Tag Archives: activity

Family Fun: Rolling Sushi

If you’re looking for a fun activity that the whole family can get involved in, try a family sushi night. We are a sushi-loving family; so when my brother recently taught us how to roll it ourselves, I was thrilled to find that it was surprisingly easy.

Not into raw fish? No big deal! You can make veggie rolls (avocado, cucumber, and cream cheese are my daughter’s favorite!), use imitation crab meat, or roll your sushi with cooked fish like shrimp tempura.

What you’ll need:

Bamboo sushi mat
Plastic wrap
Sushi rice (cooked and cooled- we used this recipe, which was perfect)
Nori seaweed sheets
Large bowl of water
Sharp knife

Sushi fillings (sliced thin and vertically):
Sushi-grade tuna or salmon
Imitation crab meat
Cream cheese
Green onion
Hot chili mayonnaise (if you like spicy rolls)
Tempura flakes

Pickled ginger
Wasabi paste
Soy sauce

1. Wrap your bamboo mat with plastic wrap to make clean-up easier.

2. Lay a piece of the nori seaweed at the end of the mat and top with a small handful of the sushi rice. Press and spread the rice to cover the seaweed and then carefully flip it over. Tip: the sushi rice will be very sticky, so use the bowl of water to dip your fingers and keep the rice from sticking to your hands.

3. Place whatever fillings you want in your roll in the center of the seaweed. Using the bamboo mat and your fingers, roll the sushi, being careful to squeeze the completed roll tightly before unrolling the mat.

4. Dip the knife in the water and slice the roll in half. Continue to cut the roll into small pieces, dipping the knife in the water frequently to keep the rice from sticking to the blade.

My daughter loved helping me roll the sushi, though I took care of the cutting. But even more than making it, she loved eating the finished product. It was the best she has ever eaten sushi, and I really think it’s because she got to be involved in the process. It was a fun night for all of us, and we ate about $100 worth of sushi (in restaurant prices) for maybe $50—not bad at all!

5 Ways to Involve Kids in the Kitchen

There are several benefits to getting your kids in the kitchen and cooking. Aside from teaching them basic cooking skills, being included in the cooking process and seeing the ingredients makes children, especially picky eaters, more likely to want to try new foods. It also takes the mystery out of exactly what you put into those meatballs.

Even toddlers can help out with easy tasks, and it builds self-confidence for them to be able to contribute to a family activity. It goes without saying that all tasks should be simple and safe {nobody needs a two year old running around with a butcher knife}. Just prepare for a mess and allot some extra time for clean-up!

Use cooking as a teaching tool   Have your child measure out ingredients, count how many different vegetables there are in a dish, identify the color of each ingredient, practice spelling and reading using the recipe, and hone fine motor skills by doing some of the tasks listed below.

Give your little helper a job to do   Wash veggies, crack eggs, stir batter, mash potatoes, measure sugar, hand you ingredients, crumble crackers, tear lettuce, sprinkle seasonings, knead dough, snap beans—you get the picture.

Have a Make-Your-Own night   You can set all the ingredients out for everyone to make their own mini pizzas, taco salads, mac and cheese with mix-ins … it can be anything your child can easily build and put together.

Involve your child in the clean-up   It’s important for children to learn the whole process from cooking to cleaning to eating. Plus, it teaches them that cooking is just like playing with toys—you pick up when you’re done—which is a good habit to enforce early on.

Make it fun!   Get your little helper a child-sized apron, pick up a few colorful cooking utensils, make sure he has a safe way to reach the counter so he can work right next to mommy and daddy, play some fun music, and let go a little bit. It probably won’t be your most impressive culinary achievement, but the time you spend with your child will be totally worth it!