I know it is hard to imagine that this is true sometimes, but kids truly want to be helpful. They want to feel big and like they make a difference (not so very different from how we feel when you think about it). One great way to let your child do this is by involving them in the kitchen. Naturally, this requires quite a bit of patience, but letting kids help out with meal preparation is a great way to bond, teach your child about nutrition, and build confidence. Below is a simple recipe for fruit skewers and yogurt dip that even the littlest hands can handle—with parental guidance, of course.
- 8 oz vanilla yogurt
- 8 oz whipped topping
- skewers (we prefer wooden)
- fruit (I used strawberry, mango, kiwi, and grape, but use whatever your little ones will enjoy!)
Have your kids wash the fruit and then their hands. This is a good chance to talk about the importance of clean hands and food preparation.
Combine the yogurt and whipped topping in a BIG bowl. The bigger the bowl is, the less you will have to deal with messy overflow.
Let your kids have a blast stirring the two together. Little kids seem to think stirring is the greatest thing ever.
Stir in added ingredients if you wish—such as granola, coconut, chopped nuts, cookie bits—whatever floats their boat and gets them to eat all their fruit.
Now, let them slide the pre-chopped (by you) fruit onto skewers. This can be an excellent time to discuss and practice patterns.
Make sure to have your kids participate in the cleaning-up portion of this project. It may not be as fun, but it is an important part of cooking! (And they might surprise you by thinking the cleaning is fun after all…)
If you are feeling especially festive, throw some food coloring into the mix and maybe even some sprinkles. Give your fruit dip funny names like Goblin Goop or Witches Brew or Princess Pudding. This can be a great recipe to let the kids help with when preparing for holidays or parties. There are endless color and mix-in possibilities. I would encourage caution when using food coloring, however. I wouldn’t recommend your children wear their Sunday best or enjoy their masterpiece on the white carpet.
Have fun and let us see your creations! We’d love to hear your ideas for cooking with kids.