Recently, nine families rolled up their sleeves and spent some time in the kitchen with Weis Dietitian Beth Stark. The Kids Can Cook Workshop brought together kids of various ages, parents and grandparents to learn healthy family meal planning tips, basic cooking techniques, go-to recipe ideas, budget shopping strategies as well as the opportunity to make the quick, fun and easy Veggie Patch Pizzas.
Prior to cooking, the participants used their senses of sight, smell, taste, touch and sound to explore the various pizza toppings. This exercise encouraged them to sample unfamiliar ingredients, like canned artichokes, before adding them to their pizzas. Participants had the opportunity to top their whole-wheat English muffin “crusts” with a variety of toppings such as, fresh pineapple, turkey pepperoni, broccoli, spinach, ham, tomatoes, cheddar cheese and bell peppers. These ingredients were selected to highlight the importance of whole grains, colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy foods as the foundation of a healthy meal.
After enjoying their pizza creations, the group completed the newest Kids’ Bites activity. Kids had the opportunity to practice their reading, math and measuring skills as they followed recipe instructions and measured dry ingredients to prepare a Oatmeal Chip Cookie recipe in one-quart Mason jars. The jars were given the finishing decorative touches with fabric, ribbon and a gift tag clipped from the Kids’ Bites page. Homemade holiday gifts like these are perfect for a special hostess, teacher or neighbor. You can download the recipe and instructions for this activity here or pick up the newest issue of Healthy Bites Magazine #64.
Experts agree that getting kids involved in family meal planning and preparation at an early age expands their food preferences, promotes healthy eating habits and decreases their risk for being overweight and obesity. It may also help to get picky eaters exploring new foods. Spending time with your kids in the kitchen is a fun way to bond with with your children while accomplishing the necessary task of preparing a meal.
For more healthy cooking tips, kids’ in the kitchen activities and family-friendly recipes, download our Kids Can Cook! Cookbook or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and mailing address and we will mail one to you!
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