Last night, our boys (5 & 3 year olds) wanted to make us dinner. They love broccoli cheddar soup so we looked up the ingredients like Panera and Subway… and made it our own. This is a super easy recipe made under 30 minutes and even kids can make it! You can watch the full video on my Instagram or Facebook of the boys making the soup.
Having kids help in the kitchen benefits them in many ways. They learn and practice some basic math concepts like counting, measurement, and fractions naturally unfold when navigating a recipe with kids. And the experience of creating meals with you can help build their self-confidence and lay the foundation for healthy eating habits. Many lessons can be taught to the kids while cooking. Explaining how food changes with temperature or how certain foods can help our body be healthier provide great lessons in science. While cooking with your child, practice new vocabulary as you describe how food looks, feels, and tastes. Following a recipe from start to finish helps build the skills for planning and completing projects.
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 2 onions (one yellow and one red)
- 2 cup shredded carrots
- 2 ½ cups broccoli florets, chopped small (recommend fresh not frozen)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup milk (we used almond, unsweetened)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Chop up the onions, shred the carrots, and chop up fresh broccoli.
- In a large pot over medium high heat, melt butter. Add onions, carrots and broccoli. Cook to soften about 7-10 minutes (may be more or less depending on the size vegetables you cut).
- Slowly add in broth, milk, and cream. Sprinkle with flour and add salt and pepper. Continue stirring and heating over medium heat until thickened. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Once thick, add cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Serve soup and enjoy!
We had so much fun making soup. The boys were very proud of themselves and are excited to make us dinner again.
Here are more fun reasons on why it is important for your child to help you in the kitchen. Teaching kids the importance of staying safe while cooking by showing them how to hold kitchen tools safely, how to use oven mitts to protect hands from heat, and how to turn appliances on and off safely. Always supervise children when cooking to ensure they are sticking with safe and age-appropriate tasks. The best way to keep cooking safe is to know your child’s abilities and his or her stage of development. A 3 year old child, for example, may not be ready to sauté vegetables over a hot pan, but may have the fine motor skills to rinse fruits or tear salad leaves.
Children feel more included in mealtime when they are asked to be a part of meal preparation. Collaborate with your kids when selecting recipes for main dishes or sides. Let them help you make the shopping list and find groceries in the store. Together you can decide what ingredients you should add to enhance the flavor. This will push them to be less picky eaters. Talk about how people enjoy different tastes, and share your preferences with each other. Letting children be “in charge” of details like how to set the table will help them feel invested in mealtime.
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