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Kids and Herbs - Fun Cooking For Your Child

Some kids like to help you cook in the kitchen but they don't understand the ingredients, especially the herbs. At first, kids learning to cook is all about learning to follow directions and doing each step in order. They're figuring out how to be organized and hopefully how to clean up after themselves. Along the way they also pick up what words like "sift" and "simmer" mean. Plus they learn skills like how to drain noodles through a colander or how to knead bread dough.

It seems like one of the last things they learn is how the ingredients all work together and when they can deviate from the recipe a little. An excellent way for your kids to experiment is with herbs. Herbs can make a dish go from so-so to wonderful and if your chef learns about them when they're young, there's no telling what great meals they'll cook for you through the years.

Here are some ideas for getting your kids to play with herbs:

1. Fresh mint is a wonderful herb for kids because it smells so good and there are many different things they can do with it. They can simply put a few sprigs in a glass of water, iced tea, or lemonade for a hint of mint taste. They can chop it up small and put it in their yogurt or ice cream, or include it in muffin batter. Probably the funnest for kids is to make mint ice cubes. They just put small leaves of mint into the ice cube tray, add water, and freeze. 

Take your children to a plant nursery in spring and let them smell all the different kinds of mint. It's a really easy herb to grow - but plant it in a pot because otherwise it will spread through your garden like crazy.

2. Your kids can make herb butter. Put 2 sticks of butter out in a bowl at room temperature to soften. Then add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, cut up parsley, and some minced garlic cloves. Let the kids mash it all together and then stick it in the fridge. It can be cut into squares and served with warm bread or hot pasta.

The kids can experiment with other herbs in the butter if they smell like they go together and don't have too strong a smell. Rosemary probably wouldn't be a good candidate as it has a very strong smell.

3. A good place for rosemary is in bread dough, along with sage and parsley. Adding herbs to the bread dough and then kneading it is a fun hands-on experience for kids, and they really get the full effect of the herbs when the bread is baking because the smells are intensified. Ask your kids to tell you which of the herbs they smell from the baking bread.


Learning to cook can be a wonderful experience for both you and your kids, and now they can explore a cooking website that's all their own. Cookin' Kids is the place for easy kid-friendly recipes and much more! http://cookinkids.com Parents can visit too for their free Parent Tips.

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