One often thinks of moms in the kitchen, but as more fathers take active, hands-on roles in their children’s lives, this necessary life skill can become a teachable experience everyone can enjoy. Cooking is a wonderful activity for fathers to do with their children because it can be fun, messy, educational, and experimental while creating meaningful memories. And now that the hectic holiday season is upon us, it’s a perfect time to ask Dad to help the kids prepare everyday meals and do some holiday baking.
Here are some ideas to get started:
KidsHealth.org offers a wide selection of recipes that kids will enjoy making and eating, including recipes for kids with special dietary needs.
Dads and kids may learn some skills and/or be inspired to become more adventurous cooks by watching episodes of “Masterchef Junior.”
And here’s a recipe for a baked goodie I made for Papa every Thanksgiving:
Cranberries are the fruit of a trailing evergreen bush or shrub that grows in bogs. Papa liked their tangy flavor that is enhanced in this recipe that uses the whole berry. The beautiful color of the whole berries, look like jewels decorating each slice. (Makes 1 loaf.)
- 1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup oat bran
- 1 cup sugar or sugar substitute (such as Xylitol)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¾ cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 3 tablespoons grated orange rind
- 1 cup whole cranberries
- ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour 1 loaf pan.
Mix dry ingredients (flour, oat bran, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda) together thoroughly. Mix together egg, orange juice, oil, and grated orange rind. Add orange juice mixture to flour mixture until just combined – do not over mix. Fold in cranberries and nuts (if desired).
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake approximately 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove bread from pan and continue cooling on rack. When completely cooled, wrap in plastic wrap until ready to serve. This bread also freezes well.
Don’t forget that the most important ingredient you need when cooking with kids is patience. That and practicing kitchen safety will result in good food and good times.