I am a member of SocialMoms and in honor of the Ben’s Beginner’s contest, they have teamed up with Uncle Ben’s for this fun new blogging program. They have asked me to help spread the word about the Ben’s Beginners contest and to share my tips for cooking healthy meals with kids with you. You may read more about that request here.
I have a 7 year old daughter and a 12 year old son so I know how important a warm, healthy and tasty meal is for them. While my son is not a picky eater, my daughter is quickly becoming one. While saying this and recognizing where we are headed on the eating track, I have tried to think of a few ways to get her more involved in her choices of healthy foods. I feel that if she has some choices in the foods that she eats and buys then she will be more willing to eat them.
Now I will list what I have come up with and please feel free to add any suggestions that you have may have in a comment on my blog.
1. Let your child practice their spelling and penmanship skills on your grocery list. My 7 year old loves to help me in any way that she can. She enjoys writing down my grocery list and she is always happy to add to it whenever I need her too. We keep the ongoing list on the fridge and there is a pencil nearby. She feels so big when we go grocery shopping because we are using her list to shop by.
2. Let your child help you pick out the best fruits and veggies at the store. My kids enjoy going grocery shopping with me. Usually they are a big help when it comes to choosing the prettiest fruits and veggies that are available. I will let them know which variety they can choose from and I will let them know how many they can pick. The rest is up to them. I find that if they help pick the fruits and veggies then they will be more willing to eat them once we get them home.
3. I let my children wash the fruits and veggies once we get home. They get to see how their fruits and veggies are cleaned and stored once we bring them here. This way, the items are clean and ready to eat and the kids know where they are stored. I would much rather my children grab an apple, orange, banana or carrot over a cookie.
4. I let my children help plan our daily menu. Since my children are aware of what we buy at the store and they know what groceries we have on hand, it makes it easier for them to help me plan a meal. I will usually choose the main entree or meat and I will let them plan the sides, drinks, and maybe a small dessert. By them choosing these items I am assured that they will at least eat a portions of their meal.
5. My children can practice their reading and measuring skills in the kitchen while they help me to cook dinner. I will let my daughter read the recipe out loud and my son will follow the measuring instructions and add the ingredients to our dish. I am always in the kitchen with them and this is a fun way for us to practice as a team and work together. This is also a great way for them to learn with out it seeming like school work. For us, this is a win win situation: They are learning, we are spending quality time together, and dinner is being prepared at the same time!
If you have a child who enjoys helping you in the kitchen then you may be interested in the Ben’s Beginner’s contest. Uncle Ben’s has launched a national contest called Ben’s Beginners and they are looking for parents with children ages 5-12 to submit a 2-3 minute video of you cooking a rice-based dish with your children. The lucky winner of this contest will win $20,000 and a $50,000 grant towards a makeover for their child’s school cafeteria. In addition to this great prize, they will have a chance to appear on The Rachael Ray show! For more info on the contest, please check out Ben’s Beginners on Facebook!
Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Uncle Ben’s blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.