Download Cooking With Children (80k, 2 pages) handout.
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 new healthy foods.
Let Them Help
You can show your children how to help you make meals. Here are ways that children of different ages can help in the kitchen:
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.
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,” 1999.
Information on this page is taken from the English print version of “Your Heart, Your Life, A Community Health Worker's Manual.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH Publication No. 08-3674, Originally Printed 1999, Revised May 2008.
Last Updated March 2012