Food

What Are Some Healthy Breakfasts, and Other Burning Questions

What Are Some Healthy Breakfasts, and Other Burning Questions

Healthy breakfasts, family dinners, how to cook a chicken that doesn’t taste like sawdust — today’s 2020 inaugural column addresses classic burning questions. Keep ’em coming everyone! Here are three Q&As…

What are breakfast options beyond eggs? Our daughter is allergic to eggs and dairy, which limits our breakfast options dramatically! — Marina

One of my great failings as a mother — right up there with the kids’ indifference to using a napkin — is that I’ve never successfully converted my children into egg lovers. How they are related to me, I have no idea. So, even though my situation isn’t exactly like yours, I’m always in search of non-egg healthy breakfast options. This is why I have a running list of them on my phone’s notes app, which you should feel free to crib and refer to when you’re wandering in the supermarket:
— Smoked wild salmon on Finn crisps (I like the original flavor)
— Banana “canoes,” i.e. almond butter spread on split banana, and studded with raisins.
— Plain coconut yogurt (So Delicious brand is my favorite — stick with plain which is the least sweet but still tastes like pudding) with fruit and/or granola
— Smoothie bowls (blend 1 chunked non-frozen banana; 1 cup frozen strawberries; ½ cup frozen mango chunks; ½ cup unsweetened almond milk; top artfully with sliced almonds, strawberries, coconut flakes, and a dollop of your favorite nut butter)
— Avocado toasts, of course! (my kids love it spread on thin sourdough toast and topped with Trader Joe’s “Everything Bagel” seasoning)
— Dates, split open, stuffed with almond butter and sprinkled with hemp seeds

This last idea is from Catherine McCord, who is ridiculously prolific at dreaming up creative smoothies for her three children, one of whom has a dairy allergy. She launched the Smoothie Project a few years ago (it’s now a book) and is a master at creating healthy superfood — boosted smoothies (all non-dairy or include non-dairy tweaks) with fun names like Pinkalicious and Pumpkin Pie. How good does that sound right now?

How do you cook chicken breast — making sure to get rid of all the pink, but not overcooking it? My preferred method is on the stovetop. — Sydni

I love a good 101 question — thank you, Sydni! Chicken breasts, particularly the boneless kind, get a bad rap and I know why — they’re lean and can go to the cardboard place fast if you’re not paying attention. But they can also be golden, juicy and delicious, the kind your kids will ask to pluck right out of the skillet with their fingers. There are a few ways to achieve this, but the most important is to avoid starting with breasts that resemble the shape of a ski mitten, all bulbous and thick. This makes it way more difficult to cook them evenly. (By the time you’ve cooked the thick middle, the less-thick perimeter will resemble rubber.) The easy solution: slice the breast in half horizontally so they’re half as thick. The slightly more fussy solution: place the breast in between wax paper and pound it hard and thin with the flat end of a meat tenderizer. (Bonus: Very therapeutic for releasing the day’s residual anger.) Season your thinner breasts with salt and pepper, then place those even cutlets into a hot pan with lots of oil, resisting the urge to lift and check its progress, which will prevent your desired browned crust. (Yes, you can buy thinner cutlets, but I find those are never as flavorful.) Slice into diagonal strips and toss into salads, quesadillas or rice bowls.

I’d like to know how people cook with their partners or kids. Not just what they make together, but the logistics (and, heck, emotions!). I’ve always wanted a family culture where we all pitch in at meal time, but the way it goes right now, my husband and I each take different days where we’re responsible for making dinner. — Michaela

In my mind, this is the whole reason for Sunday dinner — when you have time to lean into the ritual of family meal. From the beginning, my whole thing over at Dinner: A Love Story has been to point out how dinner can be so much more than the pile of pasta your family inhales in three and half minutes. You don’t need me to tell you that there is so much that goes into making dinner happen (and therefore so much that can be optimized for family bonding time) besides the actual cooking, including, but not limited to: choosing recipes and menus, shopping for food, prepping the food, figuring out the right music to play while you prep the food, setting the table, cleaning up. It can be stressful to check all those boxes for a regular old weeknight and your system sounds like a perfect way to address that, but on Sunday — SUNDAY! You can do all of those things with your partner and/or kids. Heck, you can even start on Saturday and make a weekend project of it. This has the effect of turning what is normally a chore into more of a family adventure, especially if you do your shopping at the farmer’s market which can feel like a trip to the circus if you have young kids and hype it enough. Plus, you can use Sunday as a chance to try recipes you wouldn’t normally try on a weeknight, keeping in mind that the one who usually discovers a good dish is the one who ends up “owning” it, i.e. cooking it, forevermore.

Great questions. Thanks, everyone! As always, feel free to comment with other burning questions.

P.S. More burning questions, and signature family dinners.

(Photo montage by Maud Passini.)

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  2. Annie says...

    I have a burning question! I never know what to serve with a Mexican entree at a dinner party. I like to make enchiladas or tacos as main dishes when friends come, but am always at a loss for a side dish! Salad just seems… weird?

    • Katie says...

      My go-to is beans, cilantro-lime rice, guac, pico, and chips :)

  3. Capucine says...

    On breakfast: Dinner for breakfast is where I landed when the dairy-egg-gluten free diet came to my family.

    I pick a carb, a protein, a fat, and add a salad (usually greens but maybe fruit). Breakfast is where prepping produce shines.

    Coconut milk chia pudding with toasted slivered almonds and bananas or berries.

    Potatoes cooked up with onions, tomatoes, and shredded chicken bits with baby spinach on the side.

    Tofu squished with your hands (kid joy!) and fried in olive oil, soy sauce, italian herbs, and garlic granules, served with ketchup and salad.

    Bannocks (baked patties of oat flour, butter, and water) with butter and honey, or butter, sardines rinsed in lemon and thin raw onion.

    Dense muffins of leftover oatmeal or quinoa mixed with GF flour, bananas, blueberries, ground flax.

    Bean soup with pesto spooned on top.

    Congee with shiitakes, green onions, sesame seeds, and bone broth.

    Frozen turkey sausage patties I made ahead are a good protein to turn to when you can’t think of one.

  4. I eat soup for breakfast. After discovering bissara, a simple fava bean soup, while traveling in Morocco, it has become my morning staple. I make a large batch (about 14-15 servings) and freeze it in glass pint jars. I enjoy it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a slice of dark rye toast. It’s very nourishing, warming, comforting and satisfying, easy to digest, and sustains me until lunchtime. In many countries, soup is a common morning meal yet one we often don’t consider in the U.S.

