Cooking with kids
The kitchen is an engaging place for kids as they learn by playing, touching, and tasting. Letting your kids experiment will encourage them to try new foods and teach them valuable kitchen skills. Breakfast for Learning, a national charity dedicated to child nutrition programs, offers the following tips for getting your little chefs involved.
Before you get started, teach your children the two simple rules of the kitchen:
1. Wash hands before and after touching food. Scrub with soapy water for the amount of time it takes to sing the ABCs.
2. Ask to taste. To stop the spread of food-borne illness from raw food like chicken and eggs, make sure kids ask to sample food before they taste.
A child’s hands are the ultimate kitchen tool; even young children can participate in meal preparation. For example, children can:
• Tear foods like lettuce and pull grapes from vines;
• Remove the peel off fruit;
• Mix ingredients;
• Measure dry ingredients;
• Push buttons on blenders, toasters, and microwaves (with supervision);
• Set the oven timer and tell you when it’s done.
Involving kids in the kitchen allows them to learn about food and nutrition, spend quality time with an adult, and have fun.
4 100% whole wheat pitas
2 chicken breasts, cut in strips
3 cups vegetables of your choice
1 small can pizza sauce
1 cup partly skim mozzarella cheese, grated
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350˚F
Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add chicken and cook until centre is no longer pink.
Provide each family member with their own pita for the base of their pizza.
Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce over each pita.
Place chicken on top the sauce.
Pile each pizza high with vegetables.
Sprinkle each pizza with ¼ cup of grated cheese.
Place pizzas in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve and enjoy.
Tip: to make a vegetarian version of this recipe switch black beans for chicken.
More information on the importance of healthy eating and new recipe ideas can be found online at www.breakfastforlearning.ca.