Alligga

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Let’s Get Cooking!

Inspire Your Children in the Kitchen

Looking for an activity where you can spend quality time with your children?  Let’s get busy in the kitchen with your kids!  Parents are typically afraid of having children come close to the kitchen due to the likelihood of accidental spills and messes.  However, the advantages of getting children involved in the kitchen, whether they can help with grocery shopping, meal preparation or the actual cooking, are endless.

Benefits of Getting Children Involved

  • They gain an important lifelong skill
  • They build positive relationships with food
  • They will be fostered with healthy eating habits
  • They build self-confidence
  • They are more likely to eat foods that are prepared by themselves, especially for those who are picky eaters

These altogether can help children make healthier food choices and reduce their risk for chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease when they become adults.

Pick a Recipe

To start, you can get your children to pick a recipe that you can make together.  At Alligga™, we have a library of children-friendly recipes that you and your kids can choose from.  Depending on the age of your children, you can ask them to be involved in different steps of the cooking process, from tearing salad greens to mashing bananas and to measuring ingredients.  As they get older, you can have them become involved with more complicated tasks, such as planning a meal, making their own school lunch and being in charge of one meal during the week.

 

Age Group

What Can They Do?

Alligga™ Recipe

2 to 3 years old

· Wash vegetables and fruit

· Tear leafy greens

Coconut Mango Kale Smoothie

3 to 4 years old

·Mix batters

· Mash potatoes, squash, and bananas

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

4 to 6 years old

· Set the table

· Measure dry and wet ingredients (e.g. flour and water) for a recipe

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

6 to 8 years old

· Make a simple breakfast

· Toss salad ingredients

Sesame Flax Broccoli and Kale Slaw

8 to 12 years old

·  Help to plan meals

·  Make their own school lunch

Flaxseed Oil Linguine

12 years and over (teens)

·  Follow a complex recipe

·  Able to put together and mix most ingredients in a recipe

·  Able to make one meal each week

Crispy Baked Chicken with a Tropical Fruit Salsa

 

Grocery Shop Together

In addition to getting them involved in the food preparation and cooking process, getting them involved with grocery shopping is another way to get them interested in food.  Introduce and try new foods with them during a trip to the grocery store or to the farmer’s market.   The more they learn about different foods and their appearances, taste, and textures, the more they become enticed with food and the more they will enjoy being in the kitchen.

Cooking Classes

While cooking at home is exciting, attending classes with your children at a local grocery store or community centre is another way to spend quality time together.  Once you and your children have made something in class, they will likely share their experiences with other family members and would want to prepare the same or similar dish for others to try.

Being a Role Model

No matter how old your children are, you are their role models.  From being an active member in the kitchen to trying new foods, you are inspiring your children to become a food lover and to build healthy relationships with food.  Unlock the potential in your children.  Let them discover the joy of food and the fun times in the kitchen!

For more information about Nutrition Month, please visit Dietitian’s of Canada’s Nutrition Month campaign on nutritionmonth2018.ca.

Source:  Dietitians of Canada.  (2018).  Unlock The Potential Of Food:  The Potential To Discover.  Retrieved from https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Nutrition-Month/NM2018-Factsheets.aspx

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