I’ve read time and time again that the best way to get your kids interested in food is to have them help you in the kitchen. Stephen and I have constantly worried about kitchen safety and mostly keep Bean out of there. I just don’t want her to get hurt because she got into something or accidentally got underfoot.
However, I’ll admit it can be a bit hectic and frustrating when I am cooking each night to have Bean going into a meltdown because she’s bored and left out of what’s going on in the kitchen.
So tonight I decided that I could come up with a way for her to help and still keep her safe. I created a little work station for her and had her place cut up items on a cookie sheet. It was so much fun and she was so cute to watch getting excited over food and helping me.
Ack! The coloration is so off on this photo, but it’s my only proof. I forgot to reset my white balance when I first started shooting and I was already done with the Brussels Sprouts by the time I realized it. She was totally munching on the raw Brussels Sprouts!
So this was our little system… I’d cut stuff up and hand it to her…
Then she would take it over… (usually snacking along the way)
…and place them on the cookie sheet.
Assessing her work and feeling very accomplished.
“Hi Mama. You don’t mind…
…if I snack a little while I help, do you?”
The taste of victory…
OK, as you can see from the photos she mainly played with the finished product, but she did eat a couple leaves off one. 🙂
If you are about my age and had parents that grew up in the 60s and 70s, you probably didn’t see Brussels Sprouts at your dinner table growing up. That’s because our parents were given this vegetable in the most disgusting manner possible: boiled or steamed. This results in a slimy, pungent ball of leaves in your mouth. There’s no way I would have touched them either. As a result, most people only think they hate Brussels Sprouts.
I think it’s all in the preparation though and will venture to say that most people actually will like them if done right. I, too, was in disbelief until September when my friend Brooke made some roasted Brussels Sprouts for me (different recipe). So don’t knock it until you try it. Besides, there is bacon involved and we all know that like butter, bacon makes everything better.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
-1 package fresh Brussels Sprouts
-3 slices bacon
-1 Bartlett pear
Preheat oven to 425°.
Cut Brussels Sprouts in half.
Slice bacon into thin strips.
Catch toddler getting into your secret stash of Jelly Bellys.
Scatter sprouts, pear, and bacon on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.
Place in oven for 20-30 minutes or until Brussels Sprouts are tender and slightly crispy around the edges.
While you’re at it, go for the whole classic ’60s meal of Brussels Sprouts, mashed potatoes and meat loaf. Only make Ina Garten’s meat loaf and not the dry brick you’re thinking of.