Q & A: How To Get Your Kids Cooking

No knives, motorized appliances or stovetop required. Jennifer Low, the bestselling author of Everyday Kitchen for Kids* and mother of two, explains how low-tech recipes and the right ingredients can make your little helper a top chef in the kitchen. 

Q & A: How To Get Your Kids Cooking

Name the must-try recipes in your new book?
Our whoopie pies are goof-proof; the batter is made with ricotta, so they’re always fluffy. If you’re craving something savoury, try the lasa-gna jumble. It’s like lasagna, only you break up the noodles and cook it casserole style.

And low-tech gets good results?
Yes! Take mixing, for example. You’d be amazed how fluffy some cakes can be when you just use a whisk to stir the batter. Omitting electric mixers was the best thing that could have happened; I discovered that kids don’t even want to shorten mixing time.

How else do you cater to younger readers?
I made sure the snack batches were small. Kids don’t need four dozen cookies; they need about a dozen to share with friends and family.

Many of your recipes are gluten-free; has demand grown?
More people are discovering sensitivities, so I flagged dishes that were already gluten-free and specifically developed baked goods.

What’s the No. 1 rule for kids in the kitchen?
Read recipes from beginning to end first to be sure you have all the tools and ingredients. Kids get excited and want to get going, but they need a game plan.

Any advice for them on the fiddly art of measuring?
Ask a helper if you’re not sure about abbreviations for things. And when measuring liquids, pour some into a little bowl first, then use your spoon to scoop out what you need-don’t try pouring liquid into a tiny spoon or it will overflow. In general, measure over an extra catch-all bowl. If you spill stuff into your batter, you could ruin what’s already in there.

And tips for parents?
Have fun and set aside enough time. Make things together on the weekend when there’s no pressure.

*Tried and True: Forty-five kids tested the Everyday Kitchen recipes in their own homes-only those they loved to cook and eat made the final cut.

Photo: lostinbids/iStockphoto.com