A guest post by Debra E. Johnson.
Often when a parent thinks of food, it has to do with meal planning, shopping, and food preparation. Outside of the occasional ice cream cone or chocolate chip cookie, parents look for opportunities to ensure that their children are consistently eating healthy.
Most parents will agree that getting children to eat vegetables can be the biggest challenge! Yet beyond eating, food can be a parent’s friend.
Meal planning and meal preparation can be a fun, bonding time for you and your child.
For starters, children ages 6 to 9 years old can learn how to make basic meals, practice fractions through measuring out ingredients, and learn kitchen safety. Children 10 years and older, can learn cooking vocabulary, how to use different kitchen tools such as a blender, handheld mixer, or a stove-top grill. Think of the memories you are building and how proud your child will be to cook that entire meal that‘s actually nutritious and delicious!
A second way to use food is to create an art project.
Grab an old box of pasta and some food coloring. Coat the pasta whatever colors you like. Let them dry. Paste the colorful pasta as a border on picture frames, or use the colors to reinforce grouping to help a child his or her multiplication tables.
Have you considered using rice? Rice can be colored just like pasta, then used in clear vases as a table decoration.
A third way is to find books that focus on food not just for cooking but to teach lessons. My favorite is Everybody Cooks Rice by Norah Dooley. The main character looks for her little brother who visits the diverse culture of people in his neighbor. (Of course he eats along the way.) By the book’s end, Carrie has visited neighbors from several cultures. She sees that no matter where a person is from — Chinese, Puerto Rico, or India – everybody has a way to cook rice!
Try these for more suggestions:
Disney Princess Cookbook by Disney Book Group
Full House: An invitation to Fractions by Dayle Ann Dodds
About the author: Debra E. Johnson
Debra E. Johnson is an author, a blogger, a librarian, and a born-again Christian. You can visit her YouTube Channel: “Recite, Rhyme, Read,” or visit her creativity website at www.debraejohnson-creates.com