In the Kitchen

 

 

 

 

Make your kitchen an educational environment!

The kitchen is a great place to bring basic skills into your children’s
everyday life. Your children love to be involved in what you are doing, so why
not use the time you are in your kitchen preparing meals as an educational
time? Below are a few ideas to get your children involved!

Explain what you are doing, so your children can learn about the stages of
cooking. Let your children help you pick out a recipe, and read them aloud as
you go through the steps. Don’t forget to have your children help with the
cleanup portion as well, remind them that cleanup is part of the process, good
habits can never start too early!

Remeber that your child learns what a healthy plate looks like through the
meals made at home! For some great tools and information regarding healthy
eating, check out some of these links below!

ChooseMyPlate.gov
Choose My Plate is a great website that provides resources on eating healthy.
Launched by First Lady Michelle Obama and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, MyPlate
serves as a new icon that reminds consumers to make healthier food choices. This
website features recipe ideas, food plans, ideas for eating healthy on a
budget
, and so much more! Para español, por favor haga clic aquí.

Nutrition.gov
This website features information beyond just nutrition, but also activities,
games, recipes. print-outs, and tips for you and your child in the kitchen!
Making sure you and your family understands how to read nutrition labels is a
first step to a balanced diet. Making sure your family meets their daily
servings is made easy with this website.

KidsHealth.org
Have questions about your child's healthy diet? Need some new and fun recipes?
Look no further! KidsHealth.org is a great resource for parents to keep their
kids busy in the kitchen.

Ways to get your child involved in the kitchen!
Retrieve ingredients from the pantry or refrigerator.
Wash vegetables and fruits.
Stir together dry ingredients.
Smash crackers into crumbs.
Give your child an oven timer so they can let you know when the food
is ready.

Categorizing
Categorizing will require that your child notice their surroundings. This
works well at the dinner table, letting your child become aware of what is on
his/her plate. You can categorize by shape, color, or size. For example ask
that your child eat all the green food first. Your children will have to observe
what is on their plate and find the green food. You can also be more
descriptive when categorizing, ask your children to find the small round green
food. This will help your child become more aware of shapes sizes and colors in
their everyday activities. You can also take turns asking the questions,
letting your child categorize your food as well.

Counting

While your children are helping you in the kitchen be sure to have them help
you count. Some things you can count are; how many scoops while measuring, how
many potatoes are needed for dinner, how many utensils are needed to set the
table, how many ice cubes you put into your glass. Just take a look around your
kitchen, there are endless items you can count with your child!

Serving & Cleaning Up

Teaching your child what healthy portions look like can be hands
on when you allow your child to help serve meals. Talking about portions and
what a healthy plate looks like with your child is easy when serving together.
By allowing your child to help you clean up, you are teaching your child that
cleaning up is a normal part of every fun activity. Clean-up does not have to
be a drag! Wiping down surfaces, putting-away plates and bowls, and getting the
kitchen back in place with your little helper can be a great way to finish a
meal.