Whole-person integrative medicine focused on healing you in mind, body and spirit. It's more than fixing what’s wrong. It’s about celebrating what’s right and making sure you’re on the path to a healthier, stronger you.
The kitchen is a great place to spend time making wholesome food and fun memories with children. In addition to the time well-spent with each other, there are a number of great reasons to cook together with your kids.
- Cooking allows a less intimidating opportunity for kids to explore foods and helps to fully engage their senses. Children who help prepare meals and snacks are more likely to try a wider variety of healthy foods and more apt to enjoy foods they made themselves.
- Cooking is an important life skill and healthy eating habits that are learned early in life can be carried into adulthood.
- Cooking can help teach math concepts such as counting, measuring and fractions. It can also be an opportunity to talk about different cultures and explore foods from around the world.
- Cooking together is an opportunity to teach your kids about kitchen safety.
- Cooking at home is often more nutritious than eating out.
- Cooking can be a fun and creative outlet that helps kids build confidence.
Kid-Friendly Kitchen Tools and Gadgets
Safe, kid-sized gadgets and tools are great for getting kids involved in the kitchen and excited about developing healthier eating habits. Kids as young as two years old can help with scrubbing, tearing, peeling, juicing, measuring, whisking, rolling, mashing, pouring and mixing. Here’s a simple list of a few kitchen essentials to help engage your child in meal prep.
- Kid-sized apron
- Kid-safe nylon plastic knife for safely slicing and chopping (www.curiouschef.com)
- Cutting board
- Whisks for whipping up homemade salad dressings, sauces and pancake batter
- Kid-safe scissors for cleaning green beans or clipping fresh herbs from the garden
- Slip-proof mixing bowls with rubberized bottom for keeping messes to a minimum
- Kid-safe fruit and veggie peeler (www.curiouschef.com)
- Veggie scrub brush for helping to wash veggies
- Citrus reamer for juicing lemons, limes and oranges
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups
- Clear plastic liquid measuring cup
- CHOPCHOP: The Kids’ Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family by Sally Sampson
- Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair
- The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids One Meal at a Time by Laurie David
About the Author
Lisa Markley, MS, RDN, LD
Lisa Markley, MS, RDN, LD, is an integrative dietitian culinary nutrition expert with nearly two decades of experience working towards improving the health of others. She is passionate about educating others how to harness the healing power of food and healthful lifestyle changes.