    • I want to add that I recognize kids may not like a bean soup, however, they may enjoy a soup like chicken noodle, which would be a yummy and nourishing way to start their day.

    • Robin says...

      I don’t often make it but I love a traditional Japanese breakfast – miso soup + rice + toppings (pickles, greens, tofu, etc) + green tea. Warm and satisfying. So good, WAY better than the oatmeal/toast/cereal/coffee we usually eat. And easily egg and dairy free! my kids love miso soup. Habits to get back into …

  5. Sara says...

    My recent favorite egg- and dairy-free breakfast is sweet potatoes! I roast a big batch on Sunday and reheat 1-2 halves (depending on size, which varies wildly) each morning throughout the week. Top with any nut or seed butter you like, cinnamon, chopped nuts and seeds, dried fruit, etc. Similar to the banana boat idea but I find the sweet potato keeps me full for longer than a banana does (more fiber maybe?). It’s also nice because it’s warm, which I appreciate on cold winter mornings!

  6. Naomi H says...

    We really love eating a chai baked oatmeal that no one knows has eggs in it and another easy breakfast for us is toasted buckwheat made with milk, raisins, and cinnamon. It has a better texture and is heartier than oatmeal.

  7. Diane C. says...

    I have a good question and an etiquette question, sort of related:
    I would love dinner ideas for when we have dinner time play dates with other families. Our default is ordering pizza because often it is a week night and pizza is fast and the kids will eat it. But I’m getting so tired of pizza! Any suggestions for quick/ simple meals for a crowd that will appeal to grown ups and kids?
    And then my etiquette question: I have a friend whose child is a very picky eater. What is my obligation food-wise when they are coming over for dinner? It isn’t an allergy thing- she just has a very limited palette. in the past the child always refuses dinner and ends up eating a bowl of Cheerios, and I end up feeling like a bad hostess.

    • Allison says...

      I follow someone on instagram who’s account is about helping picky eaters (mostly helping parents of picky eaters!) she said that she’ll serve to her own kids the regular family meal but provide one thing that the picky eater will like as well. maybe you could ask the parent what is the child’s favorite food and serve it as one of the side dishes?

    • RBC says...

      Spaghetti + meatballs plus a salad could be a good fill in, since it’s a crowd pleaser and you can make up the meatballs and sauce the night before. Another good one is tacos – a meal where everyone can choose what they like to add to theirs!

      As far as the picky eater – I have 4 children, 2 of whom are fairly picky. If I go to someone’s house for dinner (a rare invitation for a family of 6 😂), I would never expect the host to cater to my child’s pickiness. I will often offer to bring a contribution I know my kid will eat (veggie tray for example), feed them a pbnj on the way over, or take one to feed to them there. It is *definitely* not the host’s job to make another meal/dish/whatever for my picky kid!

    • Diana K. says...

      Make grilled cheese! You can make simple ones for the kids and use more grown-up cheeses and add-ons in the adult ones. A big bowl of pasta (kids love fun shapes, I find). I like to have sandwich parties where I get one of those long party subs from the deli. Also breakfast for dinner is always fun.

  8. Jess says...

    There are a lot of comments here, so my apologies if something similar has already been said, but I was just contemplating this the other day and realized the secret to our team cooking success.

    I do most of the cooking, but I love it when my partner and I cook together. Since I’m more confident in the kitchen and therefore more…um…let’s say opinionated (bossy), I usually take on the sous chef role so I don’t have a chance to hover over him and critique his dicing technique. I pull things out as I know he’ll need them, grate, measure, whatever, and then clean up behind him. We still get to hang out and listen to music and chat together, I’m there when he needs a little guidance, and no one gets hurt feelings about doing something “wrong.” And the cleaning up as we go prevents a huge dish pile when it’s all over.

  9. Christina says...

    I’m generally the cook in our family because I enjoy it, but my husband has a few dishes which are “his”. When we cook together we adopt more of a head chef/sous chef dynamic. So he’ll ask me if I need him to chop up broccoli, for example, and then he can take care of that while I’m cutting up chicken or monitoring 3 things on the stove. Or I’ll help prep vegetables or make sauce when he’s making pizza.

    Our daughter is 4.5yo and she loves to be involved with cooking with us (i’m hoping to parlay this into her cooking us dinner occasionally when she’s 11 or 12). But due to her age and time constraints, I can only let her do so much. On weeknights that could mean measuring rice into the rice cooker and washing the rice together. Or she’ll stand on a step stool and watch me cut veggies, and I’ll give her little tastes of the veg (thinly sliced zucchini is good for this). On weekends sometimes we might do some baking like muffins where she can help measure flour or sugar, and maybe stir the whisk a few times. As she gets older I’ll have to bring myself to get comfortable with the idea of her using knives and getting close to the stove, but we’re not there yet…

  10. Le says...

    Re: breakfast, Minimalist Baker’s peanut butter granola is so good, easy, and simple (I leave out the chocolate chips, and use brown sugar instead of maple syrup–and sometimes sprinkle on quinoa for crunch). With almond milk or on top of a dairy-free yogurt and with fruit, it’s healthy-ish, right?
    https://minimalistbaker.com/peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-granola/

  11. Le says...

    Re: cooking together, I have a toddler who wants to help cook (“My mix it!”). Weeknight dinner is a frantic mess, and it’s usually my husband or me throwing something together, and maybe she gets to sprinkle on some herbs, but breakfast. Breakfast!!! Breakfast on Saturday morning–we can mix pancake batter together, stir eggs, etc. If you think of cooking together as not necessarily a dinnertime-only option (it could be banana muffins on an afternoon one day), then possibilities open. :)

  12. Katie says...

    My son is allergic to eggs, too. We do oatmeal a lot, cooked with ground flax and topped with fruit and nut butter. (He LOVES peanut and almond butters, and usually wants “both.” I’ve found the best prices to be at Trader Joe’s.) We’ve been doing bircher muesli this week, which I love because I can make it ahead and it only gets better the longer it sits in the fridge. I got this version’s recipe from the Power Plates cookbook (a GEM of nutritious vegan recipes that don’t take too long), and found it listed online here:

    https://www.occasionallyeggs.com/apple-ginger-muesli-from-power-plates/

    • denise says...

