Reviews & Giveaways

Get Kids Cooking with Ben’s Beginners and Win!

As parents we spend a lot of time in the kitchen; making breakfast, lunch and dinner. Oftentimes it’s a thankless job, and one that actually results in a lot of complaining {how rude!}. I’ve found it hard to find meals that will please all three of my kids, there’s always someone who complains!

It didn’t take me long though, to discover that if kids are involved in the mealtime process, the more likely it is that they’ll be eager to eat.

So, whenever my girls ask ‘what’s for dinner’, I always have them peek in the fridge and freezer and help decide the course of the meal. I’ve found the trick is to have them ‘pick a meat’ or ‘pick a veggie’, and they’ll happily root through the fridge and make the choice they’ll ultimately be happy with. As well, getting kids involved in the actual cooking process is a valuable experience. 

A recent survey commissioned by the makers of UNCLE BEN’S® demonstrates that while 77 per cent of Canadian families eat home-cooked dinners five or more nights a week, only 12 per cent let their kids help cook these dinners.

This low percentage of kids that aren’t learning in the kitchen concerns me. Instruction on cooking homemade healthy meals at home should begin at an early age, they have so much to benefit from the experience! 

ben's beginners get kids cooking

In response to these stats and to help to get kids cooking Uncle Ben’s has paired up with the winner of U.S. MasterChef Junior Season Two, Logan Guleff, to tackle kid-less kitchens! Their course of action is appropriately named ‘Ben’s beginners’ 

Each week Logan will be sharing cooking tips and tricks at, by way of a kid-friendly video and recipes centered around the tips of the week. Coupled with his tips, are weekly recipe challenges for kids to try. As an incentive to get kids cooking, there’s also a contest where you can submit a picture of the dish you make for a chance to win one of three $10,000 RESPs!

This week, we took on the challenge of Uncle Ben’s Rice, Cauliflower, and Meatballs {here’s a great video from Logan Guleff on how to make a meatball!}. My oldest, who has such an interest in cooking, was eager to make a meal with these ingredients hadn’t before tried making meatballs. So, I walked her through my meatball recipe and she made the entire meal from start to finish. 

The result: Meatballs with a creamy mushroom sauce, served on a bed of Uncle Ben’s Natural Select Roasted Chicken & Wild Rice, with a side of cauliflower and broccoli. 

meatballs cauliflower uncle bens rice recipe challenge canada

I taught my daughter my favourite way of making meatballs, using quick oats in place of the typical breadcrumbs. In the mixture she also added an egg, 1/4 cup ketchup, salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley. She made that face when mixing the ground beef with her hands, I’ll never forget! 

On her first try, she made perfectly sized and unison meatballs.

get kids cooking uncle bens

I like to bake meatballs for 40 minutes at 350 degrees, I have a great rack made for them actually. Isabelle commented how easy it was to make them, which made me happy. Someone is more likely to make a recipe that is fast and simple, right?

Just before the meatballs are done, cook the rice as per package instructions, and I have to add that when the Uncle Ben’s Natural Select Roasted Chicken & Wild Rice is cooking – the smell is amazing!!

uncle bens rice recipe challenge get kids cooking

My daughter cut the vegetables for steaming, and then started on the creamy mushroom sauce for the meatballs which is just two cans of mushroom soup with a 4 tbsp milk. Add the soup and milk to a pan, and bring to a boil. Add the cooked meatballs and simmer for another couple of minutes – and, done!

get kids cooking contest recipe challenge canada

This is a meal she hasn’t made before and I’m so impressed at how she jumped in there are mastered so much. She learned new tricks of the trade, and her confidence only grew. Best of all, it’s a great home-cooked meal under her belt so that she has the tools to make good choices down the road. 

get kids cooking recipe challenge bens beginners

Head on over to, check out this weeks challenge and get kids cooking! Don’t forget to submit those photos for a chance to win one of three $10,000 RESPs!

What are your tips to get kids cooking?


Disclosure: I was compensated for this post, yet as always, all opinions are my own.


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  1. This is really cool! My daughter is 2 right now, and she loves being in the kitchen with me. I’ve always had her in the kitchen with me while cooking meals for our family. I think this is why she isn’t picky about what she eats. Now she tries to imitate me in her toy kitchenette. It’s fun to see her try to bake and make fake breakfast for her toys.

  2. I think this is a great idea. Kids need to know how to cook. They’re not going to be at home forever! You know, probably…

  3. my 12yo son took a cooking class last year, and he just loved it. he made us meatballs, quesadillas, even cookies! It’s a great experience. our daughter (5yo) loves to bake with us – especially blueberry muffins!

  4. I ask the kids every day what they would like for supper. They go look through the pantry/freezer to see what we have and come up with the meal themselves!

  5. My kids are such fussy eaters. I should get them more involved in the cooking to maybe get them to expand their palates.

  6. My son is just starting to get to the age where he can do some easy cooking. As he gets older he will be doing one meal a week for the family. I think that it is important that they learn! LOVE this!

