Today is National Taco Day (hooray, it’s one of the most wonderful days of the year!) and to help you celebrate, this morning my girls joined me on Global News Morning Regina to highlight why bringing kids into the kitchen can have a multitude of benefits beyond just a yummy meal in the end.
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not always easy inviting the kids to help in the cooking process. It’s not that they don’t want to help – it’s that I hesitate because I know it will involve more mess, and a longer preparation time. Eventually, I know that both of those things will decrease the more time we spend together in the kitchen and the benefits in the end far outweigh the struggle of sauce splattered on my white cupboards.
Inviting your kids to help in the kitchen actually has some pretty remarkable results. Check this out!
1) Cooking Encourages Kids to be More Adventurous in Their Food Choices
Studies have shown that kids who regularly help in the preparation of family dinners had better diets that included increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and dietary fiber, a greater willingness to try new foods and increased confidence in the ability to prepare foods.
2) Cooking Illustrates Math and Science Concepts
Cooking is a great opportunity to introduce some early math concepts in a fun environment. Think about all the mathematical language and equipment used during cooking; adding, reducing, weighing, scales and measuring. While fractions are hard (at least for me) to explain on paper to my daughter, figuring out what we need to do to double a recipe is an easy way to explain fraction mathematics.
3) Cooking Boosts Kid’s Communication Skills
The practice of following any recipe, requires understanding sequencing, communication, and literacy skills. We test out our memory all the time when cooking (how many times have you reached into recycling to read the back of the macaroni box?) along with planning and of course patience.
4) Lasting Memories Are Built in the Kitchen
I think we all can recall several great memories in the kitchen with a parent, grandparent or sibling from our childhood. For me, it was baking french fries in the oven with my older sister when I was around 6 or so, the same age my youngest is now.
— Global Regina (@GlobalRegina) October 4, 2017
Making tacos at home is an easy way to bring kids into the kitchen while saving your sanity until you’re ready for larger cooking tasks like baking or a longer recipe. Mom or an older child can prepare the protein (we use ground beef or chicken, mostly) while younger kids can help by gathering all the necessary ingredients and cutlery, setting the table, and getting everyone a drink (I mean water, my 6-year-old hasn’t mastered serving mojitos just yet!)
We utilized Tia Rosa Taco Kits in this segment because they come with fresh baked, soft tortillas, seasoning and sauce making the process much easier. All you need to do is then determine what toppings to have available, and you’re ready to start making tacos!
I like using a “lazy susan” type of serving platter like you saw in the segment because the kids can spin it to reach what they need and it separates everything well. Salsa, guacamole, lettuce cheese and tomatoes are always on our platters, and lately I’ve been making a delicious cabbage slaw recipe to top our tacos with after I tasted something similar at my favorite bar and grill. I found this recipe on the Tia Rosa Canada Facebook page!
1/2 cup (125 mL) mayonnaise
1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated lime zest
1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
2 cups (500 mL) shredded purple cabbage
2 cups (500 mL) shredded carrots
1/2 cup (125 mL) thinly sliced green onion
1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled feta cheese
Directions: Whisk together mayonnaise, lime zest, lime juice and remaining salt and pepper. Toss with cabbage, carrots and green onion. Add a few cilantro leaves if desired (I love them, some people don’t) and refrigerate for an hour minimum before serving) Yum!
Tia Rosa is the #1 one tortilla brand in Mexico, the birthplace of the taco! They’re brand new to Canada and you can find them in the bakery section of your local grocery store!
To celebrate the introduction of Tia Rosa to Canadian households, we’ve got a great giveaway for readers! FIVE of our readers are going to win a Tia Rosa Taco Kit and Tia Rosa Fajita Kit to help create some family fun in the kitchen! Just fill in your name and email address in the form below to enter and then tell us – what’s your favorite way to enjoy fresh baked tortillas?