Having children in the kitchen doesn't have to create a recipe for disaster! There are many good reasons for involving young children in food preparation such as enjoying quality time together and providing the opportunity for children to learn about and develop an appreciation for cooking. Just remember to have plenty of patience and expect messes! Here are a few tips:
- Be sure to have children wash their hands before and after helping in the kitchen.
- Don't pick a complicated recipe — 5 to 10 minutes might be all your child wants to spend cooking. Start small, keep it fun and work your way up to more challenging recipes.
- Set out three or four healthy foods, and let your kids make a new snack or sandwich from them.
The foods and drinks young children have throughout the day are important for his or her health. Fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy are a part of a healthy eating style and together provide the nutrients their bodies need. These whole grain cookies would pair perfectly with a glass of low-fat milk for a tasty snack.
- ½ cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ⅓ cups quick or old-fashioned oats
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Wash hands with soap and water. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Break egg into a shallow dish. Wash hands with soap and water after cracking raw egg.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together butter, egg and vanilla.
- Add remaining ingredients. Stir together until mixture is well blended. (Note: you may need to use your hands to finish mixing dough.)
- Shape the dough into walnut-sized balls. Wash hands with soap and water after handling raw cookie dough.
- Grease a cookie sheet, placing dough balls 2 inches apart.
- Bake cookies for 11 to 13 minutes. Once done, cool on a wire rack.
Be creative! This is a fun recipe to have kids adapt and create something new. Try adding different types of dried fruit, nuts or flavors of baking chips. Here are a few additional ideas to get you started:
- Peanut butter (½ cup)
- Peanuts (1 cup, chopped)
- Cinnamon (¼ teaspoon)
- Flaked coconut (½ cup)
- Chopped pecans or walnuts (½ cup)
- Serving Size (1 cookie):
- Calories 110
- Total Fat 5g
- Saturated Fat 3g
- Cholesterol 15mg
- Sodium 80mg
- Total Carbohydrates 17g
- Fiber 1g
- Total Sugars 9g, includes 9g Added Sugars
- Protein 2g
- Vitamin D 0%
- Calcium 2%
- Iron 6%
- Potassium 0%
Kitchen Activities, United States Department of Agriculture
Preschoolers, MyPlate, United States Department of Agriculture
This newsletter has been peer reviewed.