The kitchen can be a fun place for kids and parents to spend time together. Parents can help foster a positive relationship between their children and food by letting them help in the kitchen. Kids ages 1 to 5 are curious, eager to learn and want to spend time together. Here’s a guide on how to get your little ones engaged and having fun in the kitchen.
Before getting in the kitchen together, prioritize safety. Clear the cooking area of any hazards, like sharp objects or hot surfaces. Use kid-friendly utensils with blunt edges, and make sure to supervise closely during all kitchen activities.
Create a Kid-Friendly Space
Set up a dedicated area within the kitchen where your little chef can comfortably work alongside you. A step stool (depending on age) can make reaching the counter easier or using the kitchen table, allowing them to feel more involved in the cooking process.
Let them get involved in washing vegetables, tearing lettuce, or stirring ingredients. Praise their efforts and celebrate their accomplishments to boost their confidence.
Engage the Senses
Cooking is a sensory experience. Encourage your child to touch, smell, and even taste different ingredients. Allow them to explore the textures of flour, the aroma of herbs, and the vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables.
Let’s Celebrate Healthy Choices
Calling all moms! National Nutrition Month is a time to celebrate and promote the importance of making healthy food choices and creating eating habits. With all the nutrition information floating around, it is easy to get overwhelmed.
One of the best ways to make nutrition a focus in your life is by discovering easy ways to make the most out of mealtime while still getting essential nutrition for your family. Here are a few tips from EatingRight.org, created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic:
- Eat Breakfast Start your day with a healthy breakfast that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
- Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables Fruits and veggies add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber to your plate.
- Watch Portion Sizes Use half your plate for fruits and vegetables and the other half for grains and lean protein foods.
- Be Active Regular physical activity has many health benefits. Start by doing what exercise you can. Children and teens should get 60 or more minutes of physical activity per day, and adults at least two hours and 30 minutes per week.
For more information about nutrition, visit eatingright.org. Texas WIC is also a great way to learn healthy habits for you and your children.
CHILAQUILES & SALSA
Makes 2 servings.
1 large onion
4 – 5 large tomatoes
(remove seeds from jalapeno, or replace with ½ bell pepper if you don’t want it spicy)
Juice of ½ lime or lemon
1 cup cilantro
Salt and/or sugar to taste
For extra flavor, add a whole bulb of garlic to the veggies!
Cook vegetables in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, turning the veggies over halfway through. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then add veggies into a blender along with cilantro and lime or lemon juice. Blend until there’s no chunks, then it’s ready to serve!
2 tbsp Vegetable oil
6 Corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges
1 cup of Salsa
(To save time, you can use WIC approved Always Save Mild Salsa from Grocery Services North instead of making your own)
Additional Optional Toppings – Sliced avocado, shredded cheese, onion, cilantro, or even more salsa!
In a large non-stick pan, coat generously with about 2 tbsp vegetable oil and heat on stove top to medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the tortillas and fry until golden brown. Remove from heat and move tortillas to a paper towel lined plate to soak up any excess oil. Remove any remaining brown tortilla pieces in the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, add the salsa and let cook for a few minutes while stirring occasionally. Add the fried tortilla wedges to the pan and gently turn over until tortillas are coated with salsa. Let cook for a few more minutes until tortillas are thoroughly soaked in salsa, yet still slightly crispy. Remove from heat and move tortillas to the plates. Return the pan to the stove top and fry the eggs. On each plate, top the tortillas with the fried eggs. Top with your choice of favorite toppings like shredded cheese and/or avocado for some extra flavor!
WIC Food Tip Perfect For Busy Moms
Toddlers love snacks! Moms of little ones may find themselves running around trying to find snacks on demand. Here is a great tip to use your WIC foods to make a perfect snack box for your little one.
One stress-free way to help busy moms looking to save some time, are pre-made snack boxes. Dig around in your cupboard for some plastic containers with lids. It doesn’t have to be fancy. One with compartments is perfect, but a food storage container without dividers also works. (TIP: You can use cupcake liners to make your own compartments)
Grab a few of your toddler’s favorite WIC foods. Create a fun assortment of 3 to 4 single serving snacks in each container to make a perfect toddler-size snack pack to store in the fridge. Some ideas for your containers include: cheese cubes, sliced strawberries, orange slices, blueberries, avocados, healthy WIC cereal (without the milk), yogurt, peanut butter and whole wheat bread. Make a whole peanut butter sandwich and cut into 1/4ths. Put one fourth in a container.
Store the snack packs in the fridge until needed. Making 2 or 4 containers at a time is perfect to have on hand when your little one wants something quick to eat.
This is a great way to help make sure your little one is eating healthy WIC foods. You can also get your kids involved in making their “snack packs” so they are excited to eat healthy foods.
HAVE TODDLERS ON WIC? SHARE YOUR MOM HACKS
Do you have a great mom hack? Leave it in the comments below. We would love to hear some of your favorite tips/tricks that save you time.
Looking for more helpful ideas? Check out our post about WIC Snacks.
There are so many things to love about Texas WIC.
For starters, it’s a great place for parents to turn for help. The pros at Texas WIC can also show parents the ropes for self love during pregnancy and after. Plus, nutrition tips and free healthy food packages help moms and babies eat healthy.
PRO PARENTING TIPS
Texas WIC is the perfect place to turn for your parenting questions. Whether you are pregnant and wondering what is safe for expecting moms to eat or you want help feeding your infant, Texas WIC has the answers. Plus, the program is free for qualifying Texas mothers.
As your baby grows, Texas WIC offers tips and guidance about developmental milestones and how to care, feed your baby so they grow up healthy.
SELF LOVE DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY
Texas WIC also helps mothers stay healthy. A healthy mother helps create healthy babies. Texas WIC pros offer tips on how to eat, exercise and take care of you and your baby while you are pregnant and while breastfeeding.
Some might say the best part of Texas WIC is the free healthy food packages for WIC clients. The packages start when moms learn they are expecting. They are also adapted for children until they turn 5 years old. So mom and babies can get free, nutritious foods like milk, bread, healthy cereal, baby formula, fruits and vegetables and so much more. The Texas WIC program is for qualifying Texas mothers and children up to age 5. To apply for Texas WIC, visit them online at Texaswic.org.
Grocery Services North stores help WIC clients get all their WIC foods in one easy stop. Bilingual clerks help customers shop for their foods. Find out how easy WIC shopping can be, and visit a store today. Grocery Services North is a service provider for the WIC program, not a part of the WIC program.