4 Fun and Healthy Ways to Engage Your Child in the Kitchen

mother and daughter making food together in the kitchen

4 Fun and Healthy Ways to Engage Your Child in the Kitchen

Children’s first lessons about health often begin in the kitchen. Whether intentional lessons or not, little ones are influenced by the habits of the adults in their lives. 

That’s why nurturing healthy habits is an important part of our Balanced Learning® approach. At Primrose schools, teachers use books, activities and even the Primrose Friends puppets to help children develop Active Minds, Healthy Bodies, and Happy Hearts®. 

For example, Ally the bunny helps children understand the idea of responsibility. That means behaving responsibly to help others, but it also means making responsible choices for yourself—like eating nutritious foods.   

Ready to get your child into the kitchen for some healthy and delicious fun? Give these simple tips and snacktivities a try and see how involving your little one in the process can make a big impact in the kitchen and beyond.   

  1. Encourage Curiosity: Include your child in food prep to expose them to new and different food and drink choices. Maybe you have a picky eater. Or maybe your child isn’t drinking much water. Research suggests that the more times you offer a food, the more likely a child will be to warm up to it. “Kids typically have to taste a new food nine to 15 times to begin to like it,” says Dr. Julie Lumeng, a pediatrician at the University of Michigan. Try making this hydrating Watermelon Smoothie together a few times this summer. With only four ingredients, you can help them understand how simple and delicious it can be to hydrate, take care of your body, and try something new.  
  1. Build Confidence: Making the kitchen a safe space to experiment can help develop confidence in your child. You could start by making this cold treat together. Ask your child if there are any toppings they might like to include. Giving them a bit of control is a great step toward independence—plus children tend to be more willing to try a new food when they help prepare it! 
  1. Work Together: One way to get creative and collaborate with your child is to create a special name for what you are cooking up in the kitchen. Collaboration and teamwork can strengthen the development of empathy in children. Start by making these Summer Popsicles together. You can use this time to give direction, ask for feedback and work on the same team. Once the popsicles are complete, brainstorm with your child to come up with a fun name for them like Perfect Pops or Family Funsicles! 
  1. Inspire Generosity: Many of us have heard the old saying, “sharing is caring.” Getting crafty in the kitchen is a great opportunity to put this message into practice. Offer your child a taste test while cooking. Or after completing your snacktivity, share the snack with other family members or neighbors. Try making and sharing these Yummy Bugs with others. 

Modeling a healthy lifestyle can seem a little daunting, but small, simple changes can have lasting effects. For more on encouraging healthy habits in your child, check out: 

Teaching Healthy Habits Starts Early 

Building Healthy Habits for Young Kids 

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