Wholefoods are the foundation of a healthy diet and nourished body and are one of the best gifts we can give to our children. As we discussed in last weeks article,  bringing our kids into the kitchen at an early age and teaching them about cooking with wholefoods is a great way for them to learn about different nutritious foods and to help them feel more independent and involved in their food choices.

It’s possible that kids who are involved in the cooking of meals within the home will also feel more connected to the food they eat and how it affects their body. They may also be more likely to eat a wider variety of non processed natural foods as opposed to the many packaged foods that fill our supermarkets today.

Cooking with your kids also provides a fantastic opportunity to pass down family traditions & recipes, as well as create new ones along the way. Reflecting on fond memories of our own experiences cooking with family members when we were young, can inspire us to do the same for our own kids.

For example, when I was young I remember sharing time with my grandmother in her kitchen. One of the things I recall her cooking often was Apple Muffins. She would always peel the apple, amazingly every time creating one long continuous strand, and I would be standing underneath with my mouth wide open catching and chewing the juicy fresh apple peel. She would always use produce from her garden and make use of everything she could, not much was wasted and she passed that cooking ethic onto myself and my brother.

There are so many simple recipes that can be fun for kids to get started with that requires just a little patience (and letting go of the sight of a messy kitchen to begin with) for parents and guardians.  Here are a few of our favourites on the recipe blog to help you get started.

Simple Cinnamon Biscuits                                                          Gluten Free Pancakes

Pizza Popcorn                                                                                 Homemade Mexican Tortilla’s

Brownies                                                                                          Homemade Granola

Homemade Banana Ice-Cream                                                  Sweet Potato Wedges w/ Homemade Dukkah

Simple Vegetable Curry                                                               Healthy Banana Bread

Savoury Chickpea Pancakes                                                       Sticky Caramel Popcorn

With each of these recipes they will need supervision and guidance at first and its well worth it seeing the smiles on their faces as they learn something new and see the end result.

Kids & Lunch Boxes

Encouraging kids to make and pack their own school lunch boxes offers them great independence and responsibility from a young age, and often they thrive with this. Older kids can cut fresh veggies such as lettuce, capsicum, tomato and cucumber to make a wrap with either chicken or tuna or whatever other filling they prefer, vegetarian or otherwise. Another useful skill for your kids that will save you time is showing your kids how to put leftover dinners into containers for their school lunches the next day. This helps everyone with the after dinner pack down whilst also teaching kids to be careful with food storage as well as the importance of minimising food wastage in the household.

When it comes to smaller children packing lunch boxes or just starting out making their own snacks at home, you can begin with soft fruits such as watermelon, kiwi, strawberries or banana. All these can be cut with small hands using a butter knife into pieces that can be threaded onto a wooden skewer or simply put into a patty pan or container for a lunchbox snack. Older kids can thread dried fruits such as sultanas, dried apple, raisins or dates onto the skewers along with the fresh fruit. Cutting, slicing and threading are all great practices for developing kids fine motor skills, but must always be supervised in the early stages.

There are so many ways to get your kids active in the kitchen and I hope this article has set you off to a fun and fabulous start.

Jesabe Warner

Naturopath, Affordable Wholefoods

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read Wholefoods and Kids


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