The cool thing about this recipe is that it really breaks up into two parts. So, if your kids help, they can really feel like they made half of the meal…or maybe even the whole meal 🙂 While the recipe does take you the entire 28 minutes, what you’re doing in that time frame is pretty basic. It’s mostly a simple process of chopping veggies, tossing them with oil & spices, boiling stock, and monitoring the cornmeal as it turns into polenta. More simply: chopping, tossing, boiling, & monitoring. Lol.
While your kids are helping out, you can also pause to discuss which FOOD GROUP each ingredient belongs to and share some fun facts about this meal’s featured ingredient: CORNMEAL.
- Cornmeal is the powder made from grinding dried corn kernels.
- You can make so many things with cornmeal. Polenta, cornbread, pancakes, tamales, cookies, tortillas, the list goes on….
- Cornmeal has a lot of nutrients, especially fiber, iron, and zinc. Together, these nutrients help prevent heart disease, strengthen your immune system, and help your body heal from injury.
- Whole wheat cornmeal is healthier than regular cornmeal. Regular cornmeal is steel rolled and then stripped of some nutrients in order to make it more shelf stable. Whole wheat cornmeal, on the other hand, is stone ground and not stripped of those nutrients. The processing makes whole wheat cornmeal more nutritious, but also more perishable.
Here are some creative ways for your kid to be your personal Sous Chef as you make our Rosemary Polenta with Roasted Veggies. Simply hover over each image for details. Make sure your little dudes wash their hands before starting!
To prep the veggies for roasting, kids can:
Your kids can cut most of these veggies on their own. You may need to guide them for the shape of the bell pepper slices and step in with a sharper knife for the broccoli.
Show your kid how to mince! Show them how to crush the garlic with a knife, peel the skin, place the clove in the basket of the mincer, and then do the thang!
Measure & mix spices
Your kids can measure the three spices and mix them together in a tiny bowl. Great opportunity to talk about fractions. Yay math!
Mix the veggies
Get dirty! Kids can use their hands (or a spoon!) to toss together the veggies, spices, and oil.
We’re big fans of these kid-friendly knives.
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To make the polenta, kids can:
Bring Broth to a Boil
This teaches kids to pay attention to the stovetop and see what happens to liquid when it gets that hot. Yay science!
Whisk in the cornmeal
Your child can measure 1 cup of the cornmeal and pour it in very slowly while you whisk the pot mixture.
*Note: For toddlers especially, these tasks require adult supervision and/or assistance, as items may be sharp, hot or otherwise dangerous.