BANGOR, Maine — Even though Jazzmin Bean and Koby Bean aren’t yet in kindergarten, the Corinth cousins made their own lunch Saturday.
Jazzmin, 2½, and Koby, 4, carefully spread pizza sauce on a pre-prepared dough, then sprinkled mozzarella cheese over it. Next, they poured strawberries over shortcake and topped it off with some whipped cream.
The cousins didn’t make themselves the relatively well-balanced meal at home in their own kitchens. Jazzmin and Koby, along with about 100 other children, fixed lunch at center court in the Bangor Mall during the Simon Kidget Club Super Duper Mini Chefs event.
“I made a pizza with cheese and sauce,” Jazzmin said, as she stood between the legs of her father, Eric Bean, 31, of Corinth. “I’m going to take it home.”
“And share it with —,” prompted her mother, Christina Bean, 24, of Corinth.
“My cousin,” the girl replied, pointing to Koby.
Koby, who attended the event with his grandmother, Guylene Bean, 53, of Corinth, was too shy and too busy munching on trail mix with ingredients he’d placed in an ice cream cone to speak with a reporter.
Families like the Beans are the reason Uno Chicago Grill provided ingredients for the pizzas and boxes so they could be carried home to be cooked, Christine McLain, the personal touch manager for the restaurant located on the Bangor Mall property, said.
“This is great for kids, and letting them do it themselves helps with their hand-eye coordination,” she said. “It’s also important that they are doing it with their parents. Sometimes it’s tough for busy family members to all sit down and share a meal together. By taking part in this event, Uno’s is promoting families coming to the restaurant to share a meal together.”
At the restaurant, children are allowed to make their own pizzas, according to McLain, who also helps nonprofit organizations raise money through its Dough Raiser program.
The Bangor Mall, which is owned by Kravco Simon Co. in King of Prussia, Pa., has been offering Kidgit Club events for four years, Kimberly Reid, director of mall marketing, said Saturday. The mall sponsors nine events a year for club members between the ages of 2 and 8.
“It’s designed to bring traffic into the mall,” Reid said. “We usually plan an event that lasts about an hour and ends with a raffle with items around the theme that have been donated by merchants. Today, the prizes are connected to cooking.”
For more information on the Simon Kidgits Club, visit www.simon.com/kidgits or pick up a registration packet at the information booth at the Bangor Mall.