Tag: cooking with kids

A clever idea to get kids in the kitchen on their own, no nagging (or even talking!) required.

My boys have been cooking alongside me ever since they were little. But now that they’re older and I’d love for them make their own breakfast, prep their own snacks, and put together their own lunches from time to time, I’m finding it harder to get them into the kitchen on their own. One issue might be that I call the kitchen my kitchen. That can’t help. Another issue may be all my yapping (that’s code for nagging). I want them to be autonomous, but it’s impossible not to chime in on everything from their snack choices to the kitchen rules, which they...

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17 fun rainy day indoor activities to keep kids happy and parents sane

It’s been a pretty mild winter for everyone this year, but the season isn’t over yet folks. In the words of the late, great Prince, “Sometimes it snows in April.” Plus, March comes in like a lion, and all that, so it will still be a bit longer before we’re in full on outdoor play mode. Whether it’s the cold, snow, or rain that has your kids stuck inside over the next couple of months, we’ve got your back with tons of fun rainy day indoor activities that can get you and the kids through the long hours. And still smiling at...

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10 essential kitchen safety rules to set, that keep little cooks safe in the kitchen.

We’re big fans of pulling kids into the kitchen early and often. But that also means setting kitchen safety rules for kids — and for you. Not just because it keeps them safe (though that’s obviously the most important thing), but because it’s the essential foundation of learning vital cooking skills that they can use for a lifetime. And hey, it also lets them help us out around the kitchen too. The way we see it, there’s no reason why kids as young as 5 years old can’t help make their own school lunch or even help cook breakfast on busy weekday mornings....

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120+ easy Valentine’s Day recipes, drinks and last-minute DIY treats you’re going to love

Need some last-minute help planning a deliciously sweet Valentine’s Day menu? We’ve put together all our favorite easy Valentine’s Day recipes that we’ve been sharing on Cool Mom Picks and Cool Mom Eats — from breakfast to dessert — in one place. This way, you can scan them quickly to save more time for, well, whatever you want. Plus you’ll find some terrific DIY tricks here that turn store-bought treats into something special for the big day. Because, hey, we’re all about easy on Valentine’s Day. And that’s not a double entendre. Okay, it is. Top photos: Heart-Shaped Pretzels by My Name is Snickerdoodle; Valentine’s Day Brownies by Pink...

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17 very, very cool Father’s Day gifts under $25 | 2015 Father’s Day Gift Guide

We all know, of course, that the amount of money you spend on a Father’s Day gift has no correlation with love whatsoever. Not that there’s anything wrong with splurges. But if you’re on a tight budget, if you’re not a spendy gift kind of a family, or if you have the kind of dad on your list who really is just comfortable with a small token, we’ve got you covered with 17 super cool Father’s Day gift ideas for you that all ring in under $25. They’re also great for kids who are saving their allowances, and maybe buying their very own...

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2 fun resources that can get a picky eater to actually eat.

Anyone who’s dealt with a picky kid (and who hasn’t?) knows that feeding a picky eater is the opposite of fun. And I’ve found two new parenting resources—one a book, the other a game—which aim to change that. Both were developed by moms to use children’s natural affinity for games, competition, and high scores, all with the aim of ending mealtime drama. No matter which you choose, I think the whole family can win big. Now I must say that I find that turning mealtime into a game takes more work than I’m personally willing to give. However many parents find...

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Move over cronut, we’ve got 5 epic dessert recipe mashups you can make at home

The cronut, a dessert made by frying croissant dough like a donut, set off a nationwide phenomenon in 2013, when Time magazine also named Dominique Ansel‘s creation one of the best inventions of the year. Having had one, I can tell you that the cronut is worthy of the hype and also totally impossible to recreate at home. These five dessert recipe mashups, on the other hand, are equally epic. And you can actually make them. (Yes, you!) All you need is a sweet tooth, some baking gumption, and a lot of sugar. Butter, too. Related: 8 easy homemade donut recipes   Strawberry...

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Easy dumpling recipes for Chinese New Year that kids can help make. We predict a very tasty Year of the Sheep.

What better way to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year than with a crafty project that you can easily do with kids? And, yields dumplings! If you hit the kitchen with the kids to make one of these six  easy dumpling recipes for Chinese New Year, the results of your labor will not only be delicious, but dinner will be done too. Now that’s a fortuitous start to the new year. Oh, and none of them are lamb dumplings. We want to honor the sheep here, not necessarily eat one. Of course all of the recipes here can be made with...

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7 DIY Valentine’s Day candy recipes that you can make with kids.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about candy, of course. But I don’t see why it shouldn’t be, if you make the candy from scratch, with love. Okay so maybe I’m justifying. but still, these DIY Valentine’s Day candy recipes–all of them easy enough for your kids to make along with you–are a fun project for the givers and a delicious treat for the receivers. My goal: to be both.   Turn plain conversation hearts into something special with this recipe for Conversation Heart Marshmallows from Passion 4 Baking. (Manuela has her blog set up to translate from...

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10 awesome kitchen projects to do with kids when you’re stuck indoors. Especially on a snow day.

Apparently, there are places in the U.S. right now where the sun is shining, the air is warm, and the kids are where they should be: in school. If you live in one of these glorious places a) I’m jealous, and b) bookmark these super fun kitchen projects to do with kids for a weekend or a rainy day. But for anyone in a snow zone like me, these kitchen activities for kids will help make your day inside a little more fun (and delicious, too). Related: The ultimate guide to snow day activities: 20+ indoor ideas to keep you sane   1. Make...

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23 ideas for fun, educational indoor activities for preschoolers and young kids. Because we need all the ideas we can get!

