“Eat your veggies.” Parents and caregivers of small kids know this refrain, or some version of it, well. We beg and we barter, we fret and we fuss. We all want our kids to eat a well-rounded diet — both for their health, and to inspire a lifelong appreciation of good food.
Here’s a secret: Inviting kids into the kitchen makes them much more likely to taste the same veggies they might otherwise turn their cute little noses up at come dinnertime. Children love to participate in the same activities they see their parents undertaking each day, and entrusting kids with the shared responsibility of cooking can be a wonderful learning and bonding experience.
Enter Le Petit Chef. At Opinel, we designed the first child’s chef knife to empower kids to cook alongside their parents. A bestseller, Le Petit Chef has been tested in thousands of homes across the world, and parents and kids alike rave about the knife, finger guard, and peeler. With adult supervision, kids as young as five can peel carrots, chop cucumbers, and help prep for dinner and after school snacks. Le Petit Chef’s unique finger ring teaches the proper way to hold a knife, and an included finger guard keeps the littlest hands safe while cutting.
Looking for inspiration on where to start cooking with the kids in your life? Try our kid-tested and approved “Food Faces” activity. This flexible recipe can be adapted to a number of different ingredients, and gives kids license to literally play with their food.
The base: Use a tortilla, bagel, pita, or flatbread — or get creative! The spread: We like hummus or cream cheese for savory food faces, but you could also use peanut butter or a chocolate hazelnut spread with fruit.
The decorations: Go for color and variety. We like sprouts, cucumbers, carrots, green beans, peppers, and tomatoes, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand! We recommend choosing a few standbys you know your child already likes, and mixing in more novel ingredients to try along the way as you broaden your child’s palate.
Prep your ingredients: Include children in the process of preparation, enlisting your little sous chefs to peel carrots or chop cucumbers. For young chefs, use the Le Petit Chef finger guard to keep little hands safe. Arrange your veggies on a large platter or in several bowls and dishes.
Prepare your “face” for decoration: Use an Opinel spreading knife to cover your tortilla with hummus, cream cheese, or the spread of your choice. Encourage kids to cover the wrap with a thin, even layer of the spread.
Start decorating! Dive into your prepared ingredients, and use your “face” as the canvas for your decorations. Encourage kids to taste-test as they go, and to get creative with how they can reimagine veggies as elements on their food faces.
And finally: dig in!
Worried about food waste? Repurpose raw leftovers for crudités platters or salads, or sauté extra veggies for use in an omelette or other recipe later in the week. Leftover fruit can be turned into a fruit salad or portioned out for school lunches.
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