Mealtime Memories Begin in the Kitchen

A good way to get young children excited about new foods and healthy eating is to get them involved in the kitchen. Young children like to imitate their parents, and this is especially true during meal planning and food preparation.

Summer is an especially fun time to get kids in the kitchen and to introduce new fruits and vegetables.  Let your kids pick something at a farm stand or farmer’s market, and then have them help prepare it.  Or try cooking a new recipe together.  The more hands-on time your kids have helping you prepare foods, the more likely they are to try something new.

Young children can do things like:

  • clean and help set the table,
  • select fruits or vegetables for the meal,
  • rinse vegetables and fruits,
  • snap green beans,
  • toss a salad, and
  • help assemble a pizza or make sandwiches.

Parents, remember some safety tips when children are in the kitchen.  Cook with pots and pans on the back burners, and keep hot dishes where children cannot touch or pull them down on top of themselves.  Watching children closely and giving them specific, child-appropriate tasks can help to increase your child’s interest in new foods and food preparation.

For some kid friendly recipes or cooking tips, contact Kate Whitney at the Extension Office at 254-435-2331.

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