I don’t know about you but I Love cooking with my kids, especially in the summer. There are so many fresh, local ingredients this time of year with all the fruits and vegetables starting to pop. Not to mention the longer days with more sunlight and no school the next day. Meals don’t always need to be quick and easy this time of year and with my kids, a meal that normally takes 30 minutes takes an hour. Which is fine, except it always seems that the longer a meal takes to make the bigger the mess that results.

Delicious Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Therein lies my biggest flaw when it comes to cooking with the kids; I am a neat freak. Not a little neat freak either; I like a clean, well-organized kitchen. It may be that way before the kids get to work in the kitchen but five minutes in it looks like a tornado came through. Not a little tornado, one with the power to to blow utensils and ingredients two rooms over. I still can’t figure out how that happens when the kids haven’t left the kitchen. Any ideas? I sure would like to figure out how they do it.

Letting go and just letting them learn and enjoy is something I am working on. I am getting better each time they set foot into the kitchen to start cooking. The last thing I want to do is be such a grump that they lose their passion to cook. As a matter of fact, my oldest can be pretty much be left alone now. He will just call Kerry or I in to ask us questions about certain things like measurements or what a certain ingredient is. Talking about measurements, those questions are a great way to sneak in math lessons without them even knowing! Back to my son. He has actually created some of his own recipes when we just let him go. How can I discourage that? Everyone in the family benefits this way. It’s also a great activity that doesn’t involve video games or TV and a fun way to get the family together after a hard day of work at Go-Go Babyz.

Of course, except the one who has to clean which is usually me. Even though I want the kids to clean everything up on their own I want to make sure everything is clean. Not just cleaned and put back the way I like because I am a neat freak, but also because I want to make sure all the germs are cleaned up. The kitchen may look clean on the counter tops and the surrounding floor but germs find way to collect in the not-so-obvious places. So if you love to cook with your kids remember to clean these areas with a bacteria killing cleaner:

  • Refrigerator/Freezer door handles (there dirty little hands are always opening & closing these)
  • Refrigerator/freezer seals (just a quick wipe, they always seem to drop or spill stuff there)
  • Floors in front of the sink, refrigerator & cabinets
  • Stove fan surface

Happy Cleaning,

Kevin Williams  VP & Dad