United Healthcare Activate for Kids

School Wellness Initiative

Kids Helping in the Kitchen

Let me start this post with a question: How many times have you tried a new recipe that is supposed to be “loved by children”, only to have your child take one bite and declare that he or she does not like it? I can tell you that it has happened to me several times. To give you some background, I’m not a person who loves to cook but in an attempt to keep most meals home-cooked I have decided to venture out and try new recipes and exciting foods. Even though I am actually enjoying spending time in the kitchen, my new passion for novel foods and recipes are not always well received by my children (6 and 2). Finally, after hearing too many complaints from my six year old, I had enough and decided to have him help me in the kitchen.

We found a children’s cookbook and agreed on a few recipes that were healthy and looked delicious. The first recipe we tried was “fried” rice with shrimp (a healthy approach to the take-out item). Even though my son is not too keen on shrimp, he actually enjoyed the meal! There is no doubt in my mind that if I would have made it myself, he would never have eaten it. This shows how important it can be to get the whole family involved with meal decisions, including preparing and cooking the food. I am not promising that your child will love everything he or she decides to make, but you may have a better chance introducing new foods this way.

There are several additional benefits to cooking together. The first one is the opportunity to spend time together as a family. Second is your child’s feeling of accomplishment and involvement in family decisions. Third, studies have shown that families who sit down for meals together have a lower risk of obesity. Finally, if you are like me and don’t have a built- in love for cooking, why spend time alone in the kitchen when you can have fun with others?

So, for this weekend, gather your kids, find a good recipe, buy the groceries together, and start a weekly family tradition in the kitchen!

Have fun cooking!

Posted: January 10, 2013 by Melodie Griffin

Melodie Griffin

Read Bio