      I make a batch of steel cut oats with almond milk, then reheat and add toppings. Super fast and delicious!

    • Katie says...

      Also, can’t believe I forgot this since we do it ALL the time. It feels like such a hack since my son thinks they are real cookies! I usually use these for snacks, but when we’re traveling, they’re great for breakfast:

      oatmeal “cookies” (basically baked oatmeal bites)

      Mix 1 c. oats, 2 ripe bananas, 1/3 c. peanut butter together. Bake at 350 for ~12- 15 minutes or until golden brown an holding together. (Feel free to mix in other things like coconut flakes, raisins, cinnamon, etc.)

  13. MK says...

    I’m hoping you can solve a household debate! After you’ve washed and used, say, half a bell pepper , and store it for a day, does it need to be washed again the next day?

    • Nancy says...

      According to my mother (who is a registered dietitian) you don’t want to wash peppers once they are cut open because peppers contain Vitamin C, which is water soluble. So if you wash the inside you end up washing away some of the vitamins. The skin of the pepper is different so you’re not washing away vitamins then.
      I, of course, have extrapolated this logic to all fruit and vegetables in my household.

    • Ana D says...

      For me, it depends on where I’m storing it. If it’s in a container in the fridge, don’t re-wash it. I’m not lubricating vegetables, I’m trying to get the dirt / grime / pesticides / other-people’s-hands germs off them. If they haven’t re-engaged with any of those substances, they still clean to me.

      If you store cut vegetables on a dirty counter, or hand them to your dog for safekeeping until the next day, then yes. I recommend re-washing.

    • Capucine says...

      If your half bell pepper is going to Starbucks and the library before it goes into your leftover-veggie frittata, tell it to wash it’s tiny hands before it hops on the cutting board.

  14. A.N. says...

    Yes, with 1 – it was eeeeasy peasy, and we did it frequently! With two that have a 3 year age difference, it’s definitely gotten harder!

  15. Bea says...

    I’m married of 17 years and we have one golden rule: we DON’T cook together.
    I’ts either me or him at the stove (+ the children if they want). We had so many heated discussions over how to trim the artichokes and what to put in the ragout that we just had to admit it was best this way. I know its ridiculous, but then, we’re italians, so maybe this explains it!

    • Megan says...

      Yes. I am constantly throwing everyone out of the cooking zone when I’m in the kitchen. You can stay and watch, but do not get in my way.

  16. Alice says...

    Breakfast ideas that are egg/ dairy free… bacon sandwiches, porridge made with non-dairy milk and topped with all sorts of fun stuff (I love peanut butter and blueberries!), peanut butter and banana on toast, beans on toast, or just simple cereal with non dairy milk!!

    In terms of cooking together… my boyfriend and I are both very very keen cooks. But we rarely actually cook TOGETHER. If I’m cooking, he’ll always ask “what can I do?”- and my answer just tends to be “stand there and chat to me and keep me company”. Physically, literally, cooking together is nice, but even that is lovely too.

  17. Jennifer says...

    Breakfast: Maybe ’cause I spent so much time hanging out in the Middle East, hummus/fresh tomatoes/fresh cukes/some bread (pita optional)/olives seems normal to me. Leftover anything–leftover pasta, leftover fish, leftover beet salad with goat cheese. Once you tell yourself that you are not limited by eggs and sweets, you can eat anything in the morning–the main variable is time. (See: Hummus. See: Leftovers.)

    Moist, flavorful chicken breasts–after you pound ’em, poach ’em in a flavorful liquid, stovetop or in oven. When I have leftover ratatouille (fresh, or from freezer), I like to bake (pounded) chicken breast in a soupy ratatouille–maybe my favorite. Use a meat thermometer and do not overcook.

    • Michelle says...

      We literally call this “Turkish breakfast” at our house and it is a favorite.

  18. Amy says...

    We’ve been trying to move away from sweet breakfasts, but with egg non-enthusiasts, it’s been tough! We tend to rely on batches of pancakes or waffles (so many vegan/hidden fruits or veggie recipes out there, like sprouted kitchen’s cocoa banana pancakes or sweet potato waffles), freeze them, and pop them in the toaster as needed. Ditto for muffins. Oatmeal, toast, and the occasional egg sandwich round out our mainstays. We’ve recently introduced what my WASP family growing up called “salmon and cream cheese bagels,” lox not being a term I learned until college 😳

  19. Jacki says...

    Breakfast Quinoa:
    **Bring to a boil: 1.5 c water & 1/4 c Quinoa
    **Cover, turn off heat, let sit 13 min
    **Stir in 1 tsp Psyillium husk (NOT powder)
    **Add desired toppings: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut, cinnamon, raisins, hemp seeds, etc.

    • Meg says...

      I make this regularly but I cook the quinoa in coconut cream or milk instead of water for a richer/creamier finished product. Also strawberries mixed in at the end are a delight!

  20. Sara B says...

    I am very thankful for my good metabolism holding up in high school because there were days I ate tater tots for lunch :)

  21. Avigail says...

    Any form of carb + protein (fruit or veg is a bonus!!) is a breakfast at my house! And that could mean whole wheat noodles with cheese!! As long as it’s variety for their day, I don’t really care. Cottage cheese, cucumbers and crackers. Toast with peanut butter or jam. Smoked salmon wraps. Oh wraps are a great breakfast too. With nut butter and fruit. TATER TOTS!! Tater tots are a good, warm filling breakfast. Almond milk yogurt with fruit and granola. Waffles, pancakes, with or without nutella, nut butters, fruit, cottage cheese, syrup, or butter or jam. Soooo basically yup, anything is breakfast for us!

    • Right up until a few years ago I would eat leftovers for breakfast! I’m dairy intolerant so while I can have a bit of dairy eating cereal is a no go for me as I would feel sick and even though there are other milk options out there, in my mind milk/yogurt = stomach ache and isn’t worth it. I am also not a huge fan of toast, so leftovers it was. We would get creative with the leftovers too so rice/pasta with grated cheese on top etc. I see nothing wrong with it and honestly as long as it’s relatively healthy and keeps you full until lunchtime it’s all good :)

      Nowadays I am all about eggs though! I go through stages of how I cook them which mixes things up – fried, scrambled – sometimes with baby spinach and mushrooms, toad in the hole style, boiled, made into a Mexican omelette with salsa and cheese…
      I think it helps having chickens and having fresh eggs everyday (as long as they are laying).

