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How to get kids involved in the kitchen: Tips for parents

By Lindsay Rypkema, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s

School is back in session, and although for most this means in-home learning for the time being, there is no better time to get your kids involved in the kitchen, as recipes nicely tie into reading and math lessons. Take out all your measuring cups and spoons to teach them how to read the numbers and the meaning of different measurements such as ounces, tablespoon, teaspoon and cup. Have your child calculate what the measurements would be if the recipe was doubled or cut in half.

Here are a few simple, family-friendly recipes that will help get kids involved in the kitchen.

Berry-licious smoothie bowl

These smoothie bowls can provide a lot of good nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and protein, depending on ingredients included. Greek yogurt is a good choice as a base because it is high in protein. This recipe calls for almond milk, but you can use whatever type of milk your family currently consumes.

Ingredients:

Ice, for thickening

1 cup frozen berries

½ medium banana, frozen

½ cup almond milk

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

*Consider the following as additional toppings: chia seed, ground flaxseed, fresh fruit, chopped nuts, shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. Blend the berries, banana, milk and yogurt. Add ice to thicken as needed.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and add toppings of choice.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network

Frozen Berry and Spinach Ice Pops:

The weather is still hot, so check out this twist on the standard popsicle using healthier ingredients. These smoothie-like popsicles are packed with antioxidants and are a good way to sneak in some extra spinach for picky eaters. Keep in mind you can blend spinach into most smoothie-type recipes without changing the taste, and avocado can be used to make them creamier.

Ingredients:

1 cup milk

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup frozen cherries

½ cup Greek yogurt

½ cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

3 tablespoons honey

Directions:

  1. Blend milk, blueberries, cherries, yogurt, spinach and honey in a blender until smooth; pour into ice pop molds.
  2. Freeze until solid, at least two hours.

Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes

Alphabet pizza:

Pizza is a favorite of many children, so this is a good way to get your child involved in the kitchen. This recipe calls for alphabet cookie cutters which is a fun way for younger children to practice their letters. If you don’t have alphabet cookie cutters, use whatever shapes you currently have available in your home. Provide a wide variety of vegetable toppings such as bell pepper, tomato, mushrooms, onions and spinach for added vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Look for meats that are minimally processed and have fewer additives such as nitrates.

Ingredients:

Premade pizza crust

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon oregano

Pinch of salt

1 ½ cups pizza sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1 cup mini pepperoni

*Recommend additional vegetable toppings as mentioned above

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush olive oil all over.
  2. Using letter cookie cutters, cut out desired letters. Spread a spoonful of sauce onto each piece and top with cheese and mini pepperoni. Bake until cheese has melted and dough is golden.

Recipe courtesy of Delish

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