Lockdown is hard, kids are home and attempts at homeschooling are being made. But if you aren’t pulling your hair out from frustration, chances are your kids are starting to lose focus on the tasks at hand.
Kids don’t understand why they are being kept home all day (every day!) and this can lead to them pushing the boundaries wherever possible. More often than not we see this at the dinner table. That is why it’s time to get your kids in the kitchen and engaged with food (and homeschooling) in different ways!
Combine nutrition with homeschooling lessons
Put down the books and pick up the whisk. Homeschooling is tasking parents and kids, but sometimes the best answer is to put down the books and have a change of scenery altogether. Cooking is the perfect activity to get kids practising their English and math skills all while learning a valuable life skill!
Get them to read the recipe, or even write it out to practice their reading and writing skills. Then while you are cooking, test their math skills by swapping the 1 cup measure for a ¼ cup measure and get them to calculate how many are needed to make up a cup!
Even better, make a recipe with a source of vegetables to add in that extra exposure. Just like these delicious Chocolate Zucchini Muffins!
Stop the constant snacking
“Mummmmm I’m Hungry” – said every child at some point during the lockdown.
The first step here is to set a strict mealtime schedule, but when all else fails, get your kids involved in preparing their own snacks. Keep healthy options at their eye line in the fridge and get them involved in making lunch, or an afternoon snack. This not only demonstrates that they are expected to take part in the activity but also teaches them how to make healthy choices and gives them confidence in the kitchen!
Learn to like NEW foods
Most kids need anywhere from 15-30 exposures to a food to even taste. When you get them engaged in the kitchen from a young age it can help to increase these exposures and encourage them to try new foods in a low-pressure situation. While you are home in lockdown, try to get them involved in small aspects of cooking such as grating zucchini, or using a kid-safe knife to cut fruit.
Kids need structure and increased engagement in this world of the unknown, cooking with them takes the pressure off you and gives them a sense of control and responsibility for a small aspect of their life all while teaching them an important life lesson!
Remember: if you’re feeling stuck on where to start, just start with the basics, take the pressure off yourself and have fun in the kitchen.
As an expert in kids’ nutrition and food science, Shelley Judge is on a mission to debunk kids’ nutrition and diet culture by helping small children develop good relationships with food. Using her experience in children’s behaviour, psychology and nutrition, Shelley guides families in their kitchen, to help their children enjoy all food and present well-rounded, healthy options for them to enjoy.