Learning to Use a Blender and Food Processor – Cooking with Kids, Part 6

By Ebony Porter, July 27, 2017, Family, Recipes

Welcome to Cooking with Kids from Bounce Energy! Think of the kitchen as a science lab or a living classroom. It contains so many elements that can provide hands-on learning opportunities for your kids – measuring, learning temperature, time, chemistry, fermentation, and more. Join us as we show you how to introduce your kids to the best room in the house!

Blenders and food processors are handy gadgets to have in the kitchen. They create meals in themselves, and can also help speed up prep in the kitchen.

But for young children, these machines fall in the category of vacuum cleaners: machines that make loud abrupt noises and send them seeking cover in another room. It took my daughter turning eight years of age before she could handle the sounds of the blender.

In this post of Cooking with Kids by Bounce Energy, we share tips on how to encourage your children to use blenders and food processors, and how they can use them to cook faster and more efficiently in the kitchen with your supervision.

Learning to Use a Blender and Food Processor - Cooking with Kids, Part 6 | Bounce Energy Blog

Learning the Parts

Whether you’re working with a food processor or blender, start by showing your child the on and off button. Be sure that anytime they are plugging in the machine, that the off button is pressed. If it’s not, it will startle them.

We recommend adults plug the cord in until the child is ten years of age, just to be on the cautious side.

Show them the lid, and explain the importance of the lid fitting securely. The lid must always be in place before the blender is turned on.

Also show them how the bowl of the processor or blender clicks in securely. Without the ‘click’ of the bowl properly fitting, the machine will not operate.

Safety While Machine is On

Explain to your child that ingredients and food should never be put into the container of the processor or blender while it’s turned on. Unless they enjoy cleaning up a major mess!

Also explain how a spoon or other utensils can be used to move items around when the blade gets caught, but that they should never push the scraper or spoon down into the food while the machine is on.

I say this because my husband once pushed a wooden spoon into a blender that was on and obliterated our spoon, along with what was blending!

Learning to Use a Blender and Food Processor - Cooking with Kids, Part 6 | Bounce Energy Blog

How Does a Food Processor Help in the Kitchen?

A food processor can help make foods that children love. Think of homemade pesto served with pasta for dinner, or homemade hummus served with carrots and crackers for snack time.

A food processor is also a wonderful way to chop butter into flour to make shortbread, quiche crusts, and other tasty baked goods that children love. It saves so much time, and wear and tear on your hands and fingers.

Food processors are also great for making salsas. Salsas sold in jars are often too hot for young palettes, so roast up a few ripe tomatoes along with an onion and green bell pepper, chop up some cilantro, and toss them into a the food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can put your mild homemade salsa onto fried eggs, or serve with chips for an afternoon snack.

How Does a Blender Help in the Kitchen?

A blender is an awesome tool to have at your disposal all year round, whether for natural berry slushes in the summer, or nutrient-dense smoothies to boost immunity in the winter. They are also great for blending up vegetable soups.

Try this smoothie recipe with your child using bananas that have gone past their prime, by freezing them for later use in your smoothie creations.  I find smoothies are one of the best ways to introduce greens to my child and to gain all of their nutritional values. Parsley, spinach, kale, lettuce, lemon balm or mint are great additions to put Vitamin K in your child’s diet, and get them used to loving all things green!

Learning to Use a Blender and Food Processor - Cooking with Kids, Part 6 | Bounce Energy Blog

Peace Green Smoothie

When available, use organic ingredients. Have your child wash and prep the kale and mint. If you can incorporate some of these things into your home garden, then even better! Often times buying mint at the store, for example, is the same price as buying it from a plant nursery.

1 frozen banana

1/2 cup of frozen berries

2 leaves of kale

3 stalks parsley

1/2 cup coconut water

5 leaves fresh mint

1 cup ice

1/2 cup of full fat yogurt

Place into blender and put lid on securely. Let your child press the ‘blend’ button and get a feel for how the switches work. Encourage them to keep one hand on the lid at all times. If the ice or kale get stuck then remove lid, take a long spoon, and dislodge the ingredients out of the blender blade. Replace lid and continue blending.

Serve in fancy glasses, and make a fun moment out of it! Sit outside with your kids and read a book together while sipping your smoothies. You just might be starting a new, healthy ritual together.

Do you use the blender or food processor while cooking with your kid? Let us know what your favorite recipe is!

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About 

Born in Australia, Ebony has been in Texas long enough to consider herself a Texan-Aussie. Ebony has been writing for magazines, newspapers, and blogs, for more than 10 years. When she's not writing she's building quilts, growing her own food, or camping with her family somewhere far from the sounds of the city.

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