(Family Features) As an important life skill, learning to cook and becoming familiar with kitchen basics can be an exciting adventure for kids from toddlers to teens. Using a delicious childhood favorite like popcorn as the key ingredient at the center of your lessons can spur interest and enthusiasm.
Along with understanding measurements and safety, teaching your children how to make simple recipes also offers opportunities to bond and make memories that can last a lifetime. Popcorn is a snack food associated with good times and it’s versatile enough to encourage creativity.
While it’s important to start with easy techniques that introduce future chefs to the culinary world, it’s also helpful to ensure they’ll enjoy eating their first creations so they’ll be eager for more time in the kitchen.
As a whole grain that’s 100% unprocessed with no additional additives, hidden ingredients or GMOs, air-popped popcorn has only 30 calories per cup and offers a whole grain that provides energy-producing complex carbohydrates. Because whole grains are important sources of nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, B vitamins and fiber, you can instill the values of nutritious snacking all while having some fun.
Find more kid-friendly recipes to get the whole family involved in the kitchen at popcorn.org.
Pop-a-rific Popcorn Balls
Yield: 14 balls
3 quarts popped popcorn, unsalted
1 package (1 pound) marshmallows
1/4 cup butter or margarine
Place popped popcorn in large bowl.
In large saucepan over low heat, cook marshmallows and butter or margarine until melted and smooth. Pour over popcorn, tossing gently to mix well. Cool 5 minutes.
Butter hands well and form into 2 1/2-inch balls.
Variations: To color popcorn balls, add 3-4 drops of food coloring to smooth marshmallow mixture. Mix well to distribute color evenly then pour over popcorn as instructed.
Mix in candies, nuts or dried fruit after mixing popcorn and melted marshmallows. Stir to distribute then form into balls.
Place nonpareils in shallow bowl or plate. Roll popcorn balls in nonpareils after forming.
Source: Popcorn Board