Independence is something every good parent strives to instill in their children, but safety is always paramount. Preparing meals is an essential part of daily life. Not everyone will become an outstanding cook (or even wants to be), but being able to prepare a simple meal is great way to build independence skills. With a little forethought children of greatly varying age and skill levels can prepare a satisfying rice bowl meal. The one I have assembled her requires no stove top cooking, and knife use can be avoided as well.
I created this super simple recipe with my autistic daughter’s skills in mind. She loves watching in the kitchen and loves getting involved, but stove top cooking and sharp knives are not something she can handle at this point in her life. I started cooking at her age though, so it is time she started as well, just within her own comfort zone.
Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice quickly heats in the microwave, making it easy for young children to prepare a meal with minimal assistance, and older kids who aren’t quite ready to use the stove alone can prepare by themselves. Diced leftover or rotisserie chicken, baby spinach and shredded cheese, team with Ready Rice to make an easy kid-friendly meal in about 2-3 minutes.
All children need to do is place the chicken, spinach and Ready Rice in a bowl. Mix together.
Top with shredded cheese, and zap it in the microwave for about 60 seconds. When the cheese melts it’s done.
There is no measuring, and swapping out ingredients is a great way to keep this go-to easy meal exciting. Steamed or canned vegetables or salsa could readily be substituted for the fresh baby spinach if your children prefer.
Due to sensory issues related to her autism, my daughter actually doesn’t eat rice. She is more of a pasta or fries girl. So… the deal tonight was, I made her dinner (waffles, chicken fingers, raw carrot and a nectarine), and she learned how to make one for me. It was pretty tasty I must say.
Enter the Ben’s Beginners ™ Cooking Contest
Research has shown a correlation between cooking with your kids at an early age, and healthier eating habits as adults. To help encourage parents to share their cooking knowledge with their children, Epicurious and Uncle Ben’s have partnered to run a nationwide cooking video competition for kids. The Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest brings families together to cook a healthy rice based meal, and share it via video. This year’s contest only just started on the 13th, so you & your kids still have plenty of time to come up with a winning recipe. Pop over to the Uncle Ben’s Website for further information and official rules. Be sure to check out last year’s winners while you are at it.
Cooking with your children makes for a great beginning! Visit
www.unclebens.com and click on The Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest page to learn more!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Uncle Ben’s. The opinions and text are all mine.