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Featured Website of the Month (June) - Cooking with Kids

Growing up, I loved to help my mom in the kitchen. She had a fun little alphabet cookbook for kids with pictures that we would make recipes from. Together we would make simple dinner foods, treats and cookies. My absolute favorite thing to make was my mom's delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Although we usually ate more dough than cookies, it was still fun to peer through the oven door, waiting with baited anticipation as the cookies baked. I wanted to eat the cookies as SOON as they came out of the oven, but my mom (wisely) made me wait. Burning your tongue on your favorite treat is not a good way to end a fun afternoon together!

My sweet tooth may be the reason I still love to bake today but sadly I have never enjoyed cooking. I think we often bake with kids because it is easier than cooking. With cooking, you have to constantly stir and/or time everything out perfectly so all your food is done at the appropriate time and doesn't burn. No wonder it gives me anxiety! I'm trying to help my kids learn the basics of cooking so they don't end up hating it like I do. One way I do this is by getting together once every couple of months with my sister and her kids to teach a cooking class. We have been going through a book called, "Kids Cook Real Food" by Katie Kimball. It teaches basic skills like dull and sharp knife skills, measuring, pouring, cracking eggs, browning meat and more. There are also videos that go along with the curriculum.

I recently discovered a website where two young sisters share their passion for cooking. This month’s website feature is different than websites that I normally focus on. Typically, I feature websites that help with academics or school success. This month, I thought it would be fun to explore a different subject: cooking! Spatulatta: Cooking for Kids is a website that encourages kids to cook and bake. How wonderful would it be for more children to get into the kitchen? How wonderful would it be for children to gain independence or learn teamwork in a kitchen setting? This website is a great resource for parents or teachers who want to implement cooking and baking skills into a child’s day. And summer is a great time to get started!

Spatulatta: Cooking for Kids features the Gerasole sisters, Isabella and Olivia. Together they tackle family-friendly, kid-approved recipes. The recipes are simple to follow, and instructions are accompanied with photos. There are even videos of the girls describing how to make the recipe. The videos are fun and lively, engaging for young people. This helps to cater to visual learners or children who can’t read yet.

The Gerasole sister were the youngest winners of the James Beard Foundation Award. They were awarded this because of their cooking webcasts on the website. The sisters have appeared on several talk shows and morning shows including the Today Show. The website says that “Isabella and Olivia inspire and motivate other kids to become chefs and have fun while making healthy meals and snacks”.

There is also a Spatulatta: Cooking for Kids cookbook, if you prefer to have a physical cookbook to look at. I personally prefer the website because of the videos that accompany the recipes. I love watching instructions because it helps to affirm that I am making them correctly.

The website is easy to navigate and finding recipes is quite simple. Across the top of the webpage, is a menu bar. In the menu bar, there is a ”Recipe Index” tab and a “Recipe categories” tab. The recipes are organized under different categories such as breakfast, fruit, lunch, and dessert. When you find a recipe that you would like to try, you will be led to the recipe page where you'll see a video of the girls making the recipe. There is also a copy of the recipe below to follow along with.

Some of the recipes that look especially tasty include the Harvest Soup recipe and the Opa Werner’s Kalbi Beef recipe. There’s a little something for everyone on Spatulatta. When you check out the website, let me know if you find any recipes that look amazing. I’d love to hear how to use this website to introduce your kids and students to baking or cooking.

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