Cooking With Kids - by Adrienne Schroeder

December 13, 2013

Posted By: Shaunescy

It’s been too cold to keep running to the grocery store.  I’m shopping once a week.  Period.  No more quick trips to Heebs or the Co-op for “just a couple of things”.   It’s dark and cold at 5pm, forget it.    So I’ve been digging around in the back of my kitchen cupboards lately trying to figure out what to make.

No big surprise here but my kids often don’t want to eat what I eat for dinner.  I like spicy foods, they like bland foods.  I like veggies, I have to bribe and negotiate to get them to eat their vegetables voluntarily…

So instead of knocking myself out trying to make different things for everyone or putting my foot down and forcing us to all eat the same exact thing and making meal times an exhausting power struggle, I’ve started teaching my kids how to make their own food.  That’s what my mom did when I announced, at 14 years old, that I was going to be a vegetarian.  She had no intention of making me my own separate meals and as a result, I learned how to cook.  It taught me to be creative in the kitchen and make something good out of the ingredients we had on hand, which comes in handy when it’s -20 degrees outside and I’ve got to come up with another dinner idea…again!

My kids have always loved to help in the kitchen.  They love to drag a big chair over to the counter to stand on and help add ingredients to a bowl, stir them up, whatever.  (My son will even help me do the dishes.)

So here is our new family favorite.  Tacos!  Vegetarian tacos.  They can make them themselves, even my 3 year old.  Couldn’t be easier…

·      Open a can of black beans and rinse.  Then put about half the can onto a plate.

·      Cut up a tomato while the kids tear up some lettuce.

·      Add a little shredded cheese to the plate with some taco shells.

·      Done! My kids LOVE them.  It takes me about 2 minutes and then they do the rest.

They get some veggies and some good protein from the beans and cheese.   I put a few plates of it out at a slumber party and everyone thought it was so cool to make their own dinner.    You can also add rice, guacamole, anything else your kids would throw in a taco.  It’s perfect.


Adrienne is a freelance photographer and has a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Foundation and eCornell.  She sells her gluten and dairy free fare at the Bozeman Winter Farmer's Market.  You can check out her blog at

More from Montana Parent

Thank You to Our Sponsors