Thursday, April 28, 2011

Week ONE: Recap!

Today was a wonderful start to the new session. I was amazed at how willing these little guys were to share and eat together. Someone dropped their cheese on the floor, and the other kids shared theirs immediately, how nice!
Taste Buddies is about trying new foods, smelling new smells, and enjoying the beautiful colors of the foods. Another important benefit of this class is the communal gathering and sharing time as we prepare and dine together around the table. It is a huge gift for me as a teacher to watch these kids not only learn to cook, but how to communicate and share with each other. I learn more from these kids than they learn from me!!

Making tacos is a great way to give kids a sense of independence and choice in their meal. We had the Taste Buddies students chop peppers and tomatoes, and then they chose from a variety of other toppings to create their perfect taco. We also added Morningstar Recipe Crumbles, which are actually veggies seasoned to look and taste like meat! Delicious! I have included a photo of our ingredients mixed together in a bowl. Taco salad is a great option, if you want to skip the tortilla. Or better yet, use the tortilla to create a funny food mask by cutting out holes for your eyes and mouth.

This is a great recipe because it mixes fresh fruits and vegetables. We practiced juicing limes while we made this recipe. You can make your own variation, by using whatever berries are in season! We sprinkled a pinch of salt on our salsa, but some people prefer a pinch of sugar. Try it both ways first, on spoonfuls of your salsa, to discover your favorite way!

We love talking about colors in Taste Buddies! We took vanilla pudding and dyed it two different colors, and then we topped it all off with vanilla wafers and bananas. Anytime you have food dye and kids (and not to mention pudding), you are in for a very messy, good time!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Week ONE: Tacos, Mango Salsa and Colorful Banana Pudding

Welcome to a new session of Taste Buddies, a cooking class for kids!
Each week you'll find our class recipes posted here.

  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) container of sour cream
  • 1 package of MorningStar Recipe Crumbles
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 package of tortillas
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  1. Sauté onions, canola oil, and green peppers on medium heat in a skillet.
  2. Cook MorningStar Recipe Crumbles according to package directions.
  3. Add cooked ingredients, chopped vegetables and toppings as desired to tortillas.

  • 1/4 cup chopped mango
  • 1/4 cup cucumber
  • 1/4 cup strawberries
  • 1/4 cup blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • Pinch of salt and sugar
  • Cilantro to taste
  • Tortilla chips
Combine first 7 ingredients, and enjoy with chips!

  • 1 package of instant vanilla pudding
  • Food dye
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup vanilla wafers
  1. Prepare pudding according to instructions on package.
  2. Split pudding into at least two separate bowls.
  3. Dye pudding with food coloring and layer into serving dishes.
  4. Slice bananas.
  5. Top each dish of pudding with bananas and vanilla wafers.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Obtaining Childcare

Some families are blessed with nearby relatives, clamoring for a chance to provide free and excellent childcare at a moments notice...
For the rest of us, finding a caregiver can be a real challenge!

THE SEARCH: There are lot of great websites, and local resources for finding the right caregiver for your family. A good place to start are the great reference lists compiled by for babysitters, daycare, nannies and night nurses.

INTERVIEWING: Once you've found some potential childcare providers, set up interviews and use this handy checklist of important questions to ask from "Parent-Babysitter Interview Checklist". Checking the references will be a breeze with this additional resource, "Checking Babysitters' References".

INTRODUCING: Congratulations, you found a caregiver! For frequent or long-term childcare providers, print this childcare contract and ask them to keep a daily record of your babies growth and activities with this activity tracker from

EVALUATING: For a good point-of-reference for evaluating your new caregiver, take a look at these articles from, "Signs of a Good Babysitter" and "Signs of a Bad Babysitter".

Heart of the Band by They Might Be Giants