Cooking With Kids: A Figure-Maintaining Tip

Cooking with kids is a great way to kill both a morning and a diet/hourglass figure.  However, I have come up with a foolproof way to cook with Boo WITHOUT gaining an ounce.  If I screw it up, I’ll lose weight!  It’s like magic.  Also, for my purposes here, I’m going to use “cook” to cover both “cook” and “bake” – it’s easier for us all, although I do know the difference.  We happen to do both at la Casa de Boo.

Boo loves to cook.  On the days when one (or both) of us are a bit (or a lot) grumpy or the weather is horrid, cooking has prevented one (or both) of us from being defenestrated.  When I ask Boo if he wants to cook, he always lights up and is immediately agreeable.  It’s the only way I know to guarantee a “yes” out of this toddler, whose tracking occasionally gets stuck on the word “no.”

We probably cook once or twice per week.  It’s also a sure-fire way that Boo will eat something; the kid takes pride and interest in what he helps create.  Anyway, while we rarely bake sweets, I’m the type who likes to taste pretty much every viable ingredient, along with the work in progress. Something I learned about myself when I was asked for recipes that Boo and I make is that I change a LOT of stuff.  Some of my changes are due to what is on hand, others are health-based, and yet others are based on what I think will taste best.  Part of my tasting is to adapt recipes.  This is a bit of problem when people ask me for recipes as I rarely write down what I change and my measurements are generally amounts like ‘some’, a ‘bit’, and a ‘smidge’.

 This morning Boo and I made zucchini bread.  The original recipe calls for a TON of sugar.  Way more than this kid needs, especially as I plan to schmear some cream cheese on it and call it breakfast.  I reduced the sugar, adapted the flour, tossed in some vanilla and additional spices, made an oil substitution, and voila!  I was just about to taste the batter to see if it needed any last-minute amendments when I realized something: I couldn’t taste it; doing so would make me rather ill.  We’d created a big bowl of superb smelling batter, that I amended to be somewhat healthful, and I could put neither it nor the resulting bread into my body. 

See, I have what is basically a food allergy.  I’m fortunate in that I don’t have any (knock on wood) issues with cross contamination or contact.  I’m unfortunate in that even a small amount in my body is a complete and utter disaster.  Anything Boo and I make that contains my forbidden ingredient is totally off limits to me.  I have to be careful to not even lick my fingers – not that I would do ever something like that otherwise.  I’m modeling proper cooking and cleanliness folks.  Of course, there might be times that the kid sees something shiny and looks away…By adding something I physically cannot eat, I totally figured out a way to stop my “sampling” when it’s prudent.  I mean, while I reduced the sugar; I did not eliminate it completely.  I’ve had this bread before and it is delicious, but low-cal and low-fat it is not.  Good work me.

Later this week we will be doing more cooking.  It will involve parsnips.  While parsnips are safe for me to eat, I’m not really worried about gorging on them.


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