Keep your kids in the kitchen the next time you cook

Try making this mango salsa. Provided
Try making this mango salsa.
Provided

Many parents’ intuition might be to shoo children out of the kitchen.

But the next time your kiddos are underfoot while you’re making dinner, consider tossing them a task.

Cooking with kids can be a great way to bond, create healthy habits and make something great for lunch.

Sally Sampson, who created “ChopChop,” a cooking magazine for families, suggests starting small: let them pick a vegetable at the farmer’s market to add to a salad, or throw veggies into a blender to create a smoothie. Kids can also create their own salad dressings.

One thing she cautions against? Inviting the help for dessert.

“Pretty much anybody’s going to say that they want to make cookies, and I think you don’t want that to be the focus,” she says.

Cooking works even with the littlest ones. “You can describe what you’re doing,” Sampson adds. “You can have them hand you carrots. No age is too young.”

And cooking can be much healthier – and cheaper – than parents might think.

Massachusetts program Cooking Matters aims to help low-income families make delicious, affordable meals.

Director Alicia McCabe advises asking children whether they ate different colors in the rainbow – for example, if they ate anything green – and making it a daily game.

“I think a lot of that is just getting parents to imagine a slightly different way of doing things,” she says.

One last tip? Don’t forget to include them in the cleanup.

Mango salsa, from Cooking Matters

Rinse mangoes, cucumber, green onions, jalapeño pepper, limes and bell pepper, if using. Peel mangoes. Cut mango flesh from the pits. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise. Remove seeds. If using bell pepper, cut in half lengthwise. Remove stems and seeds. Dice mangoes, cucumber and bell pepper, if using. Finely chop green onions. Cut jalapeño pepper in half lengthwise. Remove stems and seeds and dice. If using, rinse and chop cilantro. Cut limes in half. Squeeze juice from each half into a medium bowl. Discard seeds. Add mangoes, cucumber, green onions, jalapeño, salt and cayenne pepper to bowl with juice. If using, add bell pepper and cilantro. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Ingredients

2 large ripe mangoes
1 small cucumber
2 medium green onions
1 medium jalapeño pepper
2 medium limes
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Optional Ingredients
1 medium bell pepper
¼ cup fresh cilantro

Serves six, ½ cup per serving

Rainbow sandwich, from ChopChop

Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your kitchen gear and ingredients and put them on a clean counter. Start with whole-wheat bread and your favorite sliced cheese, then lay on the color.

1. Red: tomatoes, red peppers, radishes
2. Orange: carrot salad
3. Yellow: yellow bell peppers, hummus
4. Green: spinach, lettuce, pesto, fresh herbs, cukes, avocado, sliced green apple
5. Purple: cabbage slaw

Black bean hummus, by Ana Quincoces for IMUSA

In a molcajete or bowl crush the garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the chopped cilantro. Add the black beans and mash lightly with a fork. Add the prepared hummus and combine while making sure to incorporate the crushed garlic, and cilantro at the bottom of the molcajete or bowl. Add the paprika, cumin, salt, and white pepper. Mix well. Carefully fold in all but 1 tablespoon of the chopped tomato. Drizzle the top with olive oil and garnish with the remaining cilantro and tomato. Serve with plantain strips and blue corn chips.

Ingredients

1 cup store bought good quality hummus
½ cup cooked black beans
1 small ripe but firm plum tomato seeded and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of white pepper
A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Plantain strips and blue corn chips for serving

Spicy chicken, tangerine and shiitake stir fry, by Cat Cora

In a large skillet, heat the oils over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for four to five minutes or until lightly browned. Add broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, pepper and onion and cook an additional five minutes, stirring frequently. In a small bowl, combine broth, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and chili flakes. Add to chicken mixture and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium to medium-low and simmer for four to five minutes or until sauce thickens. Add in tangerines and cilantro, toss lightly and serve over hot brown or jasmine rice.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
1 package shiitake mushrooms
2 to 3 carrots, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed chili flakes (optional)
1 cup tangerine (or orange segments)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

Music

The Handsome Family on 'True Detective' Emmy and…

When asked to describe The Handsome Family’s latest album, Rennie Sparks channels Rust Cohle of “True Detective.” “A strange problem that humans have is that…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.