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Here are some of the highlights if you couldn’t make it to the class:
When the school year ends, most kids want to use summer vacation for playtime and forget about “learning” for a while. But learning doesn’t need to be about sitting still, reading books and doing homework – interacting in the kitchen can make learning FEEL like playtime.
“We use cooking as a teaching opportunity in many aspects,” acknowledged Stacie, The Divine Miss Mommy.
Ways to incorporate learning into fun kitchen time:
Practice reading and comprehension: Ask your child to read the recipe and help you follow it to prepare the dish.
Practice math skills: All recipes use basic math like counting, measuring and following step-by-step instructions.
“I love teaching my daughter about measuring since they are covering that in school. It kind of sticks in your head easier when you understand 1/4 or 1/2 cup, etc,” said Tammy, Tammy’s Two Cents.
“Even my 2-year-old can work on her counting! ‘We need 2 cups of flour…’” added Jessie, Vanderbilt Wife.
Kids can start helping in the kitchen from a very young age – it’s just about assigning age-appropriate tasks.
Toddlers can help by snapping green beans in half, tearing up lettuce or helping you mix batter by hand. Grade-school kids can begin measuring dry and liquid ingredients, cracking eggs, juicing lemons, etc. Work out a progression of skills in the kitchen as your children grow.
“Fruit kabobs, veggie kabobs are great for little hands to assemble, or a good teriyaki chicken kabob can be assembled by the older kids,” noted Vanessa, The Sew*er, The Caker, The Copycat-Maker.
“My toddler loves dumping things into a mixing bowl (coordination!), counting, stirring, placing items (like on a pizza),” suggested Jessica, Vanderbilt Wife.
Jenna, A Mom’s Balancing Act, added, “My 3 year old loves helping wash the vegetables.”
And rounding out the toddler skill set, “When my youngest was two, she could set the table, hand us utensils and we even let her stir. She loved it!” said Stacie, The Divine Miss Mommy.
Going beyond quality time and healthier eating, there are a whole host of benefits to cooking with your kids, and you can find many of them in this article from Web MD: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/cooking-with-your-children
Additional tips for cooking with kids (shared by Jessica, Vanderbilt Wife): http://onceamonthmom.com/top-ten-tuesday-cooking-with-kids/
I would definitely encourage you to attend one of the cooking classes at The Motherhood if you’re ever able. I always enjoy chatting about food, everyone gives great suggestions, and the sponsors chip up some fun prizes! There aren’t any scheduled right now that I can tell, but keep a lookout.
The Motherhood chat was sponsored by ConAgra, and I was compensated for my time.