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Child & Adult Care Food Program

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Kids in the kitchen

Child in Chef's HatKids in the kitchen are kids who like to eat a variety of foods. Try these tasty ideas to encourage the children in your care to help in the kitchen.

The children can:

  • Help make a cottage cheese salad for each other. Show them how to place washed lettuce on salad plates. Tell the children why the lettuce must be washed. You may want to use an ice cream scoop to dip the cottage cheese onto the lettuce and then let the children sprinkle a little paprika or grated cheese on the cottage cheese.

  • Put pretzel sticks in squares of cheese for a snack.

  • Help make toasted cheese sandwiches. They can spread a small amount of butter on the bread. They also can place cheese slices on the bread and top the cheese with another piece of buttered bread. You can then toast the sandwiches in a medium hot skillet.

  • Help make instant pudding. Teach the children to open the package and pour the mix into a bowl. They can help measure the milk. They will enjoy pouring the milk and then stirring or beating the pudding. You  may need to help a little to get out all the lumps and beat the mixture smooth.

  • Wash fruit, such as apples, oranges and grapefruit, in a sudsy solution. Teach them to rinse the fruit and dry it. Talk about the importance of washing fruit to wash off dirt and pesticides.

  • Help make a combination fruit salad. They can choose fresh or canned fruits. even young children can cut a banana or canned peaches on a cutting board. Talk with the children about safety when using a knife. Try making the combination salad with no extra sugar. The juices from the fruit will be flavorful and more healthy.

  • Help make a funny-face peach salad. They can wash lettuce leaves and pat them dry. They can lay a peach half on the lettuce. The fun part is decorating the peach like a funny face - try raisins for eyes, carrot slices for a nose, a radish slice for a mouth, cottage cheese or grated cheese for hair. Use your imagination for other foods to decorate the "funny face."

  • Remember, when kids help in the kitchen, the recipes should not be too difficult. And their help is more important than a perfect product.

Source: Snacking Is Fun For Children, Ohio Cooperative Extension Service


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