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Cook with Kids: Wagon Wheels with Veggie Marinara

The best thing about hot pasta is that it can "cook" its own sauce. Here is a quick stir-in sauce that will give your child a good dose of fresh vegetables.

6 chopped fresh tomatoes plus half a cup of water, or 1 large can of chopped tomatoes

6 baby carrots

½ tsp. salt

8 oz. cooked wagon wheels

Grated parmesan or Romano cheese (optional)

What to do with your kids:

Invite your child to count out 6 tomatoes. Put them in a line from largest to smallest. She can wash the tomatoes and you can chop.

Add ½ cup water to the chopped tomatoes and place in food processor. Or, if you are using canned tomatoes, put them (undrained) in a blender or food processor without adding water.

Ask your child to estimate how many basil leaves and/or parsley stems she can pick up in one handful! Write down the number and then have her pick up her handful and count how many she actually got. Add to food processor or blender.

Have your child count out 5 baby carrots and add to food processor.

Get out the measuring spoons and ask your child to notice the difference between the teaspoon and the half-teaspoon. Which is biggest? Help him/her measure 2 teaspoons of olive oil and ½ teaspoon of salt and put in the food processor.

Puree all until smooth.

Stir into hot, cooked wagon wheels and serve with optional grated cheese.

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