Ever wonder what somebody who lives in a pineapple under the sea actually eats? The answer may surprise you! SpongeBob and his Bikini Bottom friends have rather imaginative culinary tastes that range from the sweet — like fruit-filled hot dog buns — to the savory — like cheese-filled mushroom caps. The folks over at Nickelodeon have put together 50 SpongeBob-inspired recipes designed to get kids involved in the kitchen. More edible projects than complex recipes, SpongeBob's Kitchen Mission Cookbook ($12) introduces tots to cooking terms while indicating the recipes' difficulty levels so parents know when to involve their kids. In true SpongeBob fashion, the book is filled with wacky banter between the show's characters, all in the name of foodie fun. Check out three creative recipes straight from the book!
Editor's note: The following is a guest post written by Soleil Moon Frye, Target's Mommy Ambassador, author of Happy Chaos, and mom to Poet, 6, and Jagger, 3. This week Soleil shares her tips on bringing her kids into the kitchen.
I've been known to eat dessert first. While my food philosophies may be unorthodox at times, my efforts to make eating fun and exciting for my girls have produced rather impressive palates for two little ones. They love Japanese food, Indian food, veggies, you name it.
One of my tried-and-true strategies for raising well-rounded eaters is to have my kids make some of their own choices in the kitchen. Letting them have a hand in the process gives them a sense of control and empowerment — and trust me, my girls are way more willing to eat a salad that they helped make!
Here are some fun ideas for playing with ingredients in the kitchen:
What's not to like about apples and honey? The two main ingredients of Rosh Hashanah just happen to be sweet enough to land on kids' lists of favorite foods — lucky us! Combine those flavors into a cupcake, and then mama will really make the kids happy. While the lil ones may not have fun preparing brisket and soup for the holiday dinner, this easy, kid-friendly Honey Apple Cupcake recipe from The Shiksa in the Kitchen is a perfect way to get tots involved in the meal (just be sure not to feed them to babies less than a year old — most doctors don't allow them to eat honey). While the cupcakes are baking, they can help cut out the included printables that add some festive flair to the dessert!
Keep reading to see the recipe for these yummy (and easy!) cupcakes.
Tear off a piece of sweetness! Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown tonight, and the holiday is rich in symbolism and tradition. The standard Friday night challah (or egg bread) is braided into a circle to celebrate the cyclical nature of the calendar while apples (also round) and honey are eaten to usher in a sweet new year.
While mom (or grandma) may do the bulk of the holiday cooking, inviting lil ones in to the meal prep process is easy and fun for the whole family. This round apple challah is filled with plenty of kid-friendly ingredients (apples and sugar) and needs a lot a kneading – a task practically calling for tiny hands!
See the recipe and step-by-step directions when you read more
Let your lil ones help whip up their next meal! Youngsters love to help, and when they see their finished product on a platter, they're more likely to try their creation. Bringing tots into the kitchen doesn't have to be a scary experience. Mama's cooking utensils may be too big and unsafe for lil hands, but these fun kid-sized tongs, graters, and knives are ideally suited for lil sous chefs. Pick up your favorite ones and step back as your pint-sized Tyler Florence gets to work on her latest gastronomic creation.
Source: Josefine Bentzen
Take a trip around the world without ever leaving your kitchen. With diets filled with mac and cheese and chicken fingers, it's hard to imagine that lil ones will open their minds – or palates – to anything other than typical kids' menu fare, but that's probably because mama hasn't given them the chance. Celebrity chef and Top Chef Master Rick Bayless has spent years changing the way we look at Mexican food and recently spoke with me about ways to introduce the cuisine to young eaters, how kids can start their own organic garden through Seeds for Change's Sowing Millions Project, and his thoughts on the recent Top Chef finale. Take a look!
Bring the taste of New Orleans home on Mardi Gras. King Cake, a longtime Big Easy tradition is rich in tradition. The round, brioche-like treat dates back to the 12th Century. Today, the sweet, breakfast bread-like cake is enjoyed by celebrants in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday. But the traditional recipe is quite time intensive and not ideal for tots who want to help in the process. I've modified the recipe to make it quick and easy, and in cupcake form for the youngest celebrants. Just don't forget the purple (justice), green (faith), and gold (power) sprinkles, the holiday's symbolic colors!
It may be the most important meal of the day, but it can be a bit harried. The morning rush often means breakfast is little more than a bowl of cereal eaten over the counter or a granola bar scarfed down en route to school. With the right equipment, a nutritious (and tasty) breakfast can be whipped up in minutes to the delight of everyone at the table. Check out these five fun tools for getting the meal made!
Bring out the apron – the Garner-Affleck household is cooking! Jennifer Garner joined some local Hollywood minichefs to whip up some healthy treats at the launch of the Frigidaire Kids' Cooking Academy yesterday, and we were there! The actress, and mom of our readers' choice for the most stylish tot of the year, is working with Chef Mary Sue Milliken to inspire families to cook more nutritiously. Each time a parent signs up to receive the duo's daily kid-friendly cooking tips through the Academy, Frigidaire will donate $1 toward Save the Children's campaign to bring healthy food to underprivileged children.
We spoke with Violet and Seraphina's mama about encouraging healthy eating at home, the best parenting advice she ever received, and her upcoming Valentine's Day plans. Check it out below!
Most people don't buy pregnant women kitchen gadgets, but it's just a matter of time before a mom needs them. And, I'm not talking about bottle steamers and sippy cups, but the tools that make a parent's life easier when meal time rolls around and the kiddos are hungry. Here are five items that are used (and reused) for years.