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      Haha I totally agree – anything is breakfast! When you think about it it’s an arbitrary distinction where mushrooms, bacon, bread all fine but carrots, chicken, noodles are weird…
      Sometimes I eat leftovers for breakfast – free yourself ;)

  22. Thea says...

    Grated apple with yogurt and nuts. Grate an apple on a box grater, mix with plain greek yogurt, top with nuts/seeds/dried fruit. There is something so satisfying about this mix of textures and flavors. I find it to be a highly enjoyable way to start the day!

  23. Stephanie says...

    All I can say is get the nutrition in them while you can. My 9th grade daughter is now having iced coffee for breakfast. That’s it. My 10th grade son at least eats Eggo waffles. It didn’t used to be this way…

    • Angela says...

      Cackling about this remembering the absolutely awful breakfasts I ate in high school, if I ate at all. I grew out of it and hopefully so will they!

    • Amanda says...

      I used to get a Diet Pepsi off the snack truck for breakfast in high school. I can’t believe I survived!

  24. Lena says...

    Holy moly! Smoked wild salmon, avocados, almond butter = expensive!! I think some of us may have a different grocery budget reality.

    • Nina says...

      YES

    • Avigail says...

      I agree but if those foods are an important part of your diet, there are more affordable ways to buy them! Almond butter at Trader Joe’s is the cheapest I have found and we don’t use tons, 1 jar a month. Smoked salmon at costco but that’s still expensive because we eat the 2 packages within 1-2 days. I can find avocados on sale for 49 cents each often! Still not cheap but cheapER.

    • isabelle says...

      I buy bags of five avocados for $2.99. And obviously peanut butter works too, but I’m guessing she suggested almond butter in case kids have allergies. Salmon is expensive per ounce but when I use it I don’t need much!

    • Sarah says...

      Check Aldi and SuperWalmart. You can get some of these items sooooo cheap there!!

  25. Jenny says...

    What are some ways you make meals for one special, on a weekday scale. I’m very pressed for time, but am trying to elevate my dining experience above hunching over something warm and Trying to get my crumbs to fall in the sink

    • Katie says...

      I ate well before I met and married my husband. Key for me while single and still in a household for two is prepping on Sundays. I cut and wash vegetables on Sunday so that I can throw together delicious meals during the week. Pastas, rice, quinoa, eggs and potatoes are a great conduit for all things. A sheet pan meal would be good too and you can adjust the portions. Or a stir fry.

      I also did a bit of meal planning so I could buy a package of something and turn it into different things. I don’t like to waste.

    • Ari says...

      Have just a few super simple, quick meals you make regularly but that feel a little elevated. (For me, that usually means something like a piece of salmon + carb + veg. It’s a 15 min meal max, but there are mannnyyy days when it’s pasta with a good jarred sauce. Just plate the pasta a little fancy.) Pour your drink into a wine glass instead of a regular glass, even if its just water with lemon. And sit down when eating, maybe light a candle, cloth napkins do wonders. These are just a few things that worked for me! But also, just luxuriating in the fact that I am alone and have no one to feed or care for but myself and that dinner is entirely about myself. That’s the truly special part.

  26. Laura says...

    Is anyone else obsessed with “Killing Eve”? I laughed out loud last night at the amazing line delivered perfectly by the amazing Fiona Shaw: “I can’t stand breakfast. It’s just constant eggs. Why? Who decided?”. I was reminded of this when I read Jenny’s intro and LOLed again.

  27. Julie says...

    Vegemite and avocado on good sourdough sprinkled with Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel. So delicious.

  28. Ann says...

    I am a trained pastry chef with two children and I am quite embarrassed it took me 10 years to figure this out….do your mise en place BEFORE inviting your little ones into the kitchen to help with the baking. It’s so simple and makes baking together FUN. It just means “everything in it’s place” – pre-measure everything out in a bunch of little bowls first. Then your little one gets to dump and whisk and mix everything together – their favorite part anyway! Before doing it this way I could never remember if I missed an ingredient as there were so many questions and distracting things happening with all those cute little hands in the kitchen :)

    • Le says...

      This is so simple but so brilliant. Thank you!

  29. Becky says...

    I do eat eggs every day just because it’s cheap and easy but when I travel or low on time eggs are a no go. Many times we have left over turkey bacon or chicken sausage from our weekends meals. They are just as awesome cold. If I’m really on my game I make and freeze a batch of muffins that are part gfree flour and part oat flour. Sometimes I hid zucchini or carrots on the batter. On top I’ll use BlackBerry jam or pb/ab. You can replace eggs in a muffin recipe with a Google search. There is also nothing wrong with a pb and j sandwich on some challah bread in the morning!

    • Becky says...

      Oh my gosh and homemade granola!! Different kinds of nuts with oats in a bowl of milk or yogurt so good!

  30. Michelle says...

    On how to cook together: When you are the helper, your job is to make things easier for the cook. Helper(s) can chop, grate, make salad, set the table, clean as you go. Don’t tell the person you are helping how your mom would do it. That’s not helping.

    It’s important to communicate so you aren’t stepping on each other’s toes. Ask “what can I do to help?” (and teach your kids to do this). Probably they will give you a job. If not, say, “would you like me to make the salad?” In time you will learn each other’s rhythms, and will know just what to do without being asked.

    • Sara B says...

      This is great advice! My kids (4,2) are super into helping so they add pinches of salt and pepper, squeeze lemon, stir, etc. When I’m making the main meal, my husband always makes rice or whatever carb. When he’s cooking, I always make the veggie. It just somehow works out like that.

    • Sarah says...

      My mantra to my daughters has always been “a good helper is a good LISTENER!” They now recite it back to me everytime I say it to them in the kitchen. It really stops them going off piste and trying to put cinnamon and sugar on everything or, you know, licking raw egg whites off the bench top. They love to help in the kitchen and actually I have started letting my eldest “cook” things occasionally too. I give her a small amount of flour and she adds things in that she wants to. I draw the line at expensive ingredients like eggs etc, but otherwise let her create something for me. It’s fun for her, and interesting to hear her descriptions of her creations! Plus it’s a good reminder for me let her just be a kid and have fun, and make a mess.

    • Michelle says...

      @sarah “a good helper is a good listener.” <— I love this.

  31. Sal says...

    My breakfast is off the scale boring, but it works.

