We are still celebrating Nutrition Month 2019 by helping to unlock the potential of food to fuel, discover, prevent, heal, and to bring us together. At LGCFHT, the dietitians started off nutrition month by helping readers discover and unlock the potential of food as fuel – did you see our last post about snacks?
As a reminder of what we mean by unlocking the potential of food, all dietitians can help show that food has the potential to:
Fuel: Stay energized by planning nutritious snacks into your day
Discover: Foster healthy eating habits in children by teaching them to shop and cook
Prevent: Understand how food can help prevent chronic diseases
Heal: Learn how food can promote healing and how dietitians work in health care teams to make a difference
Bring us together: Enjoy the benefits of bringing families and friends together with food
We’d love to showcase one more aspect of nutrition month as March comes to a close… the potential to discover!
Cooking with Kids
Dietitians want to help you foster healthy eating habits in children by teaching them to shop and cook. Looking for a great activity you can do at home with your kids? Try cooking! Cooking with kids doesn't have to take a lot of time and work. Whether you have toddlers or teens, your kids will love getting creative in the kitchen. Cooking is educational and fun – if your kids get cooking now, chances are they will continue this good habit as they grow older.
Sharing family cooking traditions
Keep roots alive by teaching your kids some old family favourites. Talk about who taught you to cook and your favourite traditional recipes. You may even want to collect recipes from family members as a gift for your children. If you don’t have any family traditions yet, this is a great time to start some!
Learning together in the kitchen – cooking allows your children to learn about:
Health: What makes a healthy meal or snack? (See a dietitian for more tips on this).
Language: How do you read a recipe or write a grocery list?
Math: How do you measure ingredients and work with fractions?
Science: What will happen when you boil an egg or make bread?
Social studies: What food is grown in Canada and around the world?
Food skills: How do you stir, chop, knead, pour and scoop?
Social skills: How can we work together, take turns, and share utensils?
Spending quality time together in the kitchen
Cooking is an easy way to spend extra time with your kids. On a busy weekday, it's a great way to reconnect after a long day apart, and get supper on the table faster with some extra help! On the weekend, it's a relaxing way to have fun together, and try something new.
Secrets to success
Think safety first. Supervise your kids at all times.
Wash up. Teach your kids why, how and when to wash their hands.
Keep it simple. Choose recipes that your children can help with.
Don't rush. Allow more time than you would need to make a recipe on your own.
Give your children a task. Children learn much more by doing than by watching.
Teach them to tidy up.
Don't expect your children to eat it. Your kids will be more interested in cooking if they know there is no pressure to try everything they make.
Time to discover!
Now you’re all set to try new things with your family. Try the recipes below to get started. Leave us a comment if you try one of the recipes or have a new kitchen experience – we’d love to hear from you! See www.cookspiration.com or www.unlockfood.ca for more recipes!
Overnight Hearty Oatmeal Breakfast
Berry Banana Blitz Smoothie
Mac & Cheese with a Veggie Twist
Remember – our dietitians are available to discuss anything about child, infant, or maternal nutrition and eating – free of charge!
Adapted from www.unlockfood.ca and the Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month campaign materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at www.NutritionMonth2019.ca.