A Helping Hand in the Kitchen
As the old saying goes, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. But what about lunch and dinner? What about the snacks? The truth is, it’s all important! It was not until I became a mother that I realized just how much “stuff” is in some of the foods we consider to be normal staples in our homes. Now I am shocked at some of the ingredients put into the foods that fuel our bodies.
It is true that children learn so much about lifestyle in the early stages of life. This is why it is so important to consistently introduce various healthy foods to children at every meal. Studies show that it often takes upward to 15 introductions for a child to show even a little bit of interest in new food. So how can we make healthy foods fun and exciting for them to try instead of immediately rejecting the mere sight of a piece of broccoli? My tip is to let your children help in the kitchen. Get them excited by allowing them to measure, mix and pour! Children are more likely to eat healthy foods when they are able to be involved and given options.
Here are a few of my favorite things to make and prep in the kitchen with my kiddos!
–Pancakes: We love adding different ingredients to the pancake batter. My favorites are mashed sweet potatoes, blueberries, bananas, diced apples, and strawberries.
–Fruit and yogurt parfait with granola: Let your little ones pick the fruit to top their yogurt! Jazz it up with a little bit of honey if your child is over the age of 1.
–Egg muffins: We add bell peppers, onions, diced ham, and cheese to our egg muffins. Bonus points for sneaking in a few veggies with this quick breakfast or snack option.
–Homemade applesauce: Let your littles mix in cinnamon with your sliced apples. We enjoy making ours in the crockpot… mostly because it makes the house smell so yummy!
–Quesadilla: Let your little ones choose the toppings that they include in their quesadilla. Once they choose their toppings, start building your quesadilla!
–Personal size pizza: Similar to a quesadilla, allow your children to choose the toppings then build your pizza. Offer toppings like sliced tomatoes, shredded chicken, onions, peppers, and fresh mozzarella cheese.
This blog was created by Keisha Turner who is a current Child Development Associate (CDA) student with CDAClass.org. Keisha has been working with children for 10 years in a variety of different roles ranging from daycare to in-home settings as a nanny. She has lived in Ohio, Arizona, and now Atlanta, GA with her fiancé and son. Keisha is the current owner of a nanny agency and also hopes to become a preschool lead teacher once she completes her CDA. Her favorite thing to do is go on adventurous trips with her growing family.