They will love following a recipe because it appeals to their natural sense of order. They will love preparing the dish because the tasks involved help them refine motor skills. And most importantly, they will love spending time with you doing an activity that results in a tasty treat!
Activity: Menu Planning with Kids
Here are some benefits to including your child in the process of preparing for a meal:
- He or she will understand that your pantry or refrigerator doesn’t restock itself, you need to go to the grocery store or market! Also an opportunity to speak about the varying costs of grocery items, and the fact that food isn’t free.
- Your child will appreciate the ingredients that go into a dish. After planning and preparing lasagna, they will be able to confidently answer the question “What is lasagna made of?”
- By being involved in the entire process of preparing a meal, your child will feel a sense of pride and ownership! Have a picky eater? Let them have more of a say in what you’re eating as a family (within limits, of course). They will be proud to present their creation!
- Planning and preparing a meal will appeal to your child’s sense of order. Even if your child is a pre-reader, they can still follow a recipe and understand that there is a definite order to things. “First, we assemble the ingredients. Next, we find the dishes we need. Now, what’s the first step on the recipe…”
We asked a friend who loves to cook to help us out in the kitchen, making Blueberry Smoothies. If it sounds like something your family might like, give them a try! Here’s the recipe.
Step 1: Gather your ingredients. Pre-measure for your child, or let them do it themselves!
– Blueberries, 1 cup frozen and a few fresh for garnish
– Yogurt, ½ cup non-fat Greek
– Milk, ⅓ cup
– Oats, ¼ cup old-fashioned
– Vanilla Extract, ¼ teaspoon
– Salt, a pinch
– Maple syrup or honey, sweeten to taste
Step 2: Gather your tools
– Glasses and straws
– Spoon or spatula
Step 3: Assemble the smoothie! Substitute any fruit for blueberries if you prefer.
Your child can pour all the ingredients into the blender, in any order, then blend it up and pour into the glasses to enjoy! Garnish with fresh blueberries if you’d like. Or just more honey.
Have a conversation with your child about what other ingredients they might use to make a delicious smoothie. Would strawberries work? What about peanut butter?!
As your child becomes more confident in the kitchen, incorporate them into more planning and preparation. Pretty soon, they will be preparing their own lunches, creating their own snacks, and planning the family dinners!
Do you have any recipes that your child loves to prepare? Send them our way please, and we’d love to share them with fellow parents!
April activities are all centered around that great family meeting space: the kitchen! This week, help your child prepare snacks independently.