HOUSTON – Do you feel like you’ve tried absolutely everything to keep the kids entertained?
What about bonding with them by cooking in the kitchen?
We’re sharing a kid-approved recipe your little ones will love to help cook and eat.
“From the time he was a baby I would literally prop him up in the kitchen when I was cooking, so he saw me from the beginning in the kitchen. So as soon as he was probably 18 months old, I got this little stand that has rails all around it, so I would just have him do simple things, even just playing with the oatmeal or the flour to get interested in it. From the point on the older he’s gotten he’s wanted to help me more and more.”
Leigh Ann explains the success she has found with her son Parks being involved in the kitchen, and that includes him not being afraid to try new foods.
“I find that most kids if they help make whatever is for dinner, breakfast or lunch, they are way more likely to eat it, because they helped make it. They touched the ingredients and it’s not foreign, and they knew the spinach was going to be in there, so they’re much more likely to eat it.”
Leigh Ann’s love for cooking began by helping her mother and grandmother in the kitchen as well. She hopes Parks continues to enjoy bonding time while cooking and eating.
“I love it, nothing makes me happier than having him in the kitchen with me. I hope that it continues as he gets older and I hope one day he loves being in the kitchen as much as me, because that’s where it all started for me, you know, being with my mom in the kitchen.”
So, Courtney had to get in on the action with her son AJ and try Leigh Ann’s kid-approved recipe. Check it out below:
GREEN MONSTER MINI “PIZZAS” (ON ENGLISH MUFFINS)
For the pesto:
- 1 Cup Baby Spinach
- 1 Cup Fresh Basil
- 1 Tsp. Pine Nuts (can omit for nut allergies)
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 1/8 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
(Can alternatively buy pesto from the store instead to make it easier)
For the pizza:
- 1/2 Cup Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
- 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil + 1 Tsp.
- 1/2 Tsp. Salt
- 1/8 Tsp. Black Pepper
- 4 English Muffins
- 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Frozen or Fresh Peas
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice tomatoes thin, and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tsp. of olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes until tomatoes caramelize slightly and release some of their liquid.
- Make pesto by combining spinach, basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper and blend until smooth.
- When tomatoes are done, slice english muffins in half and place onto a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes to toast slightly.
- Remove english muffins from the oven and top with pesto, shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 tbsp. per muffin) tomatoes.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted. Top with peas for the last 2 minutes of cooking.
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator and/or freezer for easy lunch box additions.
Leigh Ann’s passion is to share fresh family friendly recipes that are stress free, made from scratch, and are really delicious too! Her goal is to help you gain confidence in the kitchen and in feeding your family.
LEARN MORE ABOUT LEIGH ANN
- Leigh Ann Chatagnier grew up in Tennessee.
- She fell in love with a Cajun man and it changed her life’s path and led her to writing her first cookbook, ‘The Unexpected Cajun Kitchen’, where she combine’s her style of cooking with some of the recipes she fell in love with while living in Louisiana.
- She’s a mom to a beautiful little boy named Parks and knew she wanted to instill her passion for fresh and healthy food into him right from the start. This passion led to her writing her second cookbook, ‘Natural Baby and Toddler Treats’, which is a guide to feeding your kiddos recipes that will create healthy and adventurous eaters in the future.
- Her love of cooking came from being in the kitchen with her mom from an early age.
- She later fell in love with creating her own recipes as she moved away from home and started experimenting in her own kitchen.
- She created My Diary of Us because she wanted to share recipes with more people and help more at home cooks feel confident in the kitchen.
- My Diary of Us is the diary of her family through food as well as “your” family through food. It’s a place for us to share life and all of its moments, which happens to include some seriously yummy recipes!
- For her, there is nothing better than seeing people enjoy the food she creates. It truly brings so much joy to her heart.
For more delicious recipes keep up with Leigh Ann on Instagram.