Crumbs and spills aside, cooking with children is a great way to spend quality time and teach important skills like measuring, counting, and following directions. Here are ideas for cooking with children:
- Teach them to wash their hands. Provide a step stool or chair that children can stand on to reach the counter where you are working.
- Choose tasks that are appropriate for their age. Explain clearly, in simple instructions, what you would like them to do and show them. For tips on what children can do, watch How to Include Children in the Kitchen.
- Children can help plan menus and suggest foods they like. They can check the pantry or refrigerator for foods on hand.
- Children can help at the grocery store by looking for certain foods, shapes, and colors. Children can help put groceries away when you get home.
There are benefits when you involve children with meals and snacks!
- Children are more likely to eat foods they have helped plan and prepare.
- Children develop fine motor skills, self-confidence, and independence.
- Working with your children in the kitchen provides quality time together. You can teach them why nutritious foods are important.
- Food preparation is a great way to help them use their senses—look, touch, taste, smell, and listen.
Try child-friendly recipes such as Crunchy Apple Roll-up, Scrambled Egg Muffin, Fruit Pizza, and Pizza on a Potato.
You can choose healthy foods and stick to your budget—Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website is here to help!
Spend Smart. Eat Smart. has helped shoppers save money and make healthy choices for more than seven years. We are proud to announce a brand new design for the website that is more modern, simpler to navigate, and functional on all your devices.
Whether your goal is to eat healthier, plan your family’s meals, or save money at the grocery store, you can find tools to make it easier on Spend Smart. Eat Smart. The website is home to the following:
- More than 150 recipes that are delicious, inexpensive, and easy to prepare
- How-to videos featuring recipes, kitchen organization tips, and basic food-prep techniques
- Strategies for saving money in each part of the grocery store
- Meal-planning templates and resources
Visit the website, spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu, today to connect with us through our blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Serving Size: 3/4 cup | Serves: 4
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced
- 1 apple (cored and diced)
- 1/3 cup celery, chopped (about 1 rib)
- 1/3 cup light ranch dressing or creamy salad dressing
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
- Combine chicken, apple, and celery in a medium bowl. Add dressing and pepper and stir to coat. Stir in pecans or walnuts, if desired.
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Serve on a lettuce leaf; spread on bread, tortillas, or a sandwich; or spoon into a halved tomato or cucumber.
Nutrition information per serving: 230 calories, 10g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 80mg cholesterol, 450mg sodium, 11g total carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 6g sugar, 25g protein
This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart website. For more recipes, information, and videos, visit www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/.