Summer Fun: Cooking with Your Children

To begin, I am making the assumption that you life is a little less hectic during the summer as the school year. But of course I could be wrong. If you do have extra time, then take the opportunity this summer to introduce your child to cooking.

Here are some suggestions:

Begin with setting aside one night a week (or every two weeks) for “children in the kitchen”.
Let your child create the menu (with your guidance).
Start with very easy recipes. Try the Kid’s Cook, 1-2-3 cookbook in this Amazon link.

We have had some great results with this activity including working nutrition lessons into our shopping. I am teaching my children how to read the nutritional labels and which questions to ask such as, how many calories are in a serving, do people really need 2000 calories a day, what is a serving size?

You might take this opportunity to share with your children how to choose produce and meats in the store. How does one shop for the perfect apple or cut of meat?

Menu planning because humans do not live on pb & j and pizza. What is a balanced meal?

Budget planning, saving money and coupon shopping: which item or size is more or least expensive, which is the better deal, buy one get one free or 50% off one item?

My fan favorites: why does it take so long to shop for groceries and if I have to be here, so do you.

One other benefit is that cooking and menu planning in the summer can lead to your child preparing the menus and their lunches during the school year! Yippee!

Links and more links here:

Cookbooks for children (available from
Fruit & Veggies Matter (created by the CDC to help increase the number of fruits and veggies in our diets.) Try the fruit and veggie of the month section for ideas about using new fruits and veggies in your diet.
Create a personal cookbook and save 20% at

Originally Posted on: 7/11/2008 11:59

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