Edible Education: Turning Your Kitchen into a Classroom for Children
For parents opting to educate their children from home this year, now is the perfect opportunity to turn the kitchen into a classroom! Make learning fun and delicious with an edible education experience featuring a curriculum curated for curious little chefs and hungry helpers. Best of all, September is Organic Awareness Month, making it the ideal time to teach children the importance of cooking and consuming foods that are produced without harmful chemicals.
Before the kiddos dive into prepping, start by teaching them the importance of proper hand hygiene. Explain that good hand washing helps prevent them from getting sick and others sick, especially when handling food. Make handwashing more fun by spending 15-20 seconds singing the ABCs together, which doubles a timer for proper washing. Organic tip: When choosing hand soaps, reach for organic-certified brands. Their natural ingredients are just as effective and will leave your skin moisturized and nourished; s conventional soaps can often leave your skin irritated and dry.
Empower your kids with valuable cooking skills that will facilitate healthy diethabits for years to come. Generate excitement and encourage exploration by allowing them to get hands-on with you in the kitchen. By making nutritious recipes from scratch, your kids can learn:
- The importance of choosing organic ingredients
- How to read a label
- How to cook and bake
- How to follow a recipe
- How to scoop, measure, mix, sauté, and whisk
- How to use common cooking equipment
- Experiment with different flavors and textures
Inspiring your kids to cook will not only boost their confidence but will also strengthen their connection to food and agriculture. Encourage them to try new recipes and be open to their suggestions. Experimenting is part of the fun!
Organic tip: Plant your own edible garden. This is a great opportunity for memorable family time. Plus, you’ll be teaching your kids where food really comes from. Before you start, make sure you choose an area that gets at least five hours of direct sunlight each day. Also, plant what your kids like! Not only will they be excited to watch the veggies grow, but chances are, they will be proud to eat their organic bounty as well.
Time for a taste test!
The best part about cooking? Eating! Have your children evaluate their kitchen creation by using their senses. Talk about flavor profiles and ask about their taste preferences. By doing so, you’re inviting them to tune into their tastebuds and be mindful of what they are putting in their bodies. What’s more, it can help them establish self-efficacy and confidence. In turn, they may be more willing to step out of their comfort zone when it comes to sampling new foods, especially if there’s fun involved.
Organic tip: Host a taste test with different organic fruits and veggies. Talk through the differences between conventional farming versus organic and explain that when they see the organic seal (or sticker!) on their food, that means it’s better for them and the planet. Hint: Organic produce stickers always start with a “9.”. If kids are able to try more organic food and beverages, they are more likely to become healthier eaters for life.
Looking for some tasty recipe ideas to make with your kiddos? Check out our back-to-school favorites here:
- Uncle Matt’s Blueberry Orange Muffins
- Dairy-Free Orange Chocolate Chip Pancakes
- Citrus Kale Guacamole
- Uncle Matt’s Orange Chicken Stir Fry with Veggies