Cooking with Your Kids and the Ben’s Beginner’s Contest

by Allison @ Alli 'n Son on February 1, 2012

It gives me such a thrill when the kiddo asks me, totally on a whim, if we can make something in the kitchen. Be it granola bars, Oreos, or whatever his favorite snack of the moment is, he almost always asks me if we can make it, rather than buying it.

I must be doing something right with this boy.

As often as I can I include him in what I’m making in the kitchen. He loves to help with cookies. Of course licking the batter is his and my favorite part {not that I ever let him lick the batter, raw eggs and all. yea. right}. He likes to mix and measure. Dump and stir. He loves to get his hands dirty, and then run to the bathroom to wash them off. He’s funny that way.

It’s one of my biggest hopes that by starting at an early age I’m instilling a love for cooking in my boys. A respect for food. And the desire to try new things. I hope that as they both grow they will become more involved with our every day meals. And just maybe they will get so good that I’ll only have to cook the occasional meal. I know, I know, wishful thinking, right?

While we do make our share of sweets and treats in our house, the majority of them are “donated” to friends and family, coworkers and neighbors. With our every day meals we tend to focus mainly on healthy foods, including lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains. We encourage the kiddo to at least try new foods that are on his plate, even if he determines that he doesn’t like them. It’s our hope that by instilling healthy eating habits, offering healthy snacks options and including the kiddo in our meal planning that he will learn how to prepare, eat and enjoy healthy foods. It has to start somewhere, right, so why not at home, at a young age.

Peanut Butter Apple Sandwiches

I actually wish that the kiddo was just a little bit older because of a fun contest that’s currently underway. Uncle Ben’s has just launched a national contest, the Ben’s Beginners cooking contest, which encourages kids ages 5-11 to get in the kitchen and cook. All you have to do is cook a rice-based meal with your kids, create a 2-3 minutes video and upload the video. Simple, right? By entering the contest your kid could win $20,000 and a $50,000 grant towards a cafeteria makeover for your child’s school. What school cafeteria couldn’t use a makeover? And, if all of that isn’t cool enough, the kids also have the chance to appear on The Rachael Ray show. Rachael Ray is one of my cooking idols. Oh how I’d love to be on her show. Uh, I mean for my son to be on her show. For more info on the contest, you can check out Ben’s Beginners on Facebook!

Sadly, the kiddo and I can’t enter the contest this year, since he is just shy of four years old. But, if you have kids ages 5-11, you should totally enter. Get in the kitchen, create some healthy meals which include rice and capture the funny moments along the way. You have until February 26th, so get cooking!

For more information about Uncle Ben’s visit them at, find Uncle Ben’s on Facebook or check out some recipe ideas

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored blog post for participating in the SocialMoms and Uncle Ben’s blogging program. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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