Healthy meals to cook with your grandkids

Cooking with grandkids

Cooking with grandkids can be a fun, rewarding and memorable experience. The month of March is National Nutrition Month and Cathy Johnson, a nutrition and food services supervisor at Good Samaritan Society – Auburn in Nebraska came up with some healthy meals to cook with your grandkids and tips on how to make it a meaningful experience.

“I feel that everything homemade is healthier than purchasing items from a store due to the added ingredients for preserving,” Johnson said. “My mother taught me and my siblings to cook from scratch.”

Healthy meal ideas

Cooking with grandchildren is meant to be fun. Let them be creative and explore the culinary world. They may have ideas for what to try making with you. Here are five ideas to help get the cooking started.

Chicken and veggie kabobs
Ingredients: Chicken, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini
Tip: Put the ingredients onto the skewers together.

Chicken noodle soup
Ingredients: Diced chicken breasts, low sodium broth, diced carrots, egg noodles
Tip: Let your grandkids help with the prep work – cutting chicken breasts, pouring noodles in the pan and more.

DIY pita pizza
Ingredients: Whole grain pits, tomato sauce, low-fat cheese, various veggie toppings
Tip: Let your grandkids choose their toppings and spread the sauce.

Fruit kabobs
Ingredients: Assorted fruits
Tip: Let your grandkids create their own skewers.

Vegetable stir-fry
Ingredients: Colorful vegetables (bell peppers, carrots, snap peas), chicken, soy sauce, garlic, ginger
Tip: Let your grandkids chop the vegetables with a kid-friendly knife (and supervision).

Bonding, educating and teaching

When cooking with your grandchildren, it’s important to keep them engaged and involve them in simple and safe tasks. It’s an easy way for them to develop basic skills, such as proper measuring and cutting techniques, that will benefit them later.

“When cooking with my grandchildren, I often get out the measuring cups and help them measure and dump ingredients into the mixing bowl,” Johnson said. “And they love to turn on the mixer.”

The cooking process can be a great bonding experience that creates lasting memories. Take this time to tell family stories, either from your own childhood or stories about their parents when they were young. It’s also an opportunity to talk about healthy eating and why it’s important to develop balanced eating habits.

“Grandkids just enjoy spending time with their grandparents,” Johnson said. “My grandkids love sweets – like all kids do – but when they get to make something it becomes more special to them. They make sure everyone knows they made it.”

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