SUMMER SESSION WEEK FIVE
COOKING WITH CHILDREN
This week we will have some food related activities and songs.
Children love to feel like they are contributing to the family activities. They love chores – take advantage of this desire to help while they still feel like it is fun!
It has been shown that children that help with a meal are more likely to eat the meal than if it is just set in front of them. Picking the veggies from the garden to make a salad and then helping to put the salad together will encourage them to eat this salad at dinner. Children are capable of many simple tasks in the kitchen. They can tear up the lettuce, cut up bananas with a dull knife, butter the bread/toast, set the table and put on napkins. Children can look at pictures in the cookbook and help choose the menu for the meal. They can help with the preparation of that meal. They will learn basic math skills measuring and pouring the ingredients into a bowl, new vocabulary words when ‘beating’ the eggs and safety skills when learning about what is hot and what is sharp. These are skills that will help them be safe in the kitchen. Being part of the family meal preparations will help them develop good nutrition habits as they grow up.
A great multi-skilled activity is making Kabobs. It teaches patterns, numbers, colors, while developing fine motor skills and good nutrition choices.
Set out cubes or small pieces of fruit/tender vegetables for your child to press onto a skewer. If you are going to grill the veggies / fruit on a BBQ soak the wooden skewer before threading the fruit / veggies onto the skewer.
Play a game of:
~ Colors -- add a red food, add an orange food, add a white food.
~ Numbers -- have them match a number with the amount added to the skewer.
~ Shapes -- round blueberries/peas, cubed watermelon, circle bananas, triangle cantaloupe.
~ Patterns – draw the pattern on a piece of paper or have them match one skewer pattern with the second skewer.
In a blender:
Add any kind of soft fruit – banana, blueberries, strawberries
Add juice or milk (optional)
Add ice cubes (optional)
Turn on the blender and blend till the fruit is ‘smooth’ and drinkable.
Pour into cups.
Pour some smoothie into cups, cover with a piece of aluminum foil with a hole in the center, add a popsicle stick, freeze for tomorrow’s snack. Without the milk/juice this will freeze in a few hours.
In a Ziploc baggie add ripe fruit and let your child smash it inside the baggie. Once it is 'smooshed up' you can add it to the smoothie mix: pre-smoothied!
With the banana peel from the banana you used to make the smoothies you can make a Banana Boat.
~ Place the unpeeled banana on a cutting board so it sits up like a boat in the water.
~ Cut along the ridge of the banana an inch from both ends. Then cut back up leaving the center exposed when you remove that section of the peel.
~ Scoop out the banana.
~ Fill your banana boat with cargo or little ‘people’ made out of fruit
~ Add a little paper sail on a skewer to make it a sailboat
~ Serve it on a blue plate with fishy crackers in the water around the boat.
Children love pushing down the bread in a toaster.
Let them be in charge of the toast for breakfast. If you would rather them not have jam on their toast unsweetened applesauce is easy to spread and tastes yummy.
We will be having a chance to paint toast this week during class.
¼ cup of milk in small containers – one container for each color
White bread works best but any bread is fine
Q-tips or clean paint brush
You can blend the colors and talk about primary colors and what colors added together makes another color.
Paint the colors on the white bread using Q-tips or clean paint brushes.
Once the designs have been painted you can toast the bread in the toaster or on a cookie sheet in the oven for 6 min @ 350
There are so many foods your child can help you make. They can make the dinner salad, wash the potatoes for the baked potatoes – they may be the cleanest potatoes you have ever baked, make toast for breakfast, stir the eggs for the scrambled eggs and measure the ingredients for bread, cookies or pretzels. While working together in the kitchen with your child you can talk about smells, textures, measurements, utensils, tools, shapes and how the food changes when mixed, cut, baked, cooked. You can teach them about what foods are nutritious and how those foods help their body to grow and stay healthy.
1 ripe banana
¼ cup butter
¼ cup vanilla yogurt
¾ cup flour
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp cinnamon
~ With the peel still on let your child squish the banana until soft. Remove the peel and smash the banana in a bowl
~ Add butter and let your child mix or turn on the mixer.
~ Add yogurt and mix
~ In a separate bowl let your child break the egg. It’s easier to get the broken shell out of a new bowl ;-)
~ Continue mixing and add the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda.
~ Smell the vanilla and add
~ Shake the cinnamon in on top and smell it
Pour the batter into a loaf pan that your child has greased.
Bake at 325 degrees for 75 minutes.
Pretzels are a lot of fun to eat and to make!
Now that we can buy yeast again here is a fun recipe that the children can use to make all sorts of shapes – snakes, alphabet letters and whatever shape they choose.
1 package dry yeast
¾ cup warm water
1 TBS sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup white flour
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
Mix the yeast and warm water. Let set for 5 minutes
Add the flours together
Add the sugar and salt
Mix together with the water/yeast to form a ball.
On a floured surface knead the dough then roll it with a rolling pin for 5 minutes. Children love using a rolling pin and if you have a smaller one it is perfect for this recipe.
Roll dough into coils to form the pretzel shape or have your child make their own shapes.
Brush with a beaten egg
Sprinkle with kosher salt (optional)
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
As well as teaching your child safety with sharp tools and hot foods / appliances you need to be aware of food safety. Never eat raw eggs or dough/batter that has a raw egg in it. Be aware that your child will want to taste the foods they are working with. I usually pull out some of the batter or dough before I add an egg and then add the rest of the ingredients so they can eat that dough before it is cooked.
Cooking with children is so much fun. You will create memories that will stay with them as they grow up. The smells from the kitchen will bring back the memories of their childhood – and yours. Every time they smell bread dough rising, banana bread baking or the scent of fresh strawberries in a bowl they will be transported back to time spent in the kitchen with their family. Enjoy your time together in the kitchen!
Have fun cooking with your child!