Dads and kids, why not innovate this year for the big day? Here are some Mother’s Day tips to help you do that! Mother’s Day must be one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants all over the country. Did you ever think about not following the crowds and make this day different? Why not stay at home and cook something for Mom? She’ll love it!

Cooking at home, especially if you get the kids involved, offers a lot of great benefits. In fact cooking is one of the three tips that more than 20 years of studying nutrition and eating behavior has tought me. Some of the benefits are knowing what you eat, eat real food, teach your children about food and raise their interest in a variety of different food, and share great moments with family and friends. Studies have actually shown that cooking is associated with a lower risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Banner Sophie Effect 1

Pick a simple menu

OK. More Mother’s Day tips: how about picking simple recipes and having the little chefs prepare a meal full of love that will be remembered fondly? Let the kids come up with different combinations of taste with the food they chose. Prepare the menu with them. This is a nice way to have them interested in different tastes and they will remember these happy moments.

Now, you don’t know what to do?

I am suggesting here a simple and elegant meal that the kids will love to prepare. Of course, we need an adult nearby because they will use knives and hot pans. Every kid can help with simple tasks adapted to their age. Don’t be afraid of leaving them with a vegetable peeler. Your kid will have fun. You will watch and finish the job if necessary.

Example of a simple, yet elegant, Mother’s Day Menu

Mother’s Day menu
by little chefs full of love:

– Appetizer: Tomato and mozzarella salad with basil and olive oil
– Main dish: Salmon fillet with mashed potatoes
– Dessert: Vanilla ice cream with chocolate cover

The best is to do your shopping on Saturday. More Mother’s Day tips: the best place would be an outdoor market if there is one close by. Your kids will love it. You can take the list below with you. Go shopping with the kids is very good. They will discover different fruits and vegetables, will be interested and have fun.

Now, there are two items that you might not find in an outdoor market (ice cream and chocolate). Your favorite supermarket will do. In fact, you can buy everything there and have fun pushing the shopping cart!

Shopping list
– Tomatoes (generally 1 per person, but it can vary based on the size of the tomatoes and the guests’ appetite)
– Mozzarella (preferably the real one made of buffalo cheese, but ask for a substitute if you cannot find it)
– Fresh basil (it is fun buying herbs and discover how much diversity in flavors and smells there is!)
– Potatoes (1 to 3 per person depending on their size, but better have too much than not enough)
– Salmon fillet (I prefer leaving the skin and you can have it cut in individual pieces to facilitate)
– Your favorite vanilla ice cream
– 1 dark chocolate bar

I assume that there is already salt, olive oil, garlic, onions, clove, milk and butter at home (if not add them to the list).

Preparation. Let’s go!

1. Appetizer: slice the tomatoes and the mozzarella, then wash the basil and dry it with a paper towel. Let the kids set up the tomatoes and mozzarella on the dish. They’re artists! First alternate tomato and cheese slices, then pour salt, spread the basil, either as is or chopped in little pieces (see my video here), and pour olive oil to finish. It’s ready!

2. Main dish: Peel the potatoes and cut them in squares. There you can let the kids try the peeler. Stay close, but watch your kid having fun peeling the potatoes! Then cook them in a pan full of water with a little salt. Cook until the potatoes feel soft when you stick a knife or fork into them. To add some taste, I put in the water a peeled clove of garlic and a peeled onion with one or two cloves stuck into it. When the potatoes are ready, take them out, leaving the garlic, onion and cloves. Mash the potatoes with a little bit of milk and butter. Ready! Serve the mashed potatoes hot. You can heat them in the microwave before serving. Pour a little bit of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the salmon on its skin at low heat for 10-15 minutes, depending on your taste. I prefer it less cooked. Set up the salmon and mashed potatoes on the dish and add a little bit of salt.

3. Dessert: Put the chocolate in a pan with a little bit of milk and let it melt at very low heat. Another solution is to use the microwave for very little time. Do not exceed 20-30 seconds. Mix the melted chocolate with the milk until you get a homogeneous texture. I use 1 to 2 squares per person. You do not need a lot! Put one or two balls of chocolate on each plate and pour the melted chocolate on top. Ready!

Yet more Mother’s Day tips: you can be creative. You can for example add pear slices to the ice cream and make a “Poire Belle Hélène”, a famous dessert of Parisian bistros, or also add a little bit of parsley on top of the mashed potatoes to decorate. Use your imagination! That is the fun in cooking! Set up the table with the kids, using a table cloth, plates and glasses that the find beautiful.

If you have time, have the kids write the menu on a nice paper. They can add drawings and make it the most beautiful Mother’s Day card. This will create many memories for the years to come. I am sure that MOM WILL LOVE IT!

Bon appétit!

Would you like to learn more about the Sophie Effect, which teaches you to transform your relationship with food and, among many other things show you the benefits of cookin? It is a six-week online program including videos and material that discuss eating habits and how to regain the pleasure of eating. Click here to know more!