Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cook with Your Kids and Enter to Win BIG from Uncle Ben’s! #BensBeginners

I’ve always loved how children get excited about eating and trying new foods when they’re involved in the food preparation process. Of course, it’s not too difficult to get them to eat Christmas cookies after they’ve helped you to bake and decorate them. It’s a little more of an accomplishment to get them to eat hard-boiled eggs after they’ve dyed them for Easter. But what about vegetables? That’s the real challenge! We recently started a garden outside (living in south Florida has its advantages), and we’re always thrilled to see the excitement in our boys’ eyes when they’re able to pick and eat their own food. When my son Austen was eating the cucumbers he’d grown the other day, you’d have thought he’d just been handed a bag of candy! He’s also made his own salads with the lettuce, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes we’ve grown. He can’t wait to run out to his garden after he gets home from school to see if something has ripened enough to be picked and eaten.

But even if you’re not able to grow a garden, especially during the winter, you can still get your kids involved in preparing food with you in the kitchen. With proper supervision at all times, they can help you gather ingredients, measure them, and mix them together. Cooking rice with children is always fun because they get a big kick out of seeing how those hard little pieces of rice turn into fluffy mounds of “yumminess” just by boiling them on the stove. Show them how they can make hundreds of meal combinations with rice by adding different vegetables, meats or sauces to it.

I’m sure you recognize Uncle Ben’s as the company that helps you serve up all kinds of wonderful rice dishes. My kids love Uncle Ben’s rice mixes. In fact, we have some in our pantry right now! My favorite flavor is their Country Inn Chicken & Wild Rice. It is so easy to make, and our whole family gobbles it up. To celebrate the joy of cooking with kids, Uncle Ben’s is hosting the Ben’s Beginners contest! This fun contest is for parents with children ages 5-12. To enter, you just submit a 2-3 minute video of yourself cooking a rice-based dish with your children. Your video could win $20,000, along with a $50,000 grant toward a cafeteria makeover for your child’s school! You even have a chance to appear on The Rachael Ray Show!

To get more details about the Ben’s Beginners contest and to submit your family’s video, just CLICK HERE to visit their Facebook page. Check out a sample video, tips, and recipes. The last day for submissions is February 26, 2012. Have fun making some delicious rice dishes with your kids. You may be surprised at what they’ll eat when they’ve made it themselves!

DISCLOSURE: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Uncle Ben’s blogging program for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.


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