    Every few days I’ll hardboil some eggs (they last in the fridge just fine for at least 3 days), and have one of those and a banana, and I’m good to go. It’s really quick and “natural”, as I’m trying to get away from processed foods these days. And to save even more time, I’ll eat it off a paper napkin, so no plates to wash!!

    As for chicken breasts, drizzle with oil, wrap in a foil tent, and cook 30 minutes at 200C (don’t know what that equates to in American), and they come out perfect every time. Fully cooked but still moist.

  32. Meredith says...

    Regarding when to know when your chicken is done – buy a meat thermometer! It really is one of the best under $20 investments I have ever made. I never have to cut into the meat, releasing the juices, and I am always confident that my meat is thoroughly cooked. Seriously, everyone should have a meat thermometer.

    • Mariana says...

      Yes! It’s a game changer! I have one that goes into the oven and beeps when it’s done. So easy!

  33. I think the best way to cook chicken is in the air fryer. It’s easy and quick! Also my SO and I take turns cooking – our kitchen is wayyyy too small to do otherwise – but if you’re the one cooking usually the other will help set the table and/or wash the dishes.

  34. Ellen says...

    I sautee a pound of defrosted ground turkey and a package of defrosted spinach together, and eat this mixture over steel-cut oats (which I cook in the Instant pot so that they are more chewy than creamy) for breakfast all week.

    • Jenny says...

      I’m absolutely stealing this idea. Brilliant!

  35. Michaela says...

    What a great answer to my question! We do love going to the farmer’s market on Sunday and I’m going to try this out!

    My favorite egg- and dairy-free healthy breakfast is Ezekiel toast with Trader Joe’s raw crunchy almond butter. I mix chia seeds into my jar when I bring it home from the store. I also like to top it with cocoa nibs. Served with a side of whatever fruit is in season!

  36. Heidi says...

    Best chicken breast ever, I learned from @parsleyandpepper on Instagram: Season with garlic powder salt and pepper. Put in a saute pan with olive oil and cook for 4-5 mins on one side an medium high heat. Then flip and cook for about 4 minutes. Then! The trick! Add about 1/4 cup of water and put the lid on the pan and lower the heat, continue to cook for about 7 minutes. The chicken is seared and then steams so it stays juicy every single time. It tastes like rotisserie chicken!

    • Emily M says...

      I’m going to try this tonight, thanks!

    • Heidi says...

      She has it saved as a story highlight on her Instagram if you need to see it in action! I think it’s called “Perfect Chicken” or something?

    • Erin says...

      Yes, adding liquid after the outside is cooked is the secret to non-rubbery stovetop chicken. You can also braise bone-in chicken pieces on top of the stove — bone-in chicken thighs are the easiest for this. Coat the outside of the chicken pieces with flour, brown the pieces in butter or olive oil for 5-6 minutes per side in a hot skillet, add liquid to come halfway up the chicken, cover and simmer for about half an hour, then check to see if the meat is done. “Liquid” can be plain water, or canned chicken broth, or either of the above with a bit of lemon juice/wine/mustard etc. etc. added for flavor … when the chicken is cooked through, take the pieces out, boil down the sauce till about half of it evaporates, and serve on mashed potatoes or rice. You can make 50 zillion variations of this (put veggies in the pan, add lentils in the cooking liquid, use fancy spices to coat the chicken, throw in a bay leaf, etc. etc.)

  37. Annie says...

    In light of the recent focus on sustainability, could you suggest milk substitutes besides almond milk? Almond milk production uses a tremendous amount of water. Oat milk and soy milk are two options that immediately come to mind. Thank you!

    • Carolyn says...

      This is my question, too! What are some alternative milks that taste good and are kind on the planet — brand, flavor, (un)sweetened, etc.? I need specifics! :)

    • Sara says...

      Carolyn-
      We’re big Oatly fans around here! I believe oatmilk is one of the most environmentally friendly alt-milks. We’ve tried other brands but Oatly has the best flavor and texture.

  38. Lila says...

    Other ideas for morning, we’re still into chia seed pudding for breakfast, even after the craze has ended. I just use canned coconut milk, chia seeds and a little bit of honey. Add fresh fruit on top. It keeps me going longer then oatmeal. We also do instant ramen (a healthy brand) and I add some veg or diced sausage, it takes 5 minutes and it’s NOODLES FOR BREAKFAST.

    • Kristie says...

      Yes to noodles for breakfast!!!! I also love leftovers for breakfast, like chilli on toast!

  39. Majq says...

    We, both kids and parents, have sandwiches for breakfast. Some kind of bread with butter and/or cheese. And smoothies (yoghurt + frozen berries in the mixer) for the kids as well. Are we the only ones here?! Have had for breakfast my whole life!

    • Mariana says...

      Me and my family eat bread with butter or cheese everyday! Latte for the adults and milk or yogurt for the kids. We’re portuguese and it’s pretty much the standard breakfast here.

    • Kiana says...

      I think this is cultural. I’m half middle eastern and half Spanish. I’ve always had bread with butter, cheese or jam for breakfast since I was a child. I can not eat meat or eggs for breakfast at all. I recently realized how much Americans eat eggs when I had my stepmother over (she’s American) and we ran out of eggs the second day she was here.

    • mado says...

      so funny the cultural differences! I am from the US but living in South America and we never ate eggs for breakfast growing up, but here it seems like everyone always eats eggs for breakfast!

    • Nath says...

      No you’re definitely not the only one! I’m Swiss and I’ve eaten slices of bread with butter and jam as breakfast my whole life. Never in the world would we have eaten eggs in the morning, nor any other of the suggested recipes really! Maybe cereals, but nothing savory. All these things sound like a brunch or even lunch to me, and so much effort!

    • Majq says...

      Must be a european thing then I guess! No one I know COOKS food for breakfast… just a sandwich and, like cereal, for us thanks:) So much easier (and tastier, i think:))

  40. Jenna says...

    I love the question about cooking with family. This is a place that i epic-ally fail. I am a pretty proficient cook and can manage multiple dishes at once, but add one person to the mix and i lose it! I don’t know why but it stresses me right other. I really want to teach my kids to cook but I am no fun! Otherwise, I am a really fun mom – Finger painting? sure! Rolling in the mud? Yes! Flour split on the counter and i die inside. haha.

    • Silvia says...

