Homemade yogurt ice popsicles with fresh kiwi

Developing healthy eating and physical activity habits that last a lifetime does not require that a parent or teacher become a “monitor.” In fact, doing the opposite creates the most success. With activities like the summer journaling that is discussed in the May 10th WOWS Newsletter, kids can have so much fun they will not think about all they are learning.

  • Try new healthy snack recipes. Suggest they write the recipe in their journal. After tasting the recipe, have them rate with an image of their choosing, such as 5 stars (or apples) for the best. If the recipe doesn’t make the 5 star rating, talk about what they liked or didn’t like about it.
  • Have kids create their own recipe. Have them write measures and directions for preparing the recipe. Suggest ingredients; fruits are always a healthy bet. Other suggested ingredients to accompany the fruits might include low fat pudding (or yogurt), fat free cream cheese, dry cereal and a graham cracker.
  • Come up with active play ideas to keep them moving. Calculate the number of minutes they will add to the day – week – and month.
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Small boy and his sister cooking in the kitchen

Let’s review what we know about the benefits of kids in the kitchen. It is a way to:

  • Start the conversation and help kids develop skills, like healthy meal planning, shopping, cooking and clean-up that last a lifetime.
  • Help them feel good about themselves; the delight and pride in making something themselves.
  • Become aware of what to look for on nutrition labels.
  • Learn about food safety.
  • Help them discover the appeal and taste of foods they prepare.

Beyond those great benefits, it is a way to build appeal for healthier choices. It is not hard to imagine how using elements similar to those in art can build appeal for healthier meals. Try the following and add it to your collection of healthier holiday foods.

Blueberry-Pineapple Parfaits

  • 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 container (8 ounces) fat-free lime-flavored yogurt
  • ¾ cup fresh blueberries
  • ¾ cup fresh strawberries, chopped
  • ½ cup granola

In a small bowl, combine the pineapple with half of the yogurt. In small parfait or juice glasses, alternately layer the pineapple-yogurt mixture, blueberries, strawberries and granola. Repeat the layering twice. Top each parfait with a spoonful of yogurt.

Teachable moments:

  • Compare ingredients in the recipe for taste, texture, and color.
  • Discuss how the taste and appearance would change by substituting plain for flavored yogurt.

Let kids know that healthy fruits & veggies can be fun and tasty, too! Pick a familiar gardening vegetable, like tomatoes, that Berry, Berry, Good imagecan provide healthy learning.

Use the activity below from our Berry, Berry Good booklet that can be adapted to suit any age level!

  • Help kids hear the message that veggies are tasty!
  • Let them see a familiar veggie like tomatoes.
  • Let them do by tasting and making a tasty tomato sauce and spaghetti recipe.

Ask kids:

  • How often do you eat tomatoes?
  • What veggies are in spaghetti sauce?
  • How can spaghetti sauce be made with tomatoes from the garden?
  • What other garden veggies could be added to spaghetti sauce?

Explain they will be making a spaghetti recipe with a “healthy extra” to taste.

Berry, Berry Good One Pan Spaghetti

Ingredients:
1-15 oz. can carrots or freshly steamed carrot coins
1-26 oz. can spaghetti sauce
4 cups water
10 oz. package whole grain spaghetti

Directions:

  1. Mash or puree carrots and liquid until smooth. Pour into a large saucepan.
  2. Add spaghetti sauce and water.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Break spaghetti pieces into thirds. Add to pot.
  5. Simmer until spaghetti is tender, stirring often.
  6. Serve bite size tastes to kids on small plates with plastic forks.

***LInk to families at home: Copy and send the recipe with kids for home use.

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” — William Faulkner

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