Kids in the Kitchen

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tostadas, Amalia Moreno-Damgaard, recipesDid you know that one of the best ways to encourage kids to eat healthier is to include them during meal preparation?

When my son was born, my priorities as a woman changed immediately. As a young mother and career woman, I was ready for my new role and when it came time to start feeding him real food, memories of my mother raising my younger brother came into mind. Instead of buying jarred foods, she puréed from vegetables and fruits to home-cooked meals. A good way to prepare young taste buds for later.

In a culture where farmers market shopping is almost a daily routine, crafting food for all meal times is common practice. Today’s artisan dishes were meals made at home then, so it is no surprise that I grew up enjoying and making my food at home along with my own family.  We build stronger bonds in the process.

One of the best ways to spend quality time with the family is to involve them in the kitchen. From the very beginning, I fed my son what the adults ate. The notion of preparing a separate meal for him never crossed my mind because of my upbringing. My son had a plastic serrated knife and his own cutting board as a child and as he grew older and matured, he earned the right to own a junior chef knife.

The rewards today of our time cooking are manifold, from his ability to recognize ingredients and follow and execute a recipe, to recognizing what is and is not good for good health. As a teenager, I trust my son to shop on my behalf when I give him a short list. This helps me so much when our schedules are hectic and I don’t have time to stop at the grocery store. I am confident that his exposure to the kitchen in his early years will benefit him when he goes to college and beyond!  These are kitchen lessons for life

It never is too late to start!

Here is a recipe perfect for kids and adults. It is easy, healthy and delicious!

TOSTADAS A LA AMALIA

Recipe by Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard (AmaliaLLC.com)

Serves 2

4-6 corn tortillas, baked in a toaster oven until crispy (about 3-5 minutes, keeping a close eye as they can burn easily)

The pulp of one avocado
The juice of ½ lime + salt to taste

2 Roma tomatoes
½ yellow onion roughly chopped
½ tsp minced garlic
¼ cup water
A pinch of oregano and a pinch of thyme
Salt to taste