Children grow at a blink-and-you-miss-it rate. An unlikely place to connect with them is the kitchen:) . Introduce your child to the art of cooking and bond with them better, whatever their age.
Children find kitchen work absorbing and facinating. Rolling tiny chapatis(rotis), or tossing a salad(however untidy it may be) makes them feel important and oh- so grown up...Do have patience with tiny fingers taking hours and hours over little things. Remember they are too young to do any chopping and keep them away from fire, oven and hot dishes!
Here are a few recipes that you can try out with your kids;
Fancy Puris (serves 2-4)
3 cups of whole-wheat flour, 1 cup left-over dal (lentil)or cooked veggies, salt to taste, 1tsp oil, water to knead and oil for frying.
Method:- 1)place flour in a mixing bowl, add dal(lentil) or veggies, salt and 1tsp oil, knead to make a stiff dough(make a dough before u call the child into the kitchen, so that he doesnt see the dal n veggies mixed into it). 2) Give him/her a ball of the dough and let them roll it out on a flat surface, with a cookie cutter n let them cut out interesting shapes. 3) Deep fry their master-pieces in hot oil, and watch them beam!
(Children love to play with dough, and will eat what they make. An additional bonus;healthy dal and veggies are eaten by your child without them knowing :)
Steaming Veggie Soup (serves 4)
4 cups vegetable stock or a packet of vegtable soup powder;1 cup mixed vegetables, mushrooms, green beans, brocolli, spring onions - finely chopped -sauteed(use chicken slivers for children fond of non-veg); cream to garnish.
Method: Pre-cook the soup and veggies/chicken, help your child to ladle out soup and ask to drop the veggies /chicken into the soup. Then let him garnish with a dollop of cream.
(This is a sneaky way to get your child to have a bowl of nutritious soup that they have made :)
Quick Pasta ( serves 2)
1 cup coloured pasta, 1 packet soup powder in any flavour, such as chicken, mushroom, tomoato or vegetable; 1 cup boiled shredden chicken; 1 cup sauteed veggies.
Method: Pre-cook the pasta till almost don and cool, let your child cut open the soup packet and add powder into the pot,measure out half of the water suggested in the pack to make a thick sauce-like consistency. In a plate let your child arrange the pasta in colourful rows. Pour over the ladle of soup and ask him to add as much chicken and sauteed veggies as much as he wants. Serve hot.
(This colourful dish is sure to perk up his interest as well as his appetite).