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Eat Smart for a Great Start Challenge

Collaborating Through Cooking

Brenda ThompsonEncouraging your children to cook with family and friends can be a great way to help build collaboration and sharing skills. Planning a cooking (and eating) party is a great way to get kids thinking about the process of cooking and how to work with others in the kitchen. Here are some tips:

Kids combining ingredients

  • Work with your child on an invitation list and menu.
  • Talk to them about what the guests might want to cook and eat.  Pizzas and salads are foods that can be easy to assemble. You may need to pre-cut the ingredients.
  • Discuss with your child how everyone can be a part of the cooking process. Will they make their own salads and pizza, or can you make salads and pizza to share by voting on what goes in each?
  • Then, when the day comes, make sure you have a plan for how each child will be involved. You could plan to create pizzas to share and have everyone assemble their own salads. They can save and share the recipes using these templates.

For a “create your own salad” activity, you’ll need to set up a “salad bar” in your kitchen so that the kids can add the ingredients they want. Think about including a variety of textures and colors for them to choose from. You could also include some fruits as well as vegetables (apples, grapes and pineapple can be good add-ins). Don’t forget to provide some coloring pencils or crayons for kids to write down and illustrate their recipes.

—Brenda Thompson

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