Last week everyone’s favourite Desperate Housewives star (the type you love to hate, which are really always the best), Eva Longoria stopped by on The Ellen Show to chat tequila, exercise, and getting kids in the kitchen. The last time we saw Eva Longoria on The Ellen Show she was still pregnant with her and husband José Bastón’s son, Santiago Enrique Bastón Longoria. Or simply Santi as his parents call him.
‘And Santi likes to cook, but he’s three years old? That seems dangerous,’ commented the show host in her perfectly dry humour. A picture of Santi with a rolling pin working on some tortillas, flashing a big grin pops up on the screen behind Eva Longoria and Ellen Degeneres – you can tell he really does like to cook!
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‘We cook all the time!’ exclaims Eva, ‘ but I’m really liberal in the kitchen, like I don’t care if he throws flour and breaks eggs…but I like it! I like that he likes to get in.’ Ellen comments on how he’ll probably end up being a great cook, but there’s more to getting kids in the kitchen than just good food:
- ‘When he makes it, he eats it, ‘ says Eva Longoria. Moms of picky eaters, this one is for you! Getting kids in the kitchen gives them the opportunity to be interested and invested in their meals. If kids are involved in the creation of their meals, they’re more likely to eat them! It doesn’t have to be a full meal either, start small with something like carrot sticks and hummus: a toddler can easily help pick the carrot, wash it, dump the chickpeas in the food processor, press the button or turn the knob and taste test.
- Getting kids in the kitchen is a great way to build their vocabulary, language skills and mathematical skills in the home. Not only are you introducing them to foods, equipment and new processes but quantities and fractions too. But in a fun way, without the pressures that come with the usual school environment. As they get older kids can become more involved, testing their own skills and starting to read recipes for literacy improvement too.
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- We all still feel that great sense of accomplishment when the cake comes out great or your partner goes for seconds of your pasta. That’s the feeling you’re sharing by getting kids in the kitchen! When they manage to complete a step, fetch the right ingredient and it all comes out delicious remember to praise them for a job well done. This is a great way to build their confidence and self-esteem along with making them feel helpful at home. And if it’s a flop? Make fun of it, and use it as a chance to teach problem solving – even if that means hopping in the car and buying a replacement from Woolworths.
- While it can be stressful having little hands and feet around the kitchen, it does create valuable family time where kids can learn, have fun and bond with their elders. Try and stay calm and make light of any ‘whoopsy-daisies’, your kids could be building some lifelong happy memories.
You can watch more of Eva Longoria’s interview with Ellen Degeneres below:
More on your kids and food: How choices in food can improve your child’s mood