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How Kids Can Help in the Kitchen and Learn Life Lessons Too!

Posted by on Nov 2, 2016 in Food And Dining, Parenting |

As a mom, I always seem to be in the kitchen. Some of my best childhood memories are of working in the kitchen with my family. My mom would have me help with cleanup, set the table, and combine ingredients. Those memories have continued as I have grown up and have my own household to feed.

Benefits of Helping in the Kitchen

child-doughCooking is a great way to teach kids lessons that will benefit them throughout their life. When you teach kids about cooking, they learn other skills such as; math, science, health, and proper nutrition. Along the way they will also pick up many lessons about what it takes to feed a family.

Kitchen Safety

There are many hazards in the kitchen, so it is important to go over food safety with your children starting from the moment they begin walking. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has compiled some very helpful tips that will keep your children safe while working in the kitchen.

Age Appropriate Tasks

 

A child can begin participating in the kitchen at an early age. Pre-school age children can help with basic prep tasks such as washing fruits and veggies and breaking them up into smaller pieces. Later, they can progress to tasks such as setting the table, cleanup, measuring, mixing, and eventually cooking.

You know your child better than anyone, so use your best judgement when you give your child a kitchen task. One child may be able to start baking at nine or ten years old, while other children may not be able to handle that task until they are in their teens.

Measure Ingredients

kitchen-scaleChildren can improve their math skills from measuring out ingredients while they cook. Pre-school age children can practice counting by handing you the number of ingredients you need. As your children age, progress from measuring spoons and teaching conversions to measuring cups which will help them with their fractions.

Mixing Ingredients

mixing-ingredientAnother great way for younger children to be involved in the kitchen is by mixing ingredients. Hand mixing can be attempted around 3 years old, although they will likely need some help. Gradually progress to manual hand mixing tools, and when your child is ready, you can introduce electric mixers, but be sure to go over mixer safety.

Have Patience

Startcooking.com recommends cooking with children when there are no time limits. You want to teach them how to perform tasks when you have the time and patience to do it effectively. Cooking should be a positive experience that encourages children to help and to be encouraged to try again later when they don’t succeed on the first attempt.

More Than Basic Skills

Kids can learn so much from helping out in the kitchen. It teaches them skills that will help them with their school work and gives them an appreciation of the work that goes into cooking their meals. They will learn responsibility and respect, as well as how to make healthy decisions and to try new things.

Date Night Restaurants in Toronto

Posted by on Nov 2, 2016 in Food And Dining |

If you are looking for a great Toronto restaurant, then there are some delightful ones that you must simply try. They each have their own unique twists, but they all serve outstanding food with impeccable service.

Boralia

Stepping into Boralia is like stepping back in time, although we are sure that the first settlers in Toronto never ate this well. The ambiance is perfect for a great conversation. Guests adore the wood-carved coyote, the bundled furs and the high-beam ceilings that help to further enhance the atmosphere. Each item on the menu is carefully researched by people holding history doctorates before the cooks give it their own unique twists. When dining on Boralia’s sharing menu, make sure to sample the braised stuffed onions that are filled with a buttery curried carrot whip, the pine-needle smoked mussels and the pigeon pie. This restaurant located on Ossington Avenue also offers an impressive wine and beer menu.

Byblos

You will feel like you left Toronto and went to the Eastern Mediterranean when you enter Byblos. Walk on Turkish carpets imported especially for this downtown Theater District restaurant and make sure to gaze at the many Turkish pots used for decoration. This restaurant has two floors with the top floor featuring an extensive cocktail menu. Diners choosing to stay downstairs find a family-friendly restaurant. You need to try the jeweled baked basmati rice that is seasoned with pomegranate seeds and barberries along with the Turkish Manti dumplings. Whatever you order, make sure to leave room for the great Byblos desert menu including Persian mousse topped with Persian cotton candy and flower petals.

