Getting Kids Involved in the Kitchen
By Lauren Wills, Manager of Essential Eating
Starting from a young age, inspiring children to shop, cook, and prepare food can set them up for a lifetime of healthy eating. It can be fun and rewarding to involve kids in meal preparation.
Here are 4 tips for getting your kids involved:
1. Assign age appropriate activities
Age 2-3: Wash produce
Age 3-4: Mixing batter, mashing potatoes
Age 4-6: Measuring ingredients, setting table
Age 6-8: Assemble snacks or simple breakfasts
Age 8-12: Help with meal planning, pack lunches
2. Make them feel like part of the process
Ask kids to identify their favourite foods or a recipe they would like to make.
Shop for groceries together; having children pick out a new fruit or vegetable to try.
3. Get excited!
Show your enthusiasm about healthy eating and involving children in the kitchen
It will be messier and more time consuming to involve children but it will be worth it. Try not to cry over spilled milk.
4. Keep it fun!
Try a themed food night (i.e. Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday). Build your own: pizza, sundaes, trail mix, smoothies, etc.
Simplifying School Lunches
Take advantage of convenience foods: hummus, unsweetened apple sauce, individual yogurt, cheese, mini pitas, etc.
Shake it up! Try cutting new foods into fun shapes using cookie cutters. Try varying the colours and the textures at lunch to make meals more engaging for kids.
Chop & Wash: Prepare produce at the beginning of the week, to reduce lunch prep time in the evenings.
Aim to choose one item from each food group
Raw vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.)
Cooked leftover vegetables (broccoli, stir fry vegetables, etc.)
Fresh fruit (strawberries, apples, pears, etc.)
Frozen fruit mix
Unsweetened dried fruit
Unsweetened canned fruit
Leftover meat, fish, poultry
Greek yogurt, cheese, milk
Beans, lentils, chickpeas
Whole grain muffin
Whole grain bread
Rice, pasta, quinoa
Whole grain crackers, wraps
Whole what English muffin, pita
For more information on how to set children up for a lifetime of healthy eating
Visit: 16-2150 Robertson Rd. Bells Corners