      That is me!! Thanks for putting into words what I have been time feeling. I have improved, tho. I started by getting our of the way and letting my husband take the lead…

  41. Rae says...

    I just want to add to the chicken breast answer that if you take it off the heat (oven, grill or stovetop) when it’s still slightly pink and cover it in tin foil right away, the residual heat cooks it without drying it out. Works great for salmon too!

    • D Tiz says...

      Oatmeal every morning! I have a hard enough time coming up with different things for lunch and dinner. I can’t think that early to try out a recipe. Currently my oatmeal mixture is instant oats, raisins, almond flour/meal, lots of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Occasionally, riced cauliflower. Add some water. Cook in microwave for 2:22. Top with almond butter and soy milk. X2 for my toddler.

  42. Laura says...

    My husband and I both enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. When we cook together, we have kind of an unspoken rule: Whoever chose the recipe or had the idea to make a specific dish/meal is usually “Chef” and (kindly!) asks the other (“Sous Chef”) to help with specific tasks. These roles flip flop depending on the day/dish but it helps us avoid standing over the same recipe debating cooking techniques/recipe adaptations.

  43. dana says...

    Oatmeal cooked on the stove (with milk, never water) is one of my favorite meals. Probably because it reminds me of my dad taking the time to out of his morning to make it for me, but also because it’s pretty tasty.

    • agnes says...

      I love it! thank you for reminding me! I usually add vanilla and a bit of honey, perfect for the winter…

  44. Rachel says...

    For Michaela: cooking together is definitely a skill! On the emotions side of things, I’ve really had to embrace the idea that cooking can either be about perfect food or enjoying time with them, but I have to choose one and let the other one go. So even if you do end up with rubber (but edible) chicken, as long as you enjoyed time with your family, it’s okay. If you and your partner tend to divide up dinner nights, you could pick one kid to have “parent time” while they help with cooking, if that seems easier than getting everyone in there at the same time. If your kids are young, make sure you have a stool so they can reach the counter/stove/sink comfortably. At the beginning, just work side-by-side with them, washing and cutting together, stirring the pot together. Encourage them to ask questions as you go, or point out the signs they can see (onions softening, water boiling, sauce simmering) and feel (touching raw chicken is a great way to teach the difference between raw and cooked). This is also a great way to throw in the safety stuff of being careful with knives, cross-contamination, beware of fire. And if at first, they only last five minutes before they vanish to do something else, that’s okay too. As they get more confident, they can complete tasks on their own too. If you have readers, you can also have them help read recipes, or find a recipe video online (there are lots of young cooks on YouTube they can follow) that they can watch and help direct you as you cook together.

  45. katie says...

    My 5 year old has been doing banana slices with peanut butter every morning since solids, basically. Yes, I may put a mini chocolate chip on top of each. Or two. (He was terribly skinny, so anything to entice eating is a win in my book.) Glass of milk, and we’re good! Sometimes I do a handful of cereal in the center. I was raised on non-sugar cereals, so anything else feels indulgent.

  46. Cara M says...

    My partner and I love to cook and focus our efforts on entrees – but the side dish (if any, especially beyond a salad) is always an after thought. What are some uncomplicated side dishes that are easy to put together and toddler-friendly (our toddler really just eats what we eat)?

    • Sara says...

      Cara, it sounds boring, but we pretty regularly just roast a vegetable for our side. Even when our main is a vegetable-base main, or a salad. My kid’s favorites include roasted broccoli, roasted carrots, roasted cauliflower, and roasted brussels!
      And my son is insane for couscous, so that’s a popular (and super-fast) side as well!

    • Sara B says...

      We eat a lot of broccoli, but sometimes arugula and tomato salad or cucumber-avocado-tomato salad. In the summer, we have fresh grilled corn almost every day

  47. Awads says...

    I have recently fallen in love with cottage cheese. For years, i’ve eaten yogurt/granola/fruit for breakfast every single weekday. But now i’m tossing in cottage cheese with fruit a few days a week, too. I love the tangy/salty taste, and it’s a good source of protein. Give it a try!

  48. Meghan says...

    For breakfast I looooooooooove baked oatmeal. I make one 9×9 pan on Sunday, I reheat and add a little bit of Greek yogurt and berries to it each day, and it lasts me all week. Budget Bytes has a whole bunch of flavors that I rotate frequently, though my absolute favorite is the sweet potato one.

    https://www.budgetbytes.com/sweet-potato-casserole-baked-oatmeal/

  49. Amanda W. says...

    As others have mentioned, our go-to is steel-cut oats, but in the crockpot. Lightly oil your crockpot/slow cooker, add 1 cup of steel-cut oats, and 5 cups of water. Set it on Low, and then give it a good stir the next morning. That’s it!

  50. alison says...

    I don’t understand how the myth of the smoothie and smoothie bowl still exist! its just sugar! Maybe it’s because I’m a type 1 diabetic and I’m clued in to carbs like a crazy person – but a smoothie bowl could be the carb (read: sugar) equivalent of like 2 bagels.

    I get it if you have dietary restrictions that keep your breakfast options limited — and honestly, carbs are not a bad thing! we need them! don’t even get me started on Keto! ha! but touting these as a healthy alternative… “that aint it.”

    • Rae says...

      Alison, you’ve answered your own question in your second sentence. Of course a smoothie bowl as described is “healthy” though perhaps not for you. It is filled with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and nutrients from the variety of whole fruit. It has fats and more fiber from the nuts. These are all things growing bodies need. Might it be sugar/ carb overload for some? Of course. But while we are at it – your comparison bagel also has nutritional value along with those carbs. Categorizing individual foods as healthy vs. unhealthy rather than looking at a whole diet and the person eating it is a slippery slope.

    • AE says...

      Not a helpful way to think of food. Carbs are but a single factor when considering food choices for pretty much anyone not diabetic. The fruit and veg in those smoothie bowls are of tremendous nutritional value and in most cases, if the fruit is ripe, no additional sweetener is needed. High carb count doesn’t make something nutritionally void just like low carb count doesn’t make it nutritional gold.

    • alison says...

      Rae and Ae – Both of your comments are totally valid. And I agree with you both! There are so few comment threads on the web as civilized as Cup of Jo’s! :)

  51. Leda says...

    My trick to incorporating my 5 year old into weeknight cooking is starting by making a drink! I think talking about the recipes and techniques sometimes, providing real tools, and being okay with the occasional cut or burn helps too. I sometimes will scan the recipe to think of the maximum of tasks that I can give to her. Some easy things include cracking eggs, getting ingredients from the fridge, melting butter in a pan, stirring, etc. The more she practices, the better she is. In the past year, she’s provided meaningful help and assistance, making sure we get things done in time.

