Save room for dessert! The cupcake tin gets plenty of action making mini cakes for birthday parties and holiday celebrations, but we uncovered some even better goodies! After making savory breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees, we're taking the sweet route! Check out these recipes.
Toss your cookbooks and bring your iPad into the kitchen! The tablet of technology allows lil cooks to follow the masters any time they want. Kraft's Big Fork, Little Fork iPad app (free until Dec. 31) is a compilation of 300 recipes that include the food company's products. The app also has video demonstrations for basic cooking techniques, facts about herbs and spices, and tips for kids (including age appropriateness of a recipe and steps tots can contribute to the creation of a meal).
While the basic app serves as a resource, the premium addition ($5) of 50 recipes and 10 videos by Top Chef Masters champ and LilSugar Out of the Lunch Box contributor Marcus Samuelsson adds some global flavors to the menu. His recipes keep to a family-friendly model – rarely requiring more than five steps. Yesterday, I was invited to a demonstration where the chef prepared one of the recipes — a savory version of grits – and talked about how he incorporates fresh ingredients into packaged goods.
See the chef whip up the grits, when you read more
The muffin tin has a sweet sound to it, but savory meals can also be created in the all-purpose tin. With breakfast and lunch out of the way, it's time to think about dinner. These bite-sized meals are perfectly sized for tots, and can be pre-made, frozen and reheated when mama has a busy week! So stock up on cupcake liners and get creative!
The beauty of bite-sized meals continues to capture mom's attention! Following a week's worth of individually portioned breakfasts, our muffin tin makes the shift from sweet to savory with five lunch options that will satiate a lil one's hearty appetite. Grease up your pan and get cooking!
The cupcake craze has not been lost on lil ones! The sweet treats are cute, but their baking vessel deserves the credit. Use a muffin tin to your advantage when making bite sized breakfast options (that can be prepped in advance) and reheated while you rest! Check out these five morning options!
Pull out the blender! Two years after Jessica Seinfeld urged parents to sneak vegetable purees into their lil ones' meals, the Deceptively Delicious cook is back. This time, the mom of three and wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld is making over the entire family's meals by adding fiber, whole grains, and more purees. Working with nutritionist Joy Bauer, Double Delicious ($16) takes dishes like chicken lo mein and turkey meatloaf and turns them into veggie-rich creations. I recently had the chance to chat with Jessica.
LilSugar: Sneaking food is a hot topic among parents; why are you for it?
Jessica Seinfeld: I believe if you can make your family's food better for you, why not? Let's say you're going to make waffles for your family, or you're going to buy waffles for your family. If I'm using an egg, if I'm using flour, what's the big deal about putting sweet potato in the waffle? The deception that goes on in our country with food involves food companies and how they advertise to people, how they say that something is high in fiber, when it is full of sugar and full of fat. That's the deception people should be focused on in the food world. I find this argument hilarious. Parents tell their children all kinds of things to make childhood more understandable. It's just a way for people to pick and make controversy where there is none.
LS: Your kids are getting older; at what point do you disclose all of a dish's ingredients to them?
JS: My kids have always known. My kids eat cauliflower puree, but they also eat cauliflower on the side of their plate, because every time I use a puree, I keep vegetables in plain sight for my children. There's never a moment where my children say "I don't eat vegetables." They always eat vegetables. They always have it in front of them. They always have known how important eating whole vegetables in their natural state are.
LS: Do your kids ever surprise you and ask for a healthy dish or order one while dining out?
JS: Yeah, sometimes. They usually like pizza, and spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, and the things that I make all the time. So when we go out to dinner, they like to get the same things.
To see Jessica's best dinnertime tip, read more
The kitchen doors are wide open to kids during the holidays! Parents anxious to pass their family recipes down should also give their lil ones a lesson in prep and sanitation. New York Health Inspector Peter DeLucia offers up these four basic rules for cleanliness:
Rule 1: Clean — wash hands, surfaces, and utensils often to avoid spreading bacteria when preparing food. One of the best ways to prevent the spread of food-borne illness is by washing your hands frequently.
Rule 2: Separate — use different cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, seafood, and veggies. Remember that one of the best ways to guarantee a safe Thanksgiving dinner is to keep the raw turkey away from vegetables and side dishes that won't be cooked.
Rule 3: Heat — remember, you can't tell it's done by how it looks! To ensure food is cooked thoroughly, use a food thermometer. Every part of the turkey should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rule 4: Chill — bacteria can grow at temperatures above 41 degrees Fahrenheit so make sure the refrigerator stays at or below 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Always refrigerate pumpkin pie and return any leftovers to the refrigerator within two hours.
For more information, Peter DeLucia will be a guest on The Dr. Oz Show tomorrow.
Editor’s note: The following is a guest post written by Annabel Karmel, the British children's chef and kiddie cookbook author. This week Annabel shares some kid-friendly recipes ideal for a cooking playdate.
I have three children of my own and some of my happiest memories have been spending time with them in the kitchen. It became clear early on that one of the things that my children loved was helping me in the kitchen and so from the age of 3 I involved them. The delight and pride they showed in baking something themselves gave me a huge feel-good factor . . . and I also knew that they were learning many skills that would stand them in good stead later in life.
A great way to maintain children’s interest is to have cooking playdates. Invite their friends round and have them choose a recipe they would like to cook. Remember children have short attention spans, so offer them recipes that are easy and provide reasonably quick results. Be prepared for mess and repeating simple instructions frequently, but the end will result in proud, happy children, willing to try new foods!
Editor’s note: We are thrilled to introduce our first guest blogger, Annabel Karmel. The British children's chef and kiddie cookbook author will be joining us for a weekly series with tips, tricks, and recipes geared toward giving lil ones a healthy start in life.
I have had three fussy children and written 22 books and can tell you that feeding children needn’t be hard work. My quick and tasty recipe ideas are great for all the family and will give parents a helping hand to make meal times easier and fun. Whether it is recipes for babies, fussy eaters, healthy snack ideas, or fantastic food for parties or holidays, I will be giving you my top tips.
I am really excited about launching my new books and products in the US and cannot wait to start blogging. I will also be happy to answer any questions you may have. In the meantime take a look at annabelkarmel.com for hundreds of my delicious recipes. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
. . . Annabel
Have a picky eater that refuses to eat his greens or a lil girl who is begging to be your sous chef, but you don't know how she can help? Submit your cooking and feeding questions to The Children's Table group over in the LilSugar Community and we'll have Annabel answer the questions each month!
We have a shoebox-size kitchen, so I have rules when my kids help me cook. Once the stove is lit, they need to stay seated at the table. All the tales of dropped pots of boiling water, hair caught in hand mixers, and fingers severed by bread knives have made me cautious. It's moments like a burner flaring or a glass dropping when your heart jumps into your throat that you realize you can never be too careful. Here are some tips for keeping your lil chefs safe.
- If children are helping prep, sit at a table rather than chance a fall by having them stand on a chair or stool.
- Do not allow children to crawl on counters or stoves when you aren't cooking. This way they won't feel comfortable doing so when the areas pose hazards.
- Keep knives out of reach.
- Use the rear burners when possible.