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I wanted to take this time and drop a note to let you know that it is not always a fancy and exciting meal at our house!  In fact, it does take some effort to gear up for a recipe and to pull these together.  There is often times where we throw a quick meal together that includes hot dogs, box mac and cheese, tater tots, and pizza rolls.  These are still perfect times when the kids can help make the meal and learn!!photo 3A few months ago the girls asked me to pull out the Easy Bake Oven and help them bake a cake mix.  I thought about it… the small tools… the baking with a light bulb (which will not work with the new fluorescent bulbs)… the limited amount of food (that you pay equal or more than a regular cake mix)… and the small final product.  Instead I told the girls to pick a brownie mix out of the pantry and let’s bake that…  “In a real oven?” they questioned me.  “Sure, why not, what could it hurt!”

To which we were able to enjoy time in the kitchen, baking a large tray of brownies, and teaching valuable lessons!  Needless to say they were able to eat on the brownies for days… and I did not have to clean up the Easy Bake Oven and eat a gross mix… (Be honest, have you ever had a “good” Easy Bake cake??)

So I implore you… spend time in the kitchen with your kids.  I’m not telling you to make the kids cook for themselves… spend the time with the kids and teach them lessons about cooking, the kitchen, what chocolate is, what vanilla is and where it comes from, what are the different spices, the difference between a garlic salt and garlic powder, what Sodium Chloride is, why salt occurs in cubes, who Run DMC, MC Hammer, and Vanilla Ice are (we listen to music when we cook).  But also… listen to them… hear them when they speak… hear the lessons they are teaching you from the silly song they are singing, the latest Pokémon, what someone in their class is doing, how they feel about different situations and what they are passionate about.

Teach them (and let them teach you) how to dance, and many many other things that come up when you spend the time together doing something like cooking!

So take time to cook something or something as simple as throwing something in the oven together.  Simple life lessons can be learned when spending time in the kitchen and sharing. photo 2

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