Canning with Kids!
Today is the Day! Food Revolution Day! As their website says: “Calling all kids, families and grown-ups – join our global day of action on Friday 16 May. Get cooking, share your love of food and inspire others to get excited too.”
I hope you start today (if you haven’t already) and continue sharing your love of food throughout the year with the kids in and around you!
For my last posting in this series, I’m sharing a joint venture with a baker-friend of mine. And ending with a few final thoughts on WHY preserving with kids is a good idea, now that you have the HOW’s and the WHAT’s in place!
A few years back, Baker Rebecca Wood took my Preserving Class. I didn’t know she was a baker, but when I found out we instantly planned a joint venture. We came up with making Rustic Plum Butter, and filled Whole Wheat Thumbprint Cookies with it.
Healthy for Kids (and all the rest of us) as the Plum Butter was made leaving the skins on (you’d never know that they’re there) and a very low amount of organic agave syrup –and nothing else!. And Rebecca’s cookie dough used whole wheat flour, organic sucanet sugar and almond butter – all better alternatives for healthy eating!
You can find everything about making both the Rustic Plum Butter and the Whole Wheat Thumbprint Cookies elsewhere on my website: Duet: Not-Your-Kids-PBJ. Rebecca has sinced moved to the Nashville Music scene with her family and I miss her inspiration here in Atlanta. But she’s sharing good loving & eating with friends there now. You can contact Rebecca at her website, Hearts in the Mix.
I hope now you are inspired to try a project with a kid or the kids in your life. And I want to close with some tips (Tips #1-5 are in Parts 1-3) and a few thoughts that perhaps give you the WHYs to doing this.
Tip #6: Keep It Simple – but Creative. Pick recipes your kids love and are easy to execute, especially for the younger ones. Let your teens get more complicated once they know the basics. Stay light on facts. This is not the time for a long lecture on sustainability. You’ll be amazed at what kids will pick up from you just from the showing and doing. Let kids design their jar label, how to embellish the jars. Young kids: pick the fruit combos (lots pair very well). Maybe the spices, with some guidance. Older? Free form – choosing the combos of fruit and spices! They’ll get sophisticated palates from trying a lot of taste combos (suggest they make small batches for wildly creative ideas!).
Tip #7: Ask a lot of Questions (of them)! You’ll be surprised what you learn back from them and about them. Like “Why do we make this since we can get it at the store” or “Is this ’cause the world is ending?” …Out of the mouths of babes…
Tip #8: Make everything accessible. Pull u[ stools to the counter or place everything on a low work surface like the kitchen table. Boil the water early and get the jars started sterilizing so kids don’t have a long wait.
Tip #10: Consider making it special. Kids like occasions. Is this a new annual tradition done every time the strawberries come in? Or a party-time or summer camp day at home with a few invited friends over? (Invite parents to have more hands-on help, too). How about homemade ice cream for a cookout or special treat made with their preserved jams or butters? It’s easy. You’ve already got the hard part done. (Think frozen yogurt or sorbets, maybe).
Is this their present for school year-end for their teachers or holiday-gifting for the grandparents, teachers, relatives, special friends. Or a Mom’s or Dad’s day present. Nothing better than kids gifting things made with their own hands. And then stand back and watch the look on their faces when they present them!
WHY? So kids learn where foods come from (not just the supermarket!) So they learn how to cook and prepare things and can be independent adults. So they learn the joy of doing something with their hands. So they learn about preserving instead of skipping a generation or too. Helps them move to living sustainable lifestyles. So they’ll learn about healthy eating (you don’t have to add tons of sugar to make tasty foods!). So they’ll come to see you as an adult who can share, teach them, someone to rely on!
Because it’s Fun!
Thanks, Jaime Oliver!
For giving us Food Revolution Day! For continuing to inspire kids and adults around the world.