5 Ways to Teach Kids Using Food
It isn’t hard to teach kids using food. What stands out in my memory as the most fun of these pre-school years was tasting new foods and hanging out in the kitchen together with my children, learning right along with them. You would be surprised at how your children will open up to you about their day, struggles, or just the freedom to share and ask questions. They let their guard down when you both stand side by side preparing food. It is like an invisible connection.
In my new book, Alphabet Smash, food became a part of the curriculum. It is not hard to get kids excited about food! We found many unusual and weird things to eat at the grocery store, many of which I had never tried such as Ugly Fruit for “U” week and star fruit for “S” week. We also experimented with new and exciting foods such as kiwi for “K” week or sushi for “S” week and other ethnicities which made it all the more exciting.
My advice is to:
- Be creative.
- Have fun.
- Create good memories.
5 Ways to Teach Kids and Create Memories Using Food
1- Try new foods!
Be creative. Our food adventures didn’t always promise a favorite food, but it did promise at least one bite. Trying at least one bite of food on their plate is required and expected. After awhile, trying new things, my kids would be more receptive to trying all kinds of foods. Their palate expanded and they became brave and daring. I never had to worry about them not eating or trying food at friend’s houses and they were never accused of being picky. Now, as my oldest kids reached high school, they are not afraid to try new foods. In fact, they look for new experiences. They learned to experiment in their own cooking. They consider it an adventure!
2- Have your child help you prepare a meal once a week.
Allow child to pick the menu. I would encourage a couple veggies (perhaps one starch), a meat, etc., When they master this, have them prepare a meal for you without your help. As my children have gotten older, they make meals I have never tried or perfect meals I make now. Encourage creativity and bite your tongue at mistakes. When your child mis-measures flour for cookies and the end result for eager waiting family tasters is a wet sticky mess, they learn better than any discipline you could provide. (True story.) 🙂 My children took pride in making a meal or a food that we would all celebrate and eat together.
3- Teach Life skills.
Learning to read ingredients will progress to writing and making a list. Finding the ingredients while navigating the grocery store will eventually lead to the economics in choosing the best price. Your kids will follow your lead. There is time management skills involved in preparing a meal. In addition, using math skills, they will learn fractions, basic units of measurements and abbreviations (teaspoon (t.) vs tablespoon (TBL) ; cup (c.) versus pint (pt.), liter (l.) versus gallon (gal.) and others) as well as basic life skills: how to pour, how to level off dry ingredients, using an oven, stove, etc. Not to mention teaching nutrition and how to listen to your body when you are full. They also helped with recycling chores by learning what can be recycled and how to clean the table and wash dishes after cooking. They learned generosity when we make cookies at Christmas for the garbage men. It also gave me a good opportunity to teach my kids how to properly shut drawers and cabinets, set a table, and to be good stewards of what God has blessed us with.
3- Study food from different cultures.
We studied different cultures, a letter a week. Try having a Chinese meal on the floor complete with hot tea, chopsticks, dress, and bare feet. Or go to a Russian Food Store and buy a traditional Russian meal. We dined at Korean, New Zealand, El Salvador, Mexican, Indian restaurants and many other cuisines as well. We didn’t spend a fortune either. Sometimes just a couple appetizers, trying a little of this and that. I would ask restaurant patrons for their opinions on what we should try and what is a must order for a beginner. Everyone loves to be asked their opinions!
4- Encourage time together as a family.
As their confidence grew, my girls baked cookies (Valentine’s cookies for “V” week), made homemade popcorn for “P” week, and created new dishes…together. Siblings make great teachers. They made birthday cakes for each other and helped with preparing meals to take to friends who were struggling. They also saved each other spoons, bowls, and beaters to lick.
There are so many ways to Alphabet Smash in your kitchen on a daily basis. It only takes a few minutes to plan your grocery list at the beginning of each week and put a little thought into what you plan to do.
Now, you can experience this learning adventure with your child! To celebrate the launch of Alphabet Smash I am offering for FREE, the letters of C.H.R.I.S.T.
If you would like to receive this FREE gift, simply subscribe to AKAhomeschoolmom’s newsletter and receive 6 letters of Alphabet Smash in the letters of C.H.R.I.S.T., tucked in your mailbox.
In addition, when you sign up, you will receive other freebies including.
- 1- Handwriting practice worksheets for each letter of the alphabet.
- 2- Bible verse copy work for each letter of the alphabet
- 3- Clip art for your child to learn to cut and paste for each letter of the alphabet.
- 4- Block letters for your child to decorate alphabetically.
- 5- A 5-day weekly planning sheet to pick and do only what you want to do, from a smorgasbord of possibilities, in your homeschool pre-school.
All for FREE!
Subscribe today! And start creating memories with your child 🙂
If you like what you see, buy the book!
“When we treat children’s play as seriously as it deserves, we are helping them feel the joy that’s to be found in the creative spirit. It’s the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a great difference in our lives.”
― Fred Rogers