Did you know that kids learn about food and eating at a very young age? That getting your kids involved in the kitchen can help shape their eating habits for the rest of their lives. Positive experiences about food early on in a child’s life may help them develop healthy eating habits in the future.
A recent study found that children who are exposed to cooking through culinary classes or aiding a parent or family member in preparing their meals in their home will be more likely to choose healthier foods not only in your own home, but when they are outside of your home, too. Researchers also found that the children who were involved in meal preparation had a higher intake of fruits, vegetables and dietary fiber and an increased willingness to try new foods.
Need some fun ways to get your kids involved in the kitchen? Try these tips for all ages:
- Take an average dinnertime recipe and make it something unique. This month on the blog, we have cooking instructions on how to turn your Meatloaf Milano into Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Frosting and Chicken Costoletta into Chicken Fingers.
- Make dinner an event. Turn an average weeknight dinner into an adventure by serving it in a fun way. Check out these ideas like serving Chicken Yakitori in takeout containers or creating your own Italian restaurant and serving Italian Stuffed Shells.
- Have preschoolers? Even they can help. Let them tear up lettuce, stir a sauce or slice up bananas for a fruit salad.
- Have your kids pick the menu for the week. Tell them each meal needs a protein and veggie, then let them pick. Giving them the chance to choose what’s for dinner means no complaining at the table.
- Bring your older kids to Dream Dinners with you. Let them help assembly your meals for the month and customize to meet their tastes.
Need some additional ideas, check out this post from Dream Dinners co-founder Stephanie Allen where she gives easy kitchen tasks that work for kids ages 3 – 18.