How This Site Is Organized
This site is based on the book, and is organized into parts for parents, and parts for parents and kids. Remember, not all the pages have been uploaded yet—we're adding pages from the book every week.
The kid-friendly parts include the cooking tutorial (Part III) and the recipes (Part IV). The parts for parents have information of value to kids as well, but they're written in the hopes that parents will profit from these lessons and then pass them on to their kids in their own words and deeds. Parents can use their parts as family management guides and for explaining nutrition, shopping, and meal planning to their children.
Part I: Cooking Together: The Wisdom of 400 Families
In this part, families explain the benefits of bringing kids into the kitchen, the value of family dining, and their tips for cooking together every day. Parents and children may enjoy looking at the pictures of other kids, moms, and dads who like to cook.
Part II: Putting the Meal Together—Together!
Cooking starts with meal planning and shopping. This part offers strategies for busy parents to put nutritious and tasty meals on the table, simultaneously involving their kids in quality time—without resorting to fast food, frozen dinners, or restaurant take-out. This part gives you creative tools and techniques for making yours a kid-friendly kitchen.
Part III: Cooking 101: A Handbook for Parents and Young Chefs
Kids and parents should read this section together. It contains all of the basics that a person needs to know before starting to cook, such as staying safe in the kitchen, chopping and knife skills, reading a recipe, measuring ingredients, cooking with all sorts of methods, operating small appliances, and even setting the table.
Part IV: Recipes for the Whole Family
Hope you're hungry—this part is full of good things to eat! Kids get to start cooking in this part, with their parents' help and supervision, of course. Make these meals side-by-side, sharing in the tasks and the fun. Every child, from preschoolers to teens, can find ways to join in. The whole family will enjoy eating these dishes, from breakfasts on the run to lunches on the go, including holiday desserts and a wide variety of both meaty and meatless dinners.
Part V: Tips in Tens
With so many recipes to choose from, it's hard to tell where to begin, so check out this part's chapters—they list the favorite recipes of teens, yummy snacks for pre-teens, and even recipes for preschoolers to make without using flame or fire. This part even lists the essential tools for your kid's own cookware kit.
Icons Used in This Site
With the help of Monkey Chef, I've put together several icons to alert you to the best ideas from parents, and to point out things that are particularly useful or creative:
This icon shows up whenever I suggest something that makes your life easier, saves money, or is just extra-handy.
This icon pops up for tips that save time in the kitchen, at the store, or when cleaning up.
When you see this icon, you find a learning opportunity, just waiting for you to take advantage of it. It can be a quick math lesson, a chemical reaction, or a cultural tidbit. Kitchen discoveries make cooking fun! This icon also highlights opportunities to involve the entire family in something that's fun, educational, or interesting.
When a golden opportunity for parents and kids to cook together comes along, you see this icon. It may highlight a kid-friendly recipe or a task that kids can do. As a parent, you still need to decide if your kid really is old enough or advanced enough to do this particular task. If not, you can still include your child by performing the task yourself and explaining what you're doing. Sometimes, I don't expect a more advanced action to be a kid task and don't include an icon, but if your kids are able to do it safely with your supervision, then by all means, let them!
Attention! Look out! Be aware! This is a safety tip that means some part of the recipe or cooking process requires special attention or special handling. Be alert and cautious when you see this icon and make sure that a parent performs the task or is supervising very closely when a child is cooking.
This icon points out hot tips from real families, spoken in their own words. Hundreds of families share their experiences and advice. These tips may or may not work for your family, but at least you can see what approach others are taking, and may find something valuable for yourself and your own kids.
A special note on emoticons: Internet e-mail has its own set of icons used to express emotions, known as "emoticons." The e-mailed tips and letters from the contributing families often contain emoticons, which make more sense if you look at them by tilting your head to the left. There are dozens of emoticons in Internet parley, but here are the ones commonly found in this site:
- : ) Happy face
- ; ) Winking face
- : ( Sad face
- < g > Grin
Where to Go from Here
As the Cheshire Cat may say to Alice, "Deciding where to go from here depends on who you are and where you want to get to."
If you're eager to start cooking with your kids right now, speed to Part V: Tips In Tens. It contains a list of the most popular recipes, organized by kids' age groups.
Older kids with some experience in cooking may feel comfortable jumping straight into Part IV: Recipes. Kitchen novices may be more comfortable starting with some basic training, which you can find in Part III: Cooking 101.
Parents can find inspiration in Part I: Cooking Together, where other parents offer personal advice for bringing kids into the kitchen. Or, if you're more concerned about how to plan nutritious meals and cook efficiently, flip directly to Part II: Putting the Meal Together, which also reveals sane ways to shop with kids—and even make it a pleasurable and profitable experience!
Finally, as you browse through this site and begin cooking together, I invite you to share your own experiences on our message boards (coming soon). Also, for additional cooking resources, check out Links page (coming soon)—after your kids get hooked on cooking, they'll want to explore a whole world of other recipes and foods all on their own.
Search this site:
Brown-Bag Barcelona Chicken
Buttermilk Basil Dressing
Chinese "Barbecued" Pork
(A No-Flame, No-Fire Recipe)
Green Onion French Bread
Happy, Dappy, Flappy Jacks
Irma's Spiced Nuts-to-You
Mexican Fiesta Taco
or Burrito Mix
More Cooking Tips
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