Saturday, September 21, 2013

Healthy Kids Cooking-Upscale

April 2012-This was a classy affair at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science with local seafood, dignitaries, and gourmet chefs.

I think the kiddos got the whole "local" angle because they started in a room with crabs in a tank and then transitioned, physically, to a kitchen space where they helped prepare a crab dish.

You can do this at home.  Start with a trip to the garden, farm stand or farmer's market. Then get your kids in the kitchen and prepare the item together while talking about how it grows.

If you buy a new fruit or veggie for them to try, buy an extra so they can explore the whole form while eating the prepared form.  For example, have a whole spaghetti squash at the dinner table and talk about where the stem connects the squash to a vine that grows low on the ground.  Talk about how the squash starts as a beautiful flower before it turns into the fruit of the plant.

Imagine the leaps of thought required for a young child to go from a bag of baby carrots, ready to eat, to seeing that carrots have full, bushy, fern-like tops and understanding that they grow underground!

Let them help you shuck the corn, shell the peas, and wash fresh produce.  Food becomes so much more of an experience than opening a can.  And it is healthier too!

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