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Fit Family Challenge: 'Hey Mom, what's for lunch?'

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Kids are home for summer but that doesn’t mean they need to live off of mac n’cheese or chips and snacks.

Summer is a great opportunity to slow things down and get the kids in the kitchen so they learn some skills and try new foods. If you teach them some basic recipes, it also means they can prepare their own food and you aren’t spending the summer in the kitchen!

Here are some strategies for getting the kids in the kitchen and eating healthy:

1.       Have a large batch of something in the fridge that the kids can serve to themselves. Cold pasta salad with lots of veggies is a great example. Make a big batch – maybe get the kids to help you wash and chop the veggies for it – and keep it in a large container in the fridge.

2.       Have a meal that you can whip up for a crowd but also personalize to accommodate different preferences. Make your own bagel pizzas is an example – set out a muffin tin of different toppings like olives, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, maybe pineapple, Canadian bacon or grilled shrimp. Each child can get creative and personalize their lunch, throw the pizzas under the broiler for 5 minutes and you’re done.

3.       Sandwiches are a classic and a good medium for little kids to practice spreading things like mayo and peanut butter. Jazz them up by making them 2-tone with one slice of white bread and one slice of wheat bread and throw all the cookie cutters out and get the kids to cut them out in a bunch of fun shapes.

4.       Kids will eat more veggies if they can dip them in stuff – so have on hand some ranch dip made with pain yogurt, hummus, salsa, peanut butter, and guacamole – all healthy choices!

You can also check out some kids cookbooks from the library and have them pick out some new things they’d like to try.

Website tips:

Here are some strategies for getting the kids in the kitchen and eating healthy:

1.       Have a large batch of something in the fridge that the kids can serve to themselves. Cold pasta salad with lots of veggies is a great example. Make a big batch – maybe get the kids to help you wash and chop the veggies for it – and keep it in a large container in the fridge.

2.       Have a meal that you can whip up for a crowd but also personalize to accommodate different preferences. Make your own bagel pizzas is an example – set out a muffin tin of different toppings like olives, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, maybe pineapple, Canadian bacon or grilled shrimp. Each child can get creative and personalize their lunch, throw the pizzas under the broiler for 5 minutes and you’re done.

3.       Sandwiches are a classic and a good medium for little kids to practice spreading things like mayo and peanut butter. Jazz them up by making them 2-tone with one slice of white bread and one slice of wheat bread and throw all the cookie cutters out and get the kids to cut them out in a bunch of fun shapes.

4.       Kids will eat more veggies if they can dip them in stuff – so have on hand some ranch dip made with pain yogurt, hummus, salsa, peanut butter, and guacamole – all healthy choices!

You can also check out some kids cookbooks from the library and have them pick out some new things they’d like to try.

It’s never too early to get young people comfortable in the kitchen!

Toddlers in the kitchen can:

·         Wash vegetables

·         Stir ingredients

  • Mash with a fork or potato masher
  • Tear up lettuce
  • Knead dough
·         Spread things like mayo and peanut butter

Or give them their a setup of flour and old spices so they can mix up their own masterpiece

Younger school aged kids can:

·         Use kitchen scissors on herbs or small knives on softer foods

·         Measure out ingredients

·         Spray cooking oil

·         Beat ingredients together by hand or with an electric mixer

·         Open packages

·         Plate food

Older school aged kids can:

·         Plan the family meal

·         Read the recipe and direct the flow of the cooking process

·         Pull the ingredients out of the cupboards

·         Peel and grate

·         Open cans

·         Cook in the microwave and possibly on the stove

The Fit Family Challenge is a healthy lifestyle program for South Carolina families. We're motivating families to get moving and create healthier lifestyles and its free to join in the challenge. To participate, register online at https://www.fitfamilychallengesc.com/ and track activities for a chance to earn points and win prizes.

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