Canoe

After you ride the elevator up to the 54th floor of the Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower, guests are treated to amazing views of Lake Ontario while dining at Canoe. The menu at this casual-elegant restaurant features regional selections from across Canada. Favorites at this restaurant that has been open for more than 20 years include the British Columbia salmon and the Owen Sound Pheasant. The Canoe chefs are always sourcing new options for their farm-to-table New American cuisine menu.

The Fifth Grill and Terrace

The Fifth Grill and Terrace is located in an old warehouse building in Toronto’s Entertainment District. Guests can choose to eat in the eclectic dining room or outside on the year-round terrace. The outdoor dining option at this restaurant was voted one of the best outdoor dining restaurants by the reviewers at Open Table. Diners are able to amazing views of the city’s skyline when choosing this option. Contemporary French cuisine highlights the menu The 30-day dry-aged rib-eye and the Newfoundland crab cakes are particularly outstanding. No trip to the Fifth Grill and Terrace would be complete without enjoying one of their marvelous sundaes.

With so many great dining options in Toronto, it is a good thing that we have a special date night once a month. The hardest part is deciding where we want to dine. We better hurry up and make up our minds, because it can be difficult to get a table at any of these Toronto restaurants.

Health Benefits Of Pineapple And Why I Started Serving Pineapple With Every Meal

Posted by on Nov 2, 2016 in Food And Dining, Health And Fitness |

As a mother of two who lives in Toronto, I love spending time in the kitchen coming up with new healthy recipes for my family. After recently discovering the health benefits of pineapple, I have started incorporating this delicious fruit into every meal that I serve. Whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner, my family enjoys healthy servings of pineapples each day.

The Perfect Healthy Fruit During The Winter and All Year Round

pineapples-373769_640The health benefits of pineapples have been known for hundreds of years. Although this fruit was not originally grown in the United States, it is now grown exclusively in Hawaii and a few foreign countries. As I have recently discovered, pineapple is not only delicious to eat it is also one of the healthiest fruits that you can buy at the supermarket. Packed with plenty of antioxidants and vitamin c pineapples offer tons of health benefits.

The Health Benefit of Eating Pineapples Daily

pineapple In addition to reducing inflammation and promoting digestion and eye health, pineapples also help boost the immune system as well. Although pineapples are perfect for the summer, I also serve them during the cold winter months when my children tend to get sick more often. As I have discovered, pineapples are not only packed with immune boosting ingredients and vitamins, they also help children get over colds and coughs faster.

Pineapples Are Packed With Vitamins and Nutrients

Pineapples are also rich in dietary fiber that everyone needs. To get the most out of them, they need to be completely ripe when prepared. Whether you serve them as a stack or as part of a meal, they make the perfect standalone treat because they are low in sugar content and also free of fat and cholesterol as well. What makes pineapple an extra special choice is that they can be served fresh or from a can. This fruit retains its health benefits no matter how they are served.

Pineapples as Snacks and in Salads

pineapple-saladSince they can be served fresh or from a can, they do not need much preparation. I can pop them in the refrigerator to chill them and serve them on their own or in a fruit salad with other wholesome fruits as well. Adding chunk size pieces of pineapple to my fruit salad guarantees that everyone in my family gets enough pineapple on a daily basis. In addition to fruit salad, pineapples can also be used to make healthy and delicious smoothies each day.

Serve Pineapple at Dinnertime For an Extra Special Meal

pineapple skewerAt dinnertime, pineapples are the perfect addition to any meal as well. Whether I cut chunk size pieces of pineapple and put them on a skewer to grill with vegetables or something else, pineapple makes dinnertime extra special each time. In addition to grilling with pineapple, I also add round slices of pineapple over other meals that I cook. In addition, I use pineapple to make a delicious sweet salsa that can be used to marinade vegetables or for stir frying as well.

With all the health benefits of pineapples, I always make it a point to pick up pineapples whenever I am at the grocery store. In addition to being extremely healthy, this fruit is absolutely delicious to eat. Whether I’m serving breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a snack, pineapples have become the perfect choice for my family all year round in Toronto.

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