Inside: Cooking Around the World with Kids is an enjoyable activity for winter break or any time of the year. It’s a great way to bond, connect, learn, and have fun with your kids!
Do something amazing with your kids this winter and learn about other cultures through food. Not only will you inspire creativity and healthy eating, but you also will expand your cultural horizons, try diverse flavors, and bond over yummy food.
There are many advantages to involving kids in the kitchen from them being less picky eaters to them developing an increased sense of self-efficacy. For me, however, the main draw is the sense of comradeship and goodwill that reigns between us when we cook and eat together.
I know everyone is way too busy these days. That’s why a cooking challenge helps. It provides a bit of extra motivation. It also forces us to slow down by setting aside time to cook and make amazing memories together.
So what is this challenge about?
In this seven-day challenge, your kids (and you) will cook one recipe a day, practice kitchen skills (like measuring and cutting), and learn about new cultures (did you know that the word “soup” comes from French “soupe”?).
I found that we all had a better experience when I took ten minutes the night before to prepare. I went over the ingredient list, familiarizing myself with the recipe and the steps involved. Then I pulled together measuring cups and bowls. I also read about culinary traditions (you can do it by clicking the link next to each recipe below) so I could share them with my kids in a casual conversation the next day instead of trying to scramble between reading the recipe, the cultural notes, and supervising the cooking.
Delicious international food doesn’t have to be complicated. To make the cut, the recipes had to be easy to cook with kids. So no long ingredient lists and complicated maneuvers.
I was careful to select recipes with ingredients that wouldn’t require a trip to the exotic store on the other side of the town. In fact, every ingredient on the list can be easily found at any grocery store.
You are the best judge of your kids’ readiness to have fun in the kitchen. I did this challenge with my three oldest kids, six and up.
Day 1: Red beet salad (Russia). Salads have always played an important role in Russian cuisine. And no celebration is ever complete without a festive Red Beet Salad, called Vinaigrette. To learn more about Russian food, mealtime customs, and recipes click here.
Day 2: Apple squash soup (France). As I mentioned earlier, the English word “soup” comes from French “soupe,” which simply means dumping whatever you have on hand in a pot and cooking it with liquid. To learn about the fascinating history of French cuisine, click here.
Day 3: Angel cake (USA). American cuisine blends cooking traditions from various international cultures. Read more about American cuisine here. While the cake is in the oven, read some children’s books about cake (click here).
Day 5: Mexican frittata (Mexico) Did you form your opinion about Mexican food from your local takeout joint? Mexican food is actually very healthy! Corn, eggs, beans, and lean meats are all traditional staples. Read more about Mexican food tradition here.
Day 6: Iconic Australian chocolate crackles (Australia). Oy mate! Tell me what recipes represent the cuisine of Australia to you? Grubs and emu? Possible. Learn more about Australian food and food-related customs here.
Day 7: Healthy chicken potstickers (China). Do the Chinese really eat frogs, snakes, and dogs? Learn more about Chinese mealtime customs here. Note: we love these gluten-free wonton wrappers. (Disclaimer: this post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you buy a product through my link, I will get a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you!)
If you would like to print out the list of the ingredients for easy reference, click HERE for an instant PDF.
Despite the word “challenge” in the title of the post, this activity is super-fun and not difficult. The challenge comes from finding the motivation to shift gears and find the courage to slow down and cook together with your kids. I’m cheering you on!