  7. I love the idea of getting kids to help with cooking. Now that I think about it, my son is at the age where he could get started. I’m going to work on ways to integrate him more because I know how much he loves to help.

  8. My kids are finally at an age where they enjoy helping out in the kitchen. I just started the out slow and they developed an interest in cooking.

  9. My kids have not always been happy helping me in the kitchen, Now that they are teenagers they have started to enjoy learning how to cook, My Daughters favorite is meatballs.

  10. My kids have been cooking with me ever since they could stand on a chair. I love to bake with them. We look for recipes we want to try together.

  11. I have such fond memories of cooking in the kitchen with my mom. This is something I definitely want to carry on with my kids!

  12. It’s great getting the kids involved. I find they eat what they make, instead of telling you they don’t like what you made. lol

  13. Well, my youngest is always in the kitchen for me. We have a huge penisula, so I allow her to sit on it and help me clean veggies, etc… once she gets older, I am sure she will be totally hands on. BTW – those meatballs look amazing

  14. My youngest daughter loves to help me cook! She is so passionate about it and that makes me very happy.

  15. That’s so great! I remember we were not allowed to cook, we did dishes, in those days there were no dishwashers, just us! This is such a great idea and she did so good.

  16. She did an awesome job and I bet she liked it a whole lot better since she made it!!

  17. This is such a great idea! I think it is very important to get kids into the kitchen and involved in meal time. It is sad how many kids don’t know how to do anything these days unless you can take it out the freezer and pop it into the microwave. Your daughter looks like she does an amazing job in the kitchen!

  18. I love it when my grandson wants to help in the kitchen , its so good for them to learn and want to cook , i enjoy every minute of it , good quality time well spent that’s for sure 🙂

  19. Be open to the idea that there is a good chance it will take longer and be messier than if you did it yourself…making it fun and carefree…give yourself extra time and have a little fun making memories.

  20. When my children were growing up, we lived on a busy farm and I really had no time to do much about teaching them to cook. I did encourage my daughters to cook but our boys were out working with their father.
    I have a grandson who loves to cook and I encourage him. Some of my other grandchildren have learned to cook, out of necessity and they enjoy it.

  21. My kids love to cook with me as they are still little. I love that your daughter is confident in the kitchen!

  22. Cooking is a fundamental life skill that only serves you better as time goes by.I loved baking with my god mother.

  23. This is a great idea. I tried to get my grandchildren to help in the kitchen when I was visiting. My granddaughter was just not interested. I will have to keep trying.

  24. I love the idea of kids learning to cook. I wish I had learned before I had got married!! lol

  25. our kids have been helping in the kitchen since an early age, they enjoy making and baking. My son is so interested in cooking he took culinary courses in school all through high wants to continue and will be going to Culinary school.

  26. I wish that my kids had been interested in learning to cook but none of them were, their main interest was just that the meal appeared on the table! Now most of them are super cooks and I have no idea where they got it from, weird eh?

  27. I love to get them involved in planning the meal, shopping for the items needed and getting them to help out with the prep.

  28. Making it fun and a delicious recipe always helps to get kids cooking. I have a knife that is for children so they can’t cut themselves. Making some of their favorite dishes will help inspire them to get cooking.

  29. cool idea. My boys would help me cook in the kitchen. Now that they are grown up they are usually the one cooking for their family

  30. Some of the recipes that my Mother and Grandmother taught me to make when I was a kid, I taught my own children to make and am sure they will teach their own children to make.

  31. Cooking is such an important skill to learn – wonderful program/contest to teach some skills and maybe even develop a new interest in kids 🙂

  32. He helps choose the recipe and helps cook it. Plus he has his own little garden that he takes care of.

  33. They get to have input in the weekly menu planning and I get them to help with chopping, shredding, etc.

  34. This is so great! Cooking is a necessary life skill. I love seeing kids involved in meal preparation.

  35. I have the kids help me meal plan, that way they have things the like and then we make it together so they can see how to do it, we also plan on having cookbooks of our favorites for them when they move out (a long way off) and they request things to go in that file.

  36. So many great recipes & great to get the kids involved in the kitchen & meal preparation. So nice to be able to say “I made this great meal”

  37. Love having the kids help out in the Kitchen. Its our bonding time when we do. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  38. What a nice relaxed way to help children
    enjoy the of art of cooking. Nice review,
    great pics. too.

  39. I love when the kids help me in the kitchen.They are fun to be with and it’s good to start teaching them how to cook when they are old enough to help.We love Uncle Ben’s rice and make lots of stir fry’s with it.It’s a household staple for us!!! 🙂

  40. My girl loves to join me in the kitchen….as of now, she gets to wash fruits/veggies, help me stir, and do dishes. At 3 yrs old, not too bad!

  41. My son started taking cooking at school and he now loves to cook. Rice is one of his favourite things; I bought him a rice cooker so he can make it himself.

  42. I love that you’re getting the kids in the kitchen. I think kids are always more willing to try something if they made it.

  43. I love getting kids in the kitchen to cook! I fondly remember cooking with my grandmother and my mom. I raised my girls in the kitchen with me and now I’m getting to do it with my grandkids!

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