Its that time of year again when the kids are home and school is out. This is a wonderful opportunity to get kids in the kitchen to learn how to prepare, cook, and get creative with food!
You can help empower your child to make smart, healthy food choices by teaching them healthy eating can be both nutritious and fun. There are several ways you can do this. First, start by getting the family together for meals. Research conducted by the University of Minnesota has shown that children who eat with their families consume higher amounts of micronutrients and are less likely to be overweight. Secondly, preparing meals together is a great time to bond with your child. Another way to encourage healthy eating habits is to lead by demonstration. Fruits and vegetables can be tasty and contain vitamins that everyone needs as part of a healthy lifestyle. Meats, grains, and dairy also provide essential nutrients that provide energy and help build strong healthy bones and teeth. You have the chance to be a role model for your child by showing them that eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can be deliciously nutritious.Having fun with meal or snack time will encourage your kids to join in on the action. Kids can get involved by washing, sorting, and destemming the produce. They can also add spreads like peanut butter and light cream cheese to bread and vegetables. Adult supervision is recommended any time knives are required to prepare the foods. In some cases it may not be appropriate to have the child use the knife. If this is the case, feel free to do the cutting, dicing, or slicing and then let your child add the ingredients to the recipe.
School breaks don’t have to mean vegging out in front of the television. Instead, lets make them about getting creative with vegetables in the kitchen! Below are some ideas to help you get started having fun with food. Since every good eater deserves a treat, check out the Blueberry Crumble recipe. So get in the kitchen and cook up some delicious fun with the whole family!
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen fruit, such as blueberries, peaches, plums
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons whole-wheat or all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped almonds or pecans
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons canola oil
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Combine fruit with granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and orange juice. Divide among four 6-ounce ovenproof ramekins. Combine oats, nuts, brown sugar, the remaining 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Drizzle with oil and stir to combine. Sprinkle over the fruit mixture. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.
- Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.
4 slices of whole wheat bread
2 bananas, peeled
½ cup creamy peanut butter
- Lay two slices of the whole wheat bread on a flat surface so that they lay slightly overlapping.
- Using a rolling pin, gently flatten the slices pressing their seams together.
- Gently spread peanut butter over the bread and lay the banana in the middle.
- Carefully roll the bread around the banana.
- Slice into 1 to 1½ inch pieces.
- Repeat with remaining ingredients and serve.
Note: Tortillas can substitute for the wheat bread and can be easier for kids to roll!
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (10 ounce) can tomatoes with green chilies
1 (14 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (16 ounce) can mixed vegetables, drained
1 (13 ounce) can Spanish rice
Brown the ground beef with the onion in a skillet, stirring until the ground beef is crumbly, then drain. Add tomatoes with green chilies, stewed tomatoes, corn, mixed vegetables, and Spanish rice and mix well. Simmer for 1 hour.
All recipes courtesy of: The Association of Junior Leagues International 2011