With some of the children at school, you may find yourself struggling to
occupy your little ones.
You may find it helpful to know that even from a very early age, babies and
toddlers can learn lots in the kitchen.
Talking to babies and toddlers while you’re in the kitchen and preparing
food can help develop their vocabulary and introduce them to new words.
It can also be a great way to learn basics such as colours, shapes and sizes
— fruits and vegetables come in just about every colour, shape and size
a child could think of.
Once your child is ready to learn counting, this can also be introduced