  52. Christa Gessaman says...

    Baked oatmeal the night before — SO GOOD and can sub non-dairy alternatives! Can also do the smoothie idea and freeze in muffin tins, so you can eat it to go if your kids are smaller and can’t finish a whole smoothie… it’s like eating popsicles for breakfast!

  53. Lauren E. says...

    I grew up without eggs as a breakfast option (my mom just didn’t want to cook at 6AM when we had to get up for school) so we ate a lot of cereal. I still eat it (Special K Protein, Total, etc) as a quick breakfast if I have nothing else in the house.

  54. Katie says...

    Love the breakfast idea, and I thought I’d chime in with another dairy-free, egg-free one: Apple Steel-Cut Oatmeal (https://cookieandkate.com/apple-steel-cut-oatmeal-recipe/). I’ve been making this very simple recipe non-stop since apple-picking season, and it makes a batch that can last a few days. We top it with hemp seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, toasted pecans, chopped apples, blueberries, and a dollop of almond butter. It wouldn’t hurt to do a dash of maple syrup. My 3.5 year old loves it and helps with the toppings every morning!

  55. kath says...

    can you do a post on make-ahead lunches? sandwiches made the night before are soggy by lunchtime. but, i need a way to speed up my morning and get out the door for drop off and then work.

    • Laura says...

      I automatically portion out a lunch from whatever dinner we’re having and put that in the fridge even before we eat. Or I’ll cook a giant batch of soup, stew or chili on Sunday and put it in meal sized containers in the fridge. Another of my favorite make-aheads is the salad jar! dressing at the bottom of a mason jar, then heartier toppings like meat, beans, cheese, broccoli, cukes, onion, peppers, tomatoes, etc- then fill the rest of the jar with lettuce of your choosing and throw on the lid. Then shake it and pour onto a plate or bowl at work- that way the lettuce never gets soggy!

    • Julie says...

      Quinoa bowls! easy to make on Sundays for the week. Quinoa + roasted veggies, put the veggies to roast in the oven for 30 and put the quinoa on the stove for 20. Put in tupperware for the week, add some feta cheese + lettuce, red vinegar + olive oil on the side (or keep a dressing at work). If you google there are tons of different variations.

      Or rice bowls, same concept. Like a Chipotle bowl to go.

      Or a pasta + veggies, again same concept. I’ve been enjoying penne noodles + ground sausage + spinach + parm + cherry tomatoes. Or spaghetti + asaragus + peas + parm + pepper. Also, if you’re GF there are some great options out there.

      Charcuterie board for lunch! Pack up crackers, cheese slices, sandwich meat, almonds. Add some easy to eat veggies like sliced peppers and carrots (hummus dip or ranch dip), sliced apples + almond butter. It’s a fun lunch, easy make ahead, and you feel fancy at work!

    • Sabrina says...

      My sandwich hack is to pack/pre-make the pieces and assemble when I’m ready to eat. Meat, lettuce, pickle, onion, etc in a container (or a few) and then the bread and condiments separate!

    • Sara says...

      My lunch making changed when I bought one of those compartmentalized reusable lunch tupperware things. I basically make adult lunchables, with a little cheese, sometimes a little meat, some nuts, some sliced veggies, maybe a dollop of hummus? I never seem to get tired of snack lunch!

    • Caitlin says...

      I sometimes make PBJs from a whole loaf of bread, individually wrap them, and freeze them. They defrost perfectly in a lunchbox, and will seem like you made them that morning.

  56. Allison says...

    How is oatmeal porridge not on that breakfast list? Nutritious, filling, cheap, fast. Top with whatever fruit or seeds or yogourt or … that you can dream up.

  57. Morgan says...

    Oatmeal for breakfast! I make a big pot of steel cut oats and change up the toppings with different fruit, etc. It’s comforting, filling and healthy.

  58. Love Jenny’s posts so much!! This is so fabulous too: “shopping at the farmer’s market… can feel like a trip to the circus if you have young kids and hype it enough” :) :) :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i loved that part, too!

  59. sijia says...

    I like these recipes for adults, but some of it feels wildly unrealistic for busy working parents to feed to kids (kids!!). Oatmeal with a spoonful of peanut butter, cereal with soy/nut/oat milk, cold meat cuts on toast with ketchup or mustard, toast with jam or marmalade or more peanut butter, maybe dairy free pancakes and waffles on weekends. Bacon and sausages. And you can also make porridges out of any grain if oatmeal gets boring — rice congee, barley, wheat bran.

    • E says...

      Hi Sijia, we make smoothies but freeze them like popsicles so that they’re an easy and quick option for busy mornings! A working parent approach to a smoothie bowl, if that’s helpful!

    • Ana D says...

      Your ideas are good too!

      I don’t experience it as unrealistic to peel a banana, cut it, spread stuff on it, and drop a couple nuts on top. Toast with avocado isn’t harder than toast with meat and spread on it. I doubt she’s smoking the salmon herself for salmon and crackers.

  60. Nina says...

    For Marina – I’m also dairy-free and often have eggs for lunch so skip them at breakfast. Good old-fashioned porridge can be made with water or a milk substitute – oats are quite creamy in themselves. Add some chopped fruit and maybe a few nuts or seeds and it’s a really quick, cheap, healthy breakfast. I don’t think you need a load of different options; don’t most people eat pretty much the same breakfast every day?! You can vary the fruit/nuts so it doesn’t get boring.

    • Karina says...

      I totally agree about eating the same breakfast every day and oatmeal made with almond milk is the best. Maybe leave the more adventurous options for the weekend.

  61. Lisa says...

    My baby can’t have dairy and makes it so I can’t either, so here are a few more breakfast options that we eat: cereal with unsweetened almond milk, oatmeal, smoked fish and fruit, and bagels with hummus.

  62. E says...

    I eat oatmeal (old fashioned or quick oats) cooked in the microwave in milk and/or water for breakfast for about 340 days a year. It’s easy, cheap and simple to take on the road if I’m eating out a bunch and want one meal to be less rich.

    • Emily says...

