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Your Kitchen is a Classroom

The kitchen is usually the hub of a home. It is also a wonderful classroom. The skills used in a kitchen are valuable and yet sometimes overlooked in the education of young children. Let’s prepare our children to be independent adults by teaching these practical life lessons.

1. Involve your child in planning menus. Use a calendar and plan for each day of the week. Kids are more likely to eat foods that they were able to choose. Worried that he will make poor choices? Limit the choices and find ways to make choices appealing

2. After planning menus, make a shopping list. Model writing and let your child do some writing too. He can make a list of his own with an item or two that he will get to pick out at the store.

3. Visit the store and involve your child in finding items. Make it a game. Can you find the red can? Can you find the Cheerios? Can you find a box with the first letter of your name? Let him make a purchase, handing the clerk the money and getting his own receipt and bag.

4. Researcher Dr. Robert Marzano found identifying likenesses and differences (sorting/classifying) to be the highest yielding instructional strategy. There are many opportunities to do this in the kitchen, such as putting away silverware or groceries. Does this go on the shelf or in the refrigerator? Why?

5. Involve your child in simple cooking tasks such as using measuring spoons/cups, spreading or frosting with a butter knife, or stirring. Let him try things like cracking eggs. Yes, cracking eggs!

6. Use descriptive vocabulary such as 1 cup, 350 degrees, lumpy and smooth. Do not shy away from the bigger or more unusual words such as sauté, baste, or al dente.

7. Prepare healthy items for meals and snacks. Discuss food groups and appropriate food choices. Occasionally make fun snacks such as cupcakes or cookies.

8. Remember to teach sanitary practices to include keeping surfaces clean, hand washing, and washing dishes.

Happy Cooking!

Diane Postman

SBVP Curriculum Specialist

(Please note - the links in this article are not endorsed by SBVP, but are provided for your consideration)

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