BY KAROLIN SAWERES @MYNUTRITIONANDME.COM

It’s important that kids eat a balanced, mixed diet that contains all the important nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Kids develop their own taste at an early age but you as a parent may influence your child’s preferences and eating habits.

There are so many benefits to getting your kids involved in the kitchen. A study published by Public Health Nutrition involving a survey of students in 151 schools across Alberta showed that children who helped with cooking showed a greater preference for fruits and vegetables.  In addition to this, cooking creates a bonding experience with the parent and child. It increases children’s math skills, creativity and ability to follow directions. 

Kids always love to eat food they cook or help prepare. Make sure kids are aware of kitchen safety. Be available and patient. Give ownership to your children and praise them for a job well done. Here are some ways to help your kids get involved with meal prep or cooking:

·      Let them wash fruits and vegetables

·      Cut with safe scissors or tear lettuce, greens or chives

·      When shopping, let them help with fruit and vegetable selections

·      When cooking, ask them to peel and slice the vegetables

·       Ask them to add seasoning and stir

·      They can carry ingredients from one place to another

·      Allow them to pour, scoop and mix

·      They can help with the cleaning up or setting the table 

 

Here’s a recipe I enjoy making with my 7 year old son:

chicken orzo.png

ChickenOrzo Soup

 

 

Ingredients:

16 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth

2 ½ lbs cut up chicken breast

8 oz Orzo

½ cup diced onion

3 whole carrots peeled & thinly sliced

3 celery stalks sliced

1 can diced tomato

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsp canola oil

1 tsp dried basil

Salt & pepper to taste

Preparation:

·      Using a large pot, add canola oil, onions & chicken breast. Sautee for 5 minutes

·      Add carrots, celery, diced tomato. Cover with chicken broth. Bring to a boil then simmer until vegetables are tender

·      Stir in lemon juice, basil & orzo. Simmer until orzo is tender

·      Season soup with salt & pepper to taste