Monday, April 28, 2008

Cooking and Learning

There are meals when you just have to get it on the table quickly, and that's ok!! When you have a little extra prep time, however, why not turn cooking time into fun and learning time?
Maybe it's the homeschool mom in me, but I love having the kids in the kitchen with me to cook. I am far from a gourmet cook, or even a good cook (the smoke alarm tends to mean that dinner is ready in our house!) , but there is still lots of teaching that I can do in the kitchen.

Menu planning - the obvious opportunity to discuss making healthy food choices; chat about the food pyramid (more info on the "new" food pyramid here: ); discuss portion sizes; also a chance to practice drawing out a calendar and utilizing some scheduling and planning skills

Picking out a recipe - some of the above, and lots of reading - great if you can use a book with pictures and words

Prepping - just learning to prepare and have out what you need is a huge lesson!

Cooking - you're working on reading, measuring, learning cooking terms, fine motor skills, safety

Serving the meal - if you're really good (and I am not in this area for sure!) you can almost have an art thing going here with your presentation - how to present in an attractive and visually pleasing way; manners and ettiquette can be taught; even more importantly the art of serving graciously can be demonstrated

Cleaning up - learning how to follow through and finish up a project; health and cleanliness

A website with lots of fun cooking ideas is . There are a bunch of them out there - just take a little time to search. Also, check out the library - most have quite a few choices for cooking with kiddos.

And like anything else that you do with your children, it will take time, more time than it would for you to throw that meal together, but look at all that they can learn! You may even have a genuine helper on your hands before too long. And hopefully they may also learn to appreciate, at least a tiny bit more, all that you put into the meals that you make for them each and every day!! Here's hoping! :)

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