligently to prepare fresh healthy meals for the kids as while we continue our yoga journey as a family. I have been amazed as how open the kids have been to trying new meals and healthier choices with snacking. So naturally us taking a cooking class as a family was a perfect fit.
The classes will help the kids learn how to create healthy, delicious recipes on a budget with Executive Chef Ashley Keyes and culinary student volunteers and learn all about the We Can Toolkit (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity and Nutrition). The classes take place every Tuesday from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.
The kids learned today after returning home from school that they were going to start a series of cooking classes and boy were they ever excited. Once their homework was complete we headed off for our evening adventure. Upon arrival we were intrigued by their garden. If you follow my blog and social media then you’re aware that for the past two years we have been growing our own vegetables in our home garden. I had the opportunity to view the centers garden and instantly fell in love with their beautiful harvest.
It’s a great idea to arrive early especially if it the first class because you have a few forms to complete for the kids and promptly at 6:00PM Chef Ashley begins. I love the fact that she started exactly on time. Our class started with her introducing herself along with covering safety rules because the kids were actually using knives as well as they were all provided with a copy of knife skills and food safety. Chef Ashley also demonstrated to the kids and parents how to dice the onions and bell peppers for tonight’s meal. **Side Note ( I was not paying attention because I was taking pictures so our dicing was a bit off LOL)
Chef Ashley then instructed the students to decide who would prep the garlic, onion and bell pepper and start chopping and dicing. It was amazing to see so many children eager to learn to cook and cook healthy.
The kids made Cheesy Hamburger Skillet which was super easy to make and so cost effective. Here’s the recipe:
2 cups whole wheat macaroni
1 small bell pepper
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
3 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese (3/4 cup shredded)
1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, no salt added)
1 Tablespoon dried Thyme Leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Cook macaroni according to package directions. In a colander, drain macaroni and rinse with cool water.
While macaroni is cooking, rinse and dice bell pepper. Peel and finely chop onion. Peel and mince garlic.
Grate cheese. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook beef or turkey, onion, bell pepper and garlic, crumbling the beef with a wooden spoon or spatula, until the meat is no longer pink, about 15 minutes. Using a colander, drain off fat.
Return to the skillet and stir in a drained macaroni, tomatoes with juices, thyme, salt and pepper. Sprinkle in cheese and mix. Cover and cook over medium heat until cheese is well blended, 5 to 7 minutes.
Once the kids were finish adding all of the ingredients for the recipe they all joined Chef Ashley as she demonstrated how to make a salad for the entire family. Of course BJ was her assistant and she showed them how to tear apart the romaine lettuce, de-seed cucumbers and create a simple vinaigrette dressing.
BE SURE TO GRAB YOUR PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD BELOW:
STAY TUNED FOR NEXT WEEKS COOKING CLASS!