Kiddos in the Kitchen

24 HOURS in a DAY, 168 HOURS in a WEEK… 8,760 HOURS in A YEAR…..TIME, TIME , TIME! Life is centered around deadlines, time frames and schedules! Tons must be done  in the 24 hours we are given from the guy upstairs!

My typical day looks like this as a WAHM (work at home mom)…

Alarm goes off at 5:30AM—– Snooze. Snooze…..Snoooooooooooze….. 6:45AM RUSH to get ready for the day— drive 45 minutes to school—- head to the office to fill orders, order product, work on blog posts, coordinate collaborations, organize local events (if it’s Monday or Wednesday) —-OR back home, work on tax returns, do a little bookkeepoing, research, consult…whatever my client’s needs are.  All BEFORE 2:30… oh wait, I forgot lunch is squished in at some point—-okay… NOW we can head across town, pick up the munchkin (he’ll hate me for this one day), an hour of homework, soccer practice/baseball practice, karate, swimming lessons…you get the picture! Get home 7PM and NOW it’s time for DINNER…. wheewww I have not once in my day thought about dinner time and here we are ready to eat an entire horse and there is NOTHING prepared…… 

If I make it through the day and look semi-decent, I am lucky! Often, this is what you will find….

photo (19)

——-so here’s where my quick-prep, kid friendly meals find their place:

As a single mom, I often found myself in a situation where dinner needed to be prepped, but I also had a whiney toddler that wanted attention and laundry that needed to be done. So oneday I decided to let this whiney toddler help prepare dinner…..ahhhhhhaaaaaaa BRILLIANT!

We started with him pulling ingredients from cabinets,  then we added the responsibility of mixing ingredients…. no matter how messy he got, I was always grateful for those two (very tiny) hands helping in the kitchen.

I relate to those mommas who have 8 things going on at once and have become creative out of necessity…. so here’s my insight on getting a child in the kitchen to help prepare a meal:

1.) FUN—- must be fun and entertaining–attention spans are short— let them grate the cheese and shake it up a bit— a mess you say? sure, but now you have cheese for tacos, fajitas, eggs— anything your heart desires!

2.)MESSY-thing will get messy-let it go! The above grated cheese, once was ALL OVER the kitchen cabinets, floors and stove. We laughed, cleaned up the mess and continued on with dinner.  The best part of it all is we have an awesome story to share with others!

3.)EASY-meals do not have to be elaborate every night, make it quick and easy! 3 ingredients and GO!

4.)PLAN-you must know what your child is capable of doing safely. Make sure to have prepared the meal (or the like) once so that you are aware of what he can or cannot assist you with. Prep work is always fun for littles—prep veggies ahead of time and freeze–my son loves to help with this–our weekly dates are often spent in the kitchen prepping for the upcoming week’s meals, YES—I am SERIOUS!

5.)ENJOY-ENJOY with your family! Jon and I enjoy grocery shopping for new ingredients to try…the latest…. BUFFALO, GOAT CHEESE and PROSCIUTTO…. and it was FANTABULOUS…!

Here’s one of our FAVORITE recipes to prep together

1/2 Cup Ketchup

1/5 Cup Brown Sugar

Soy Sauce (low sodium) to taste

Mix the three above and you have yourself a TERIYAKI sauce! Is it restaurant quality? Nope! BUT my son loves it, it tastes great on chicken and it literally takes 5 minutes to prep. As far as the chicken, just put a few pieces in the oven and bake until cooked. This can be prepped ahead of time and the sauce added to the chicken (and those prep-ahead veggies— add that to the mix and now it’s a GOURMET meal)….genius, I know! 

We have consistently been in the kitchen together and Jon now says he wants to be a chef. He’s proud to say that he has upgraded from BUTTER KNIVES to SHARP KNIVES, as seen in the picture below:

photo (17)

And just last weekend, he cooked scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast for the two of us #hubbyinthemaking!

Unfortunately, I have not figured out the laundry situation just quite, but when I do, I’ll make sure to let you in on the little secret!

Bon Appetit,

Brandi & Jon

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