(Family Features) As an important life skill, learning to cook and becoming familiar with kitchen basics can be an exciting adventure for kids from toddlers to teens. Using a delicious childhood favorite like popcorn as the key ingredient at the center of your lessons can spur interest and enthusiasm.
Along with understanding measurements and safety, teaching your children how to make simple recipes also offers opportunities to bond and make memories that can last a lifetime. Popcorn is a snack food associated with good times and it’s versatile enough to encourage creativity.
While it’s important to start with easy techniques that introduce future chefs to the culinary world, it’s also helpful to ensure they’ll enjoy eating their first creations so they’ll be eager for more time in the kitchen.
As a whole grain that’s 100% unprocessed with no additional additives, hidden ingredients or GMOs, air-popped popcorn has only 30 calories per cup and offers a whole grain that provides energy-producing complex carbohydrates. Because whole grains are important sources of nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, B vitamins and fiber, you can instill the values of nutritious snacking all while having some fun.
These simple yet delicious recipes and tips can help you get your kids involved in the kitchen.
Making learning fun is an important introduction to the world of cooking. Starting with a versatile base ingredient like popcorn that’s naturally low in fat and calories, encourage your child to get creative with a recipe like Pop-a-rific Popcorn Balls. With simple variations like adding food coloring or mixing in candies, nuts or dried fruit, it’s a colorful way for little ones to build confidence in their skills.
A key component to recipes of all difficulty levels, teaching measurements from teaspoons and tablespoons to cups, ounces and more is valuable knowledge. Start with the basics like these Simple Popcorn S’mores that call for popcorn and graham crackers to be measured out in cups so your child can focus on one unit of measurement. Then, if little ones are helping, have an adult melt the chocolate and drizzle for a family-favorite snack.
Learning how to create and explore is often productive (and fun) when children can get their hands dirty. Sweet ’n’ Salty Popcorn Pretzel Sticks are a perfect canvas for letting kiddos work directly with the ingredients as they can roll pretzels in peanut butter, add sprinkles to their heart’s content and press popcorn into their newfound favorite treat.
Whether you're entertaining guests, hosting a houseful of kids or simply enjoying a weekend at home, a DIY popcorn bar provides a tasty and joyful way for children and adults alike to create their own version of an afternoon snack. Just set out a few ingredients and watch the fun unfold.
Yield: 14 balls
Yield: 10 cups