      Adding: I’ve always liked oatmeal, but I’ve never figured out how to have delicious oatmeal that I don’t cook on a stovetop and then eat in a bowl that I clean well before the oatmeal dries to concrete in my sink – until recently! Inspired by the disposable containers of instant oatmeal at Whole Foods, I made my own dry mix of instant + old fashioned oats in a to-go container. The mix has a little salt, some cinnamon, and brown sugar. I make a few at a time, then add boiling water on my way out the door, along with a handful of nuts or berries or granola. I know disposable stuff isn’t great for the environment, but it IS recyclable, and I’m actually eating breakfast consistently for the first time in my adult life! Here’s what I use: https://www.amazon.com/Juvale-Kraft-Paper-Containers-Ounces/dp/B07RNQN8VP/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=hot+food+container+lid+disposable&qid=1579119852&sr=8-8.

  63. Amy says...

    What are three recipes everyone should have in their repertoire?

    • Jess says...

      1. Something to serve to guests
      2. Something that consistently bring you comfort and joy
      3. Something you can have on the table in 5-10 minutes flat

    • Naomi says...

      Great question and in response to Jess (great list, btw):
      1. Cheese and meat board with olives and fancy crackers
      2. Pasta.
      3. The same answer as #1 – but the “everyday” version. We call it “bits-n-pieces” dinner. Open the fridge. Take out everything. Make a plate that has at least one veggie on it. Cucumber counts. Done. :)

      And speaking of bits n pieces dinner – it works for breakfast also (but more for a weekend). Open fridge, take out the milks and any yogurts. Slice bread. Slice any fruit in the house and put in cute bowls. And start grazing. I’m not big into cooking, but I do love food!

    • Abesha1 says...

      1, a lentil soup that you like.
      2, brownies.
      3, pancakes.

      That’s my list, anyway!

  64. InefromNorway says...

    On making finner with partner/family: our solution has been to assign different tasks, typically my partner takes care of the meat/fish while I make the salad and the kids set the table. Sometimes the kids help chop vegetables or stir something. The aim is to include them more and more the older they get (they are 5 & 7).

    • Elizabeth says...

      Yup that works! My mom did this with us. My siblings and I are in our thirties. Twice in the last few months, my parents have hostested dinner get together with family friends at their home. Both times guests (aka non family members) have asked how my mom get us to be so helpful in the kitchen? But she just always handed us tasks we could manage. The tasks scaled up as we aged. Now without asking if we’re over my brother will trim meat, my sister will start the salad, I’ll set the table. Or whatever we can see needs to be done. It’s just how its always been.

      It’s always interesting to learn the things you think of as “how everyone does it” are actually a taught skills/more unique to your family than you realize.

  65. celeste says...

    Yum!
    If your husband’s around in the evening to cook I’d just let it go. Only cooking 3/4 nights per week sounds HEAVENLY.

  66. jane says...

    I mean, I grew up with a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast every single day. It’s healthy and easy. A pat of butter and a pour of maple syrup and it was delicious. Also I was not given a choice lol so it was love it or go hungry. In hot summer you can do overnight oats. As I became a teen I often had yogurt instead but oatmeal was the standard.

    • Nina says...

      Exactly!

    • Oatmeal is a great idea! You can also make a baked oatmeal that you can just take a small portion of to reheat each morning.

    • Jess says...

      I was going to say the same! Oatmeal is so yummy, good for you, easy and quick. My kids have organic oats (so inexpensive from the bulk bin at the grocery store) with fresh fruit or raisins on top and it’s a hit.

    • KA says...

      Just discovered an excellent oatmeal combo and I want to shout it from the rooftops:
      steel cut oats (I do mine with water in the microwave or InstantPot–pot-in-pot method so it’s easy to take a scoop and reheat throughout the week)
      Top with a glug of non-dairy milk and a glug of maple syrup
      plus clementine pieces, pomegranate seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, pepitas.
      It is salty, sweet, filling magic!

    • kash says...

      yes! and you can bake a big tray of it too, and then just re-heat bits of baked oatmeal throughout the week if the stovetop stuff is too fiddly.

    • Lily says...

      Yes to oatmeal! I make a big batch of steel cut oats on the weekend (toast the oats first in a pot with a glob of salted butter), pour it into a square cake pan, let it firm up in the fridge, cut into cubes, freeze cubes on a cookie sheet, then transfer them into a freezer bag.

      When you want oatmeal, take out a cube or two, microwave in a bowl with your choice of milk and toppings–et voila! Steel cut oats in a fraction of the time.

    • Em says...

      hi oatmeal lovers,
      do any of you worry about round-up (the weed killer) in your oats? it’s something i saw in the news a lot a few years ago and am wondering if anyone found a brand that’s been found to be free of the chemical, or another solution. or should i just let this one go…
      not trying to rain on the parade, but have been wondering about this for a while.
      love, another oatmeal lover!

    • Kate says...

      Em, I eat oatmeal for breakfast every day and saw the same article about Roundup in oatmeal. It concerned me too! The article I read had a link to the results by brand (sorry I don’t have the link handy, but try googling it). Whole Foods generic oatmeal was one of the better brands (little to no contamination) so I started using that brand.

  67. A. N. says...

    i’m definitely not trying to rush my kiddos growing up, but as someone who LOVES cooking, i can’t wait until they are of the age where we can all cook together for sunday dinners! and yes, i know that really you can start them very, very young, but with a 4 year old and a newly turned 1 year old, it’s just not possible at this very moment. while the 4 year old can definitely help out, i can’t keep my eyes/hands off the 1 year old in the kitchen. but! i know the day will come, and i can’t wait for it :)

    • Kara says...

      I totally get this! However, I let my 2 year old daughter sit on the kitchen island or stand on a stool at the island with my older daughter(you could do high chair or booster next to counter) and eat crackers or scraps of veggies from dinner. It makes me feel like I am still spending time with them after a work day while still getting dinner made.

    • Emily says...

      My 2.5 year old loves “cooking” with us! Cooking, to her, is being a part of what we’re doing, so it can include standing on a stool to wash produce in the sink, bringing things to the table, or using her kid knife (supervised) to cut simple things. I definitely get that it’d be harder with two though! Maybe the 1 year old can snack or even play with some food nearby?

    • Heather says...

      My 4 year old son brings cars and little toys into the kitchen and plays on the floor while I cook. I love it.

    • Abesha1 says...

      I usually put my smaller kid up on my back in a carrier or wrap. Then they can see & hear, and maybe reach over to stir once while you hold a bowl.
      Also, an empty bowl with a spoon on the floor! They think they’re helping.