Cooking With Children
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Get Them Interested
Cooking with your children is a good way to help them develop healthy eating habits. Most children enjoy helping in the kitchen. While they help you prepare a meal, you can talk to them about healthy foods. Children like to eat the food they make. This is also a good way to get them to try more healthy foods.
Let Them Help
You can show your children how to help you prepare meals. Here are ways that children of different ages can help in the kitchen:
5- to 6-year-olds can:
Be sure to have children wash their hands before and after helping in the kitchen. Be patient with spills and mistakes. Remember that the goal is to help your children learn about healthy eating.
Let Them Be Creative
Set out three or four healthy foods, and let your children make a new snack or sandwich from them. Use foods your children can eat without choking.
Spreads could include:
Toppings could include:
As you help your children make the new snack or sandwich, talk about why it is healthy. Point out the different food groups that are included in the snack or sandwich. Explain that eating a variety of foods is healthy. Ask why the snack or sandwich tastes good. Is it sweet, juicy, chewy, or crunchy?
Adapted from U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Tips for Using the Food Guide Pyramid for Young Children 4 to 6 Years Old.”
Last Updated March 2012