Getting my kids involved in the kitchen is really important to me because eating habits form at a young age. I’ve found that when I invite Ben and Megan to help prepare their own snacks or meals, they become much more interested in what they’re eating and as a result are more willing to try new foods. It seems so simple, but knowing how food is grown and made helps create a basic knowledge of how to eat right that carries on into adulthood. A lot of kids don’t have this fundamental understanding about food and nutrition – I see it as our responsibility, as parents, to teach them.
Ben and Megan like to feel like they are playing an important role in the kitchen. So, I get them engaged by giving everybody a “job.” For example, one of our favorite activities is making smoothies. Not only are they a nutritious way to start the day, they’re also easy and fun. My kids love blueberries — or “little blue dynamos,” as they call them — which is good news for me, because when we add blueberries to smoothies, they’re getting tons of good stuff like Vitamin C, fiber and manganese.
On smoothie-making afternoons, the tasks are distributed and we work as a team to turn whole, ripe fruit into a creamy, juicy meal. Ben is in charge of washing the fruit for the smoothies, and Megan has the job of dumping the ingredients into the blender. I pop the top on, flick the switch, and an afternoon treat is ready!
When everyone has a special task and gets to contribute to a meal we share together, it really is a valuable experience. I encourage all of my readers, fans, and friends to give this a try with their kids. Here’s one of our go-to blueberry smoothie recipes – it’s quick to prepare and can be easily adapted depending on what yogurt and fruit juice you have on hand.
For more tips on how to instill healthy eating habits, check out my new Inspiring Dynamism video series.
How do you add fun and nutrition to your daily routine?
Tagged: Alison Sweeney, cooking, cooking with kids, health, kids, recipes, The Biggest Loser, wellness