Quality time + a little improv: we talk to Sarah Bancroft about kids in the kitchen

Here, we chat with Vitamin Daily’s Editor-in-Chief Sarah Bancroft about cooking, kids and what she loves about being in the kitchen!

Credit: Sarah Bancroft, All Rights Reserved.

We were excited to talk cooking and kids with Vitamin Daily’s Editor-in-Chief Sarah Bancroft—as one of our judges for the Hands-on Cook-off, we knew she’d have some great stories to share with us about cooking, kids, and what she loves about being in the kitchen. Get to know Sarah below!

Better Together: Working at Vitamin Daily, it looks like you get to try a lot of amazing food (we try to avoid looking at your Instagram feed when hungry!) Have you tried anything recently that inspired you to reproduce it at home?

Sarah Bancroft: We went out to The Acorn recently, and one of the things we just loved was deep fried halloumi. We’ve done regular fried halloumi at home before, but having it battered and deep-fried was just a whole new level of deliciousness—so we may try that! I’m really into different kinds of salads. Last night we made an Israeli couscous salad with tons of herbs from our garden. I have to admit my husband is a chef—so we tend to have pretty good ingredients lying around. He’s also a food stylist; that’s probably where the most Instagrammable stuff is coming from!

BT: We're looking forward to Father's Day at Better Together —do you have any memories you'd like to share of cooking with your dad?

SB: My dad was totally way ahead of his time and he was a really proficient cook. He was like super dad in the 80’s; he was going to Japanese cooking lessons and coming home and making tempura for the family...and most people in Vancouver back then didn’t know what that was! I didn’t know anyone else with a dad who cooked. We did a ton of camping too when I was a kid, so I have lots of fond memories of fishing, trout over the campfires and s’mores.

BT: Did you cook when you were a kid?

SB: My parents worked full time, so we had rotating nights where my brother and I were responsible for dinner. On my brother’s night it was usually Kraft Dinner. I did a lot of the baking for our home—I learned to bake by the time I was 11 or 12. We grew up between Canada and England so we cooked a lot of British things like Toad-in-the-hole.

BT: We often see parents passing on great ideas to their kids, whether that's how fun cooking can be, or how a favourite family recipe works. What do you want to teach your kids about cooking and food?

SB: There are a lot of lessons to be learned. Following instructions comes to mind! I also use it as a teachable moment when we’re using cup measures or teaspoons, to help sneak in a little bit of math. But I think spending time together is the most important thing. The thing that I like about cooking, and why I find it relaxing, is that you can’t be multi-tasking when you’re doing it.  I think kids really thrive in that kind of environment—when they can have one-on-one time with a parent, but be really involved in a project together. And you teach them about improvisation too! It’s actually a hard thing for kids to learn, I think, because they’re so used to following instructions and they can get kind of lost without their checklist—so that’s a really good skill for them to learn.

BT: Have you and your kids ever improvised together on a recipe?

SB: Yes, we make muffins together all the time and the conversation often sounds like this: “What do we have? Oh, we’re out of flour? Well, we’re going to use this gluten-free pancake mix. And whatever fruit we have in the freezer, that’s going in.” And it always seems to work out!

Inspired? Sarah shared her recipe for Energy Balls (a.k.a. the perfect no-bake treat idea), so get in the kitchen with your little ones and have some fun. Don’t forget to sign up for Vitamin Daily’s monthly kids’ newsletter, where you can find recipes, product testing, blog posts and more for free. And if you're looking for more great recipes to cook with your kids, visit our recipe section for fresh ideas.

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