The Blog

June 2, 2024

Cooking Up Healthy Habits: How to Get Kids Involved in the Kitchen

Welcome to Week 1 of Sweet Summer Habits! As we embark on this journey to prioritize our health and well-being, we’re kicking things off in the heart of every home—the kitchen. Join us as we explore the importance of cooking at home for health and discover how to get your kids excited about mealtime.

Athlete Spotlight

Follow their lead! Drawing inspiration from athletes like the most decorated female track athlete, Allyson Felix for a healthy lifestyle. To me, cooking is… “Love. Just because of how busy I am, when I do get time to cook or bake for family or friends, it’s very thoughtful — it’s an expression of love.”- Allyson Felix. Allyson Felix, a 20-time world medalist and Olympic champion, knows a thing or two about the power of healthy habits. She believes cooking isn’t just about preparing meals—it’s an expression of love. Inspired by her busy schedule, Allyson enjoys creating thoughtful dishes for her family and friends. Her approach to cooking serves as a reminder that nourishing our bodies is an act of self-care and affection.

Importance of Cooking at Home for Health

Cooking at home offers numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. By preparing meals together, families can control the ingredients and portion sizes, leading to healthier eating habits. Additionally, cooking fosters creativity, independence, and a greater appreciation for wholesome foods.

Tips for Involving Kids in Meal Planning and Preparation: 

Getting kids involved in meal planning and preparation is a fantastic way to instill lifelong healthy habits. Here are some tips to make cooking with kids a breeze:

  • Let them choose ingredients: Allow your kids to pick out fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients at the grocery store or farmer’s market.
  • Assign age-appropriate tasks: Younger children can wash produce, stir ingredients, and set the table, while older kids can help chop vegetables, measure ingredients, and assist with cooking on the stove.
  • Make it fun: Turn mealtime into an adventure by creating themed dinners, hosting cooking challenges, or having a picnic in the backyard.

Kid-Friendly Recipes for Nutritious Snacks and Meals (Link SNAP-ED recipes)

Encourage your kids to explore new flavors and textures with these delicious and nutritious recipes:

  • Veggie Quesadillas: Fill whole grain tortillas with a colorful mix of sautéed vegetables and melted cheese for a tasty and satisfying snack.
  • Rainbow Fruit Salad: Chop up a variety of fresh fruits and toss them together for a vibrant and refreshing treat.
  • DIY Trail Mix: Mix together nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and whole grain cereal for a customizable and portable snack.

Benefits of Cooking Together as a Family

Cooking together as a family strengthens bonds, promotes communication, and creates lasting memories. It’s an opportunity to teach children valuable life skills, such as following recipes, practicing kitchen safety, and exploring different cuisines. Parents can empower kids to make healthier choices and develop a positive relationship with food by involving kids in the cooking process.

Resources for Kid-Friendly Cooking Activities 

Looking for more inspiration? Check out these resources for kid-friendly cooking activities:

  • Cooking classes: Many local community centers, schools, and culinary schools offer classes specifically designed for kids. Check out the SNAP-ED virtual cooking programs and resources!
  • Online tutorials: Explore cooking websites, YouTube channels, and cooking apps that feature kid-friendly recipes and tutorials.
  • Cookbooks: Invest in a cookbook geared towards children and families, filled with simple and nutritious recipes that kids will love to make and eat.  
  • Join the free virtual Stronger Texas fitness and nutrition classes starting June 10th, available in English and Spanish!

Join us this Summer for Olympic-themed health education and fun!

Ready to get cooking? Sign up for Sweet Summer Habits today and download this week’s handout for additional tips, recipes, and resources. Let’s cook up some healthy habits together!

Stay Connected

We use social media to share resources, tools, and information to help you, your family, and your friends live healthy lives. It’s also a great way to join and connect with a growing network of Texans committed to making living healthy easier in our great state!