Sep. 6, 2011 at 4:17pm
Focus on Family: Focus on Health
Teaching your kids to cook - daunting but worth it.
How do you teach your kids about healthy eating AND make dinner at the same time? Get them involved. You know the phrase “Give a man a fish and you'll feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you'll feed him for a lifetime?” It’s like that. EXACTLY like that.
Teach your kids to cook and you reinforce so many other skills: reading, math, organization, science, logic (this and this made that) – the list goes on. Showing kids what goes into their food can help them learn where food comes from, why we need it, and how our bodies process it. Learning to cook reinforces healthy eating habits by ensuring that kids can make their own meals and snacks, rather than relying on microwavable or packaged food. Want to start teaching your kids how to cook? Here are a few tips for taking the plunge:
- Make it easy. Bringing a preschooler into the kitchen for the first time is maybe not the best day to whip out the soufflé recipe. Choose a meal that doesn’t require precise measurements or tricky techniques. Better yet, let your child choose the meal – out of a list of options, if necessary.
- Make it safe. Use kid-friendly tools like plastic measuring cups instead of glass ones, and make sure everyone can reach the work counter. Be ready for spills and messes– this is not the time to worry about a tidy kitchen, but you also don’t want anyone tripping, slipping or getting hurt.
- Make it fun. Sure, it’s important to teach your kids how to wash a vegetable. But make sure to leave them the fun stuff too. Shredding lettuce is good for fine motor skills, and kids love tearing things. Or let kids get creative when they frost the cake.
Looking for some new healthy recipes to try? Here’s one for Grilled Chicken Sliders – let us know what you think!
Grilled Chicken Sliders1 lb. skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
4 kiwifruit, peeled and chopped
1 tbs. chopped fresh mint
1 tsp. honey
6 whole wheat cocktail buns, split
3 tbs. honey mustard
12 red apple slices
Cut chicken breasts into 6 pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Grill 10 to 12 minutes or until no longer pink in the center, turning once. Mix kiwi, mint, honey and more salt and pepper. Spread bottom buns with honey mustard and add two apple slices, chicken, kiwi chutney and bun tops. Makes 6.