Whether your children are learning in-person or at-home this school year, one thing remains the same: the kitchen is a great place for kids to learn.
From trying new foods to hands-on help with cooking, one thing I strive to do as a parent and registered dietitian nutritionist is to make the kitchen a welcoming and warm place for my Four Tops. WHICH is easier said than done when I’m trying to get dinner ready and I have requests for four different things.
Recently I partnered with the Michigan Beef Industry Commission and Fox 2 News Detroit to share 3 ways in which I bring education into mealtime- when the timing is right. I say that because of what I shared above. It’s not every day. It’s not every meal. But once or twice a week I encourage the kids to help make dinner, pack their own lunch, or help set the table.
I also have a few more, “organized,” ideas [below] for those times when YOU are prepared and need a lesson or two that’s hands-on and computer free. I know we all appreciate Zoom learning but man, it can get tiring looking at a computer screen!
3 tasty ways to bring education into mealtime + quick bullet points on the benefits of each:
- Food Taste Test:
- Prompts kids to identify new flavors and try new foods
- Encourages kids to become more adventurous eaters
- Doubles as a learning opportunity and easy lunch option
- Use a muffin tin as a base, and fill with foods like sweet, salty, sour, spicy, and bitter
- Sweet- fruit, salty- ham, sour- salt and vinegar chips, spicy- salsa
- Fruit/Veggie Kabob:
- Helps kids identify patterns and compare shapes
- Doubles as a math concept and hands-on activity
- Slide fruit onto skewers to create different patterns. Talk about the kinds and numbers of shapes, and the pattern you are creating
- Dinner + Reading Activity:
- Pair a dinner recipe with your child’s favorite book, like 5 ingredient slow cooker meatballs + cloudy with a chance of meatballs book
- Reading at night helps with language development, listening skills, and of course quality time together
- Nutrients found in beef such as iron, zinc, and protein provide energy for active bodies, aid in growth, and support a healthy immune system
Looking for more meatball recipes? Try these:
Want to get the kids in the kitchen? Try these recipe ideas to encourage [messy] participation at home:
Stay tuned as I’m going to be updating this blog post with the video from Fox 2 where I go more in depth on these activities and give YOU a snapshot of this working-momma’s at-home life!