Children benefit from being involved in the mealtime process in various ways. Participating in grocery store trips is a great way to get your children involved in the process. Let's face it though, grocery store trips with children aren't always the most pleasant. Here's something to get them more involved while also keeping them busy so you can get your shopping done without added stress. Download this scavenger hunt and encourage your children to circle the foods they see. You can get creative and have them look for foods that are made out of the foods pictured, as well. For example, instead of just sticking to the produce section, have them look at pictures on juices and yogurts to look for the items on their list.
I'm excited to share this visual recipe download with you all! I wanted to come up with a way for my daughter to participate more in cooking and start teaching her about following recipes. I came up with this visual recipe and it was a huge hit! They were so stoked to follow the instructions with more independence. It's easy - 6 ingredients, 5 steps, under 10 minutes - and delicious! Substitute peanut butter with any alternative to avoid allergies. It's also gluten free! You can download the file below.
Here are some benefits of involving your children in the cooking process:
We started out by reading through the instructions to make sure they understood the sequence. Then, we did one step at a time. I helped them with reading, but was really surprised by how much they understood from the photos!
Of course, their favorite part was the taste testing and they definitely approved! Oh, and in case you are wondering, it absolutely is necessary to wear that hat during the cooking process!
Here is the download for you to use! I'd love your feedback as I'm hoping to make more of these in the future!
Yes, those words came out of my 3 year old this morning! My daughter has been helping me make smoothies some mornings. My goals have been to expose her to different fruits and vegetables, let her have control about what she puts in her smoothies, and teach her some self-help skills. Typically, I just put out a bunch of ingredients and she puts them together how she pleases. She loves being able to say that she made it for the family. I always include some greens but today we were all out and I happened to catch this adorable moment on video!
This is an example of why positive associations are so crucial! She would've never wanted to eat the greens plain, but loves to put it in the smoothie and watch it blend in with the berries. This is a method I use to teach her to turn things she might not like into something she will by blending flavors.
My daughter will only eat one or two slices of a raw apple but will eagerly scarf down an entire apple when it's steamed. Steaming the apple requires minimal effort and makes it soft and a little more sweet. These are the simple steps I take:
1. Core and slice - don't worry about he peels, they come off easily once it's steamed.
2. Place the slices in a steamer basket and put the basket in a saucepan with a few inches of water (don't let the water touch the apples).
3. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Let it boil until the apples are tender and can be pierced easily with a fork (about 5 minutes). You can very gradually keep them in for less time to get your child used to a harder texture and work up to raw apples.
4. Let it cool and peel the skin if desired. I encouraged my daughter to peel the skin herself to give her some extra exposure with it and because it's an awesome fine motor task! Eventually I will encourage her to try some bites with the skin on.
With the exception of the one slice she reluctantly gave up to her baby brother (another bonus - good for babies!) she devoured an entire apple in a couple minutes and asked for more!