After the initial “yay, snow!” cheers comes the realization that you now have to come up with educational activities for your preschoolers or kindergarteners, to help keep them busy–and ideally, learning–all day long. And while I totally understand letting PBS air a few more shows than you might normally allow, I also think an unexpected day stuck indoors is a great way to try out new activities that give their brains a workout and help reinforce important skills. It’s the kind of stuff you may not have time to do together on a regular old day.   That’s why I’m so pleased...

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7 easy, holiday chocolate bark recipes. Because candy made in minutes is the best gift of all.

Chocolate candy is a must over the holidays. Festive sweets make a special treat to have around the house, serve as part of a holiday dessert spread, or give as a gift. Store bought is great—we love supporting local chocolate shops—but it can get expensive, and who needs that when homemade takes 5 minutes to prep? These 7 delectable holiday chocolate bark recipes are a cinch to make, totally affordable, and look absolutely gorgeous. Now if only gift wrapping were this easy.   If you’ve never made bark before, you’re in for a treat. This basic chocolate bark recipe from Martha...

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This woodland cookie cutter set takes the cake.

I won’t pretend to understand why my son’s sandwiches, pancakes, and cheese slices taste better when they’re cut into animal shapes, but if using cookie cutters means he’ll eat more than a few nibbles of food, I’m happy to oblige. I like my shapes to be seasonal (yes, I admit this), so I’m all about this Woodland cookie cutter set, which is perfect for the holidays and beyond. Update: Regretfully, the great.ly shop is no longer in operation. We hope you’ll find other cool stuff you love throughout our site. If you’ve got a picky eater of your own or a child who loves to...

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Holiday food gifts for future chefs—or any kid who likes ice cream and chocolate.

There may be more talk of picky eaters than foodie kids, but some kids really dig food. I know for sure that these seemingly rare creatures exist because I happen to be mother to one. My older son loves eating, looking at food magazines, and is fearless in the kitchen. If you’ve got one like him on your hands too, and are like, eh, he has enough toys…then check out these fun ideas for holiday food gifts for kids. And come to think of it, take a look at these holiday food gifts even if you have a picky eater. Sometimes giving...

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10 kitchen gadget gifts for every family cook, even the reluctant ones.

Whether we like it or not, all of us parents become the family cook at some point, and even those of you who hate to cook know that it doesn’t get us out of it. (Darn kids and their need to eat.) These fab kitchen gadget gifts are some of my very favorites. They make the job a little bit easier, or at least more fun. And I imagine that every family cook—from the passionate to the uh…reluctant—will love having a cool new kitchen gadget like these. Some products may contain affiliate links from Amazon or reward style   Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper ($19.99 at Bed,...

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Keep Halloween fun-spooky for little ones with mad scientist party treats. No scary-creepy allowed.

When celebrating Halloween with little ones, there’s a fine line between fun creepy and scary creepy. Lucky for me—a firm believer that the creepier the better—my kids are finally old enough to handle scary Halloween. I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting the safe creepy Halloween thing, though, and my favorite theme is mad scientist. If you’re looking for a rated-G entree into Halloween spookiness, these mad scientist party recipes will set the perfect hair-raising mood. You know, in a ha-ha way.   These monster guts (above and top) from Sugar and Cloth are a perfect safe-creepy specimen. They are also...

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5 candy corn recipes — because you can never get enough of a good thing.

Of all the throwback candies, candy corn reigns supreme. More than just nostalgic, it is among the most popular Halloween candies year after year. (Because it’s awesome, that’s why.) It’s also the inspiration for these fun, delicious candy corn recipes. When it comes to Halloween, I believe you can never have too much of a good thing.   There are tons of Halloween cookie recipes that call for candy corn, but I love this simple, wholesome approach. With a little bit of food coloring (we love these all-natural food dyes), Jenna at PBS Food turns simple sugar cookies into Candy...

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Amazingly easy Halloween party recipes that make you look like a super chef.

Last year I threw an awesome Halloween party for my kids. (Really! There’s video, complete with Halloween dinner recipes, to prove it.) It was a blast, but now my kids want to do it again. I’m game—anything to show off my rockin’ Cleopatra costume—but it has to be easy. So I’ve found these super fun, easy Halloween party recipes that are just right to keep your Halloween festive without too much hard work. Because Queen Cleopatra doesn’t do hard work, thank you very much. Three cheers for Halloween Candy Bark (above) from Just a Taste. Candy on candy: It’s the only way to go on...

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Think outside of the cookie box: 7 easy, festive recipes to make use of your Halloween cookie cutters

I’m taking a stand: No more seasonal cookie cutters for a single use. If I can’t use the cookie cutter for multiple purposes I’m not buying it, and I don’t think you should either. Now we just have to figure out how to use the pile of cookie cutters that we already have! With Halloween coming up, I found seven easy, delicious ways to use your pumpkin-shaped Halloween cookie cutters. Now you just have to find them in that junk drawer. PS: If you don’t already own pumpkin-shaped Halloween cookie cutters, now you can officially buy a set. You’re welcome.   These...

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What’s better than cookies? Cookies that look just the way you want them.

I just cooked to say I Love You. And Superstar, and Happy Birthday, and pretty much any message up to 17 letters that can be stamped into a cookie. Thanks to this genius customizable Cookie Stamper, you can customize any message with letters, numbers, hearts, stars–even plenty of exclamation points!!!   Each kit comes with a wooden stamper, a silicone base that resists heat, and an entire sunny alphabet of non-stick letters, numbers, icons, and punctuation. Whether you’re making cookies for a new mom, planning racy treats for your anniversary, looking for creative DIY teacher gifts for the holidays, or just want a...

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