In partnership with Pampered Chef.
My littlest cooks with me. At nearly two, he clings to the hem of my dress, begging to come “up” where he watches me in the kitchen, never missing a detail. The other day, I plopped him on the countertop, and we dutifully measured out cupfuls of yogurt, and spoonfuls of honey and vanilla before stirring it all together to make frozen yogurt bars - jeweled by fresh berries. Icy, cold and marvelous.
My oldest, now thirteen, cooks too. He started just like his brother: sitting on the countertop where he measured and stirred before he graduated to knife skills at four and the stovetop at six. Now, he makes full meals, though he’s a little heavy-handed with hot sauce.
In the kitchen, amid endless pots, pans and mixing bowls, he learned about fractions and how many teaspoons make a tablespoon. He learned the microbiology behind homemade sauerkraut and yogurt, the chemistry that makes cake rise and that emulsifies mayonnaise.
More than science and math, cooking taught him the virtue of delayed gratification; that is, if he wanted oatmeal in the morning, he needed to set it to soak the night before. If he wanted homemade root beer, he needed to patiently wait more than a week. Cooking also taught him to value pleasure and allowed him to pursue the creative joy of making something entirely his own.
Getting Kids into the Kitchen
Cooking is not only a vital life skill that gives children and adults a sense of pleasure and accomplishment, it is also a vector for experiential learning and for learning the real-life application of both math and science.
According to a recent survey by Pampered Chef, nearly three-quarters of parents want their children to learn cooking skills in school, but fewer than half of schools provide that instruction. Failing to teach culinary skills is a not only a missed opportunity to inspire them, it is also a missed opportunity to prepare them to lead competent and skilled lives. This fall, Pampered Chef has partnered with Big Green to bring cooking education to schools across the country in an effort to bridge that gap. Want to find out how you can help? Keep reading!
Making Frozen Yogurt Bars with Kids
These frozen yogurt bars are an easy first recipe for children (or any novice cook). Even the youngest children can pour yogurt in a bowl, stir in the honey or dot the bars with fresh berries. Older children can measure, too, and make the entire dish from start to finish with or
without your involvement. There’s flexibility within this recipe. It won’t suffer if you add a bit too much vanilla, or too little honey, and it’s fun for children to make the bars their own by decorating them with fruit, nuts and seeds.
Frozen Yogurt Bars
- Pour the yogurt, creme fraiche, vanilla, and finely grated lemon rind into a large mixing bowl. Stir the ingredients together until uniformly smooth. Spoon about two tablespoons yogurt into each of the rectangular molds of the Pampered Chef Snack Bar Maker.
- Drop finely chopped berries, nuts and seeds over the yogurt. Seal the snack bar maker with a lid, and gently transfer it to the freezer. Freeze the bars at least two hours, or until hardened and set. Turn the bars out of the mold, and serve them ice cold.
Give Back to Your Own Community
Pampered Chef partnered with Big Green, a nonprofit that provides learning gardens to underserved schools, to provide 150,000 kids in 500 schools with the equipment they need to start learning how to cook.
When you host a fundraiser:
You’ll earn money for local kids: Up to 15% of purchases will go to your local school, club, homeschool cooperative or scouting group of your choice to help buy much-needed supplies, equipment, instruments or other resources.
You’ll provide cooking education for local kids at the school of your choice by earning a Classroom Kitchen Kit equipped with mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, kid-friendly nylon knives, snack bar makers, other tools and even lesson plans.
You’ll provide cooking education for kids in need, because when the school or club of your choice earns a Classroom Kitchen Kit, Pampered Chef will also donate one to a Big Green school in need.
Beyond Frozen Yogurt Bars
Smooth, creamy and decidedly tart, you can do a lot more with yogurt than serve it for breakfast. Below are some of our favorite ideas.
Yogurt Panna Cotta with Roasted Strawberries is another dessert that, like Frozen Yogurt Bars, could pass for breakfast, too.
Yogurt and Spelt Crackers are wonderfully flaky and buttery and worth the time and effort to cook from scratch.
Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites are easy to make and fun to pop out of the freezer for a treat on hot summer days