Shop Smart. Cook Healthy. Eat Right.
“Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes, and cooking. It’s about harnessing imagination, empowerment, and creativity.” ~ Guy Fieri
Kids are adventurous. They love to learn and they love to make choices for themselves. But when it comes to food, we often limit the contribution and role children can have in the shopping and cooking process.
When I was still in my undergraduate program, myself and some other students visited several elementary school classes, with kids ranging from age 5-10. Each time we went to the schools, we brought a variety of vegetables, some familiar and some less familiar, like jicama. We didn’t go into the class and start by talking about how healthy the items were that we brought in. We simply presented them with a colorful variety of foods to eat and answered any questions the kids asked. Raw sugar snap peas, asparagus, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, jicama, and carrot sticks. I was shocked at how many kids tried each one of the veggies offered–even those they had never seen before. No questions, they just picked it up and ate it. Of course, some of them may have played with the asparagus stalk for a minute or made veggie faces on their plates before chowing down, but so what? They had fun with it, they ate what they enjoyed and left behind what they didn’t like.
Allowing children to be creative and empowering them to be involved in the selection of fruits and veggies at the grocery store will lead to fewer battles at the dinner table.
The Kids Eat Right campaign is bringing attention to the importance of healthy nutrition and active lifestyles for children and families during the month of August. The Kids Eat Right site is filled with kid-friendly recipes and tips for getting kids involved in grocery shopping and cooking in the kitchen. You can also follow Kids Eat Right on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
To help celebrate the Kids Eat Right campaign, I created this recipe for Jicama Apple Slaw–a crunchy, colorful, and slightly sweet slaw that kids will love! The Kids Eat Right team developed a video for the recipe–see just how easy this recipe is and how kids can help out in the kitchen!