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Cooking with kids is always fun and rewarding whether it’s the holidays or not.

The holidays are behind us, the decorations are put back in their safe place, and everyone still wants to eat! During the holidays, there are many fun recipes, predominantly cookies, that we produce when cooking with kids. They love to stand by the counter and help cut out cookies, decorate them and mainly eat them.

In my cookbook, Generations of Good Food, there are 200 recipes, including main dishes, breads, cakes, pies, cookies, and candy. When cooking with kids, we need to take into consideration the time commitment of making something like bread. However, in my book, there is a recipe for Cinnamon Rolls with a twist because the dough includes a cake mix. It is still a yeast dough that needs an hour to rise, but it is just different enough that in the end, everyone will be delighted. The recipe makes a sizable number of rolls that can be frozen and enjoyed over and over.

If your child can use the stovetop, why not make a pot of homemade chicken soup? Nothing warms in the cold months like chicken soup. I will not mention that it also is loaded with health benefits in the chicken and vegetables. Want to speed up the process and make cooking with kids easier? Buy a rotisserie chicken, remove the skin, and add it to the chicken broth and vegetables. I always like to cook my pasta separately, drain it, put it in a bowl, and add some of the broth. The starch in the pasta will soak up all the broth, so it is a wise notion to temper the pasta before adding it to your soup.

The cold months are also a good time for a big bowl of chili. There are several chili recipes in my book, and children will need to be supervised closely near the stove if they help. You can make the traditional red chili with hamburger and beans or a traditional green chili and pork recipe. There is a quick pork green chili recipe that is quick because you add a a jar of Picante sauce instead of tomatoes, chiles, and onions. You also add Mexican cheese to thicken up the sauce. But how about trying Omaha Chicken Chili, which is made with white beans, chicken, and lots of spices? The chili recipes provide a lot of diversity, so you can enjoy them throughout the colder months.

If you still want something sweet, and who doesn’t, then there are lots of cakes, cookies, and candy that will be an enjoyable time when cooking with kids. 

If you are looking for a quick after-school homemade treat, make a recipe for pie dough. Roll it out to ¼ inch thickness, cut it into fun shapes, place it on a parchment-covered baking sheet, and sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Such a fun treat to have waiting after a day at school.

Cooking with kids is a great way to bond with them, to be a teacher, and to just enjoy them. My first experience was watching my nephew try to cook breakfast. To be sure, the stove and floor were a total disaster. Today, he is a college student who is a master at the grill and loves to bake and cook recipes from different cultures. While children are younger, I agree that sometimes it is easier to go it alone in the kitchen without the added mess, but it is more fun knowing they are learning a skill that will be useful in their lives. 

I love to see the delight on their faces when they take control of the mixer or learn about different spices we use in recipes. As they become more familiar and experienced with the kitchen, adults can expand the number of things children can do in the kitchen.

Pick up a copy of Generations of Good Food on Amazon or at It is the cutest little $10 cookbook on the market and one that is wonderful for cooking with kids.

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