Make Summer Time A Healthy Time for Kids
Extending family time can be easy — just add food and fitness. Here are some tips on how to increase family time while encouraging children’s healthy development
Your kitchen can be your child’s summer classroom. Using your kitchen as a science lab can help children stay in the school mode several ways.
- Children can read recipes and measure ingredients. This sharpens math, reading and vocabulary skills.
- While children cook they build positive self-esteem, confidence and independence. Even while preparing a snack, they feel a sense of pride and responsibility.
- Cooking teaches new skills. As kids learn to cook, they help stir, pour, shake and tear. Later they can cut, grate and measure.
- Cooking provides a sense of accomplishment. Children are proud when they finish and are able to share what they have made.
- Cooking also can help children make smart food choices. Combining gardening with cooking helps children learn how to grow food, and they are more likely to try different vegetables and eat more of them.
When you cook with children, remember safety first. Tie back long hair, wear short sleeves and wash hands for at least 20 seconds before getting started.
There are many great science experiments focusing on food designed for kids that can be found on the internet. Many of these experiments can be done with materials found in your kitchen.
If your child has an interest in cooking, a number of organizations are offering classes and camps for kids that provide an opportunity for them to gain new skills.
Adapted by an article posted on the Science of Parenting blog written by Lori Hayungs, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Human Sciences Specialist.