Mealtime memories begin in the kitchen

By Tanya Davis | Published Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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A good way to get young children excited about new foods and healthy eating is to get them involved in the kitchen. Young children like to imitate their parents, and this is especially true during meal planning and food preparation.

Young children can:

  • wipe and help set the table,
  • select fruits or vegetables for the meal,
  • rinse vegetables and fruits,
  • snap green beans,
  • stir pancake batter and
  • help assemble a pizza and make sandwiches.

Parents need to remember some safety tips when children are in the kitchen:

  • Cook with pots and pans on the back burners.
  • Keep hot dishes where children cannot touch or pull them down on top of themselves.
  • Children should not remove cooked food from the microwave.
  • Keep knives and other sharp objects out of children’s reach.

Watching children closely and giving them specific, child-appropriate tasks can help increase your child’s interest in new foods and food preparation.

It is also very important to remember food safety as well by teaching children to wash their hands with warm, soapy water before helping in the kitchen. This lifelong habit will keep children from getting sick or making others sick with a foodborne illness.

Following is a fun recipe from Texas AgriLife Extension’s Dinner Tonight series that will provide an opportunity to create memories in the kitchen.


  • 2 cups cold fat-free milk
  • 1 4-serving size package chocolate flavor fat-free, sugar-free instant pudding mix
  • 2 medium bananas, sliced
  • 3/4 cup thawed sugar free whipped topping

Pour milk into medium bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Spoon half of the pudding evenly into 4 dessert glasses. Cover with layers of banana slices, 1/2 cup of the whipped topping and the remaining pudding. Top with remaining 1/4 cup whipped topping. Serves: 4

Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Refrigerate leftover parfaits.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories: 160; Total Fat: 2.5 g; Cholesterol: 5 mg; Sodium: 360 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 32 g; Protein: 5 g

The source for this article was http://choosemyplate.gov/preschoolers/HealthyHabits/PickyEaters/kitchenactivities.html

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