Cooking With Your Children
We all want to give our children a well rounded education, so let’s add one more fun thing to their day. My kids love to cook – so I just decided to add a homeschool cooking curriculum. There are so many different recipes your children can try. Desserts, main dishes and even let them create a whole menu. It’s fun for them to set up a whole meal – if you have time, and the patience of course. Just go ahead and let them take over lunch or dinner one day.
We all remember the food pyramid, well in 2011 the Federal Goverment did away with the pyramid in favor of a “Plate”. You can find out all the information at ChooseMyPlate.gov, where it explains portion control and each of the food groups in more detail. Today these facts are more important than ever, with all the fast food places, soft drinks and an overall downhill turn of children’s eating habits. The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) can be a great source of information for everyone. They have a ton of sites at your finger tips, anything from food alergies, foodborne illness, to food labeling guides. This really is a great resource not only for homeschoolers ,but for everyone to stay informed.
Now Let’s Get Busy
It would be great, if it’s possible, to have a chef from a local restaurant come and join your home school group and share some of the tricks of the trade. If you are unable to do this, just get some tips from the online world, and away we go. Also, if you can get another mother who is not involved with your homeschool group come, this makes it new and exciting for the kids.
Cooking teaches kids valuable skills that they can carry with them through life. Children practice basic math when they measure ingredients, reading comprehension as they follow a recipe, team building as they work in groups, and they also build a strong foundation for healthy eating. All of these skills are mixed in with delicious food and fun.
In addition to essential cooking skills like chopping, grilling, and sautéing, they will learn many skills that will stay with them for years. They will also learn important organizational skills, how to work as a team, cooperation, and taking turns. There are also curriculum based cooking plans set up with menus, schedules and food plans to follow.
Here Are A Few Examples Of Cooking Curriculum
Go!Chefs is a hands-on cooking and nutrition education curriculum for young people ages 6 through 21. The kids cooking classes introduce youth to the pleasures of preparing and enjoying “real food” that is both nutritious and delicious – an essential step toward health and well-being. Students learn basic cooking skills, the joy of eating and cooking with fresh fruits and vegetables, and how to become empowered and conscious consumers in a marketplace that spends millions to persuade children to eat high-calorie, low-nutrient products.
Serving Up MyPlate – A Yummy Curriculum A new and improved version of the Food Pyramid, MyPlate illustrates the five food groups of a healthy diet. Provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service’s Team Nutrition Initiative, this curriculum brings MyPlate to first and second graders, providing an introduction to healthy foods and nutrition. The curriculum includes three lessons, a pacing guide with the time required for each activity and multiple fun activities to keep students interested and learning, including three original songs. Source: Choose MyPlate
Read It Before You Eat It – Teach your children to read the Food Nutrition Facts labels on all food items. This will teach them to make informed decisions as they learn to pick the foods that will be beneficial to them.
Cooking Through History
Another great idea is combine your cooking lesson with your history class. Find out what the menu was back in the 1800’s, or what the pilgrims ate. Do your best to recreate one of these meals – your children will not only remember the lesson more clearly, but will be able to appreciate what they used to eat all those years ago.
Now remember, with this kind of cooking plan, getting everything together first will be key to your success. You may THINK you know what you are going to do – but unless you have fully prepared (by printing out the recipe and pulling together the ingredients), then you may just stumble at the first hurdle. Once I am totally prepared, then I’ll schedule it for a day in the near future.
I am sure that once you begin to include homeschool cooking lessons in your curriculum, then you will begin to see the kids gaining in independence. Children that are confident in the kitchen are often more confident overall. Kids are funny, now that they can make a peanut, butter and jelly sandwich they think they are all that. When in fact, this really does boost their self-esteem. They can get knocked down out there in the world, why not give them a step up once in a while if we can.
Recipes Kids Will Love
Pizza Cupcakes – Ingredients
- 1 – can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
- 1/2 – cup Muir Glen™ organic pizza sauce
- 1/4 – cup mini pepperoni slices
- 1/4 – lb mild Italian sausage, cooked and drained
- 1/2 – cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2 oz)
- 1 Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray. Unroll dough; separate into 8 triangles. Press into muffin cups.
- 2 In small bowl, mix sauce, pepperoni, sausage and 1/4 cup of the cheese. Spoon about 2 tablespoons mixture into each dough-lined cup; sprinkle each with about 1 teaspoon additional cheese.
- 3 Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately remove from cups and serve.
30-Minute Mini Meatloaves – Ingredients
- 1/2 – cup ketchup
- 2 – tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 – lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
- 1/2 – lb ground pork
- 1/2 – cup Original Bisquick™ mix
- 1/4 – teaspoon pepper
- 1 – small onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
- 1 – egg
- 1 Heat oven to 450°F. In small bowl, stir ketchup and brown sugar until mixed; reserve 1/4 cup for topping. In large bowl, stir remaining ingredients and remaining ketchup mixture until well mixed.
- 2 Spray 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray. Place meat mixture in pan; pat into 12×4-inch rectangle. Cut lengthwise down center and then crosswise into sixths to form 12 loaves. Separate loaves, using spatula, so no edges are touching. Brush loaves with reserved 1/4 cup ketchup mixture.
- 3 Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until loaves are no longer pink in center and meat thermometer inserted in center of loaves reads 160°F.
Kid Salad – Ingredients
- 4 – canned peach halves, drained
- 4 – ruffly lettuce leaves
- 16 – celery sticks, 3 inches long
- 4 – large marshmallows
- Raisins, if desired
- Shredded cheese, if desired
- 1 For each salad, place 1 peach half, cut side down, on 1 lettuce leaf on plate. Add celery sticks for arms and legs; marshmallow for head; raisins for eyes, nose, buttons, hands and feet; a piece of maraschino cherry for mouth; and shredded cheese for hair.
- 2 Refrigerate until serving.
So get busy, get those eggs out (you’re going to loose a few for sure), flour, mixer and anything else you may need to give those kids a chance to have a little fun. You’ll be surprised how great they will do!! Enjoy, and more importantly, have fun.
Kids Cookbooks (click on pic for link)
Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cook Book (Better Homes and Gardens Cooking)
American Girl Baking: Recipes for Cookies, Cupcakes & More
Children’s Quick and Easy Cookbook