One of the most important things I want to instill in Andrew is the joy for cooking. Obviously I’m not going to force it on him but I try and encourage him to be in the kitchen as often as I am. And I’m in the kitchen, a lot.
I remember being a child and my mom pushing me to be in the kitchen and I always put the brakes on. Now that I’m older, wiser and have a family to care for, I see how crucial it is to get your kid in the kitchen. By doing so I hope he can grow an appreciation and respect for food, cooking and spending quality family time.
And this is a big BUT.
Andrew is a three year old and has a mind of his own. There are times that he cooperates and times that he doesn’t. Quite honestly, sometimes it feels like the times that he does not cooperate are greater than those in which he does. Which I’m okay with, because he is only three years old and sometimes playing with cars sound much more fun than helping mom cook (and sometimes not cleaning up after a messy toddler is easier). I get it.
But this Mama needs different ways of approaching the idea of getting him in the kitchen and most importantly, keeping him entertained in the kitchen.
I don’t know about your three year old but mine is in the “I do it” stage. “Mama, I can do it,” as we screw the toothpaste lid off. “I can do that,” as I dump a teaspoon of vanilla into the waffles we’re making. He can do everything apparently — well, except for putting that particular car away that I asked him to. 😉
So, what better way to keep him entertained in the kitchen and support his “I can do it” phase than with his own set of kitchen tools?
We are a family that enjoys the occasional sweet treat — there is no doubt about that. Since it’s summertime I like to keep the sweet treats light like these fresh berry mini pound cake trifles instead of heavy, like a decadent brownie. Wait, who am I kidding? I love brownies any time of the year but you get what I mean, right?
I wanted a sweet treat that was light enough for a hot summer day yet easy enough for Andrew to participate in. So, I did what almost everyone does in this situation and look to Pinterest for inspiration. Oh, my trusty Pinterest. Always there to save the day– and make me hungry.
Since I have certain new dietary rules I need to abide by with Andrew, I had to make sure whatever we picked would be kosher with his restricted diet. I found fruit kabobs and thought that was a great idea! What kid doesn’t like to put things together and then take it apart to dip into a condiment? Andrew can’t have strawberries right now so I decided on a mixture of watermelon, blueberries, homemade marshmallows and banana.
This was perfect timing too because we received a gift in the mail from Curious Chef. It was a fruit and veggie prep kit that consisted of a spatula, knife, melon baller, veggie peeler, and scrub brush. Andrew was super excited to not only get a mysterious box in the mail but that it was especially for him.
It was really fun when we actually got to use the new tools and put the kabobs together. Scott, Grandma and I had to guide Andrew along the way but he did a great job at making watermelon balls and cutting the marshmallows into squares. Actually, once he got the hang of the watermelon balls he didn’t want to stop. He thought it was so neat that they ended up being little balls. He enjoyed cutting the banana as well and putting the blueberries on the skewer (and of course taking them off and dipping them into the coconut cream fruit dip).
However I think his favorite part was dipping the spatula in the coconut cream fruit dip, licking it off and then dipping it back again. That’s kosher, right? Eh, double dipping, shmuble dipping.
The great thing about this recipe is you can switch up the ingredients however you like — versatility is so awesome when you have kids because one day they love one fruit and the next they don’t. Tricky little boogers.
One thing is for certain though, any kid would love the coconut cream fruit dip. It’s made with only three ingredients; coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla. The coconut cream has a hint of sweetness to it which makes the perfect addition to a juicy blueberry or homemade marshmallow. The only thing I would suggest is not keeping the coconut cream outside in the heat for long because it slowly starts to lose it’s firmness.
- hand mixer for coconut cream (where to buy)
- Curious Chef 6 piece fruit and veggie prep kit (where to buy)
- kabob sticks
- ¼ watermelon
- homemade marshmallows (recipe here)
- 1 pint organic blueberries
- Prepare fruit; use melon baller on watermelon, cut marshmallows into squares
- Place coconut milk in the refrigerator the night before or the freezer a few hours before prepping; once chilled, skim the thick cream part from the top
- Add maple syrup and vanilla; mix on high with hand mixer until fluffy
- Use as a dip for fruit kabobs
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Curious Chef. However, the photos and opinions expressed are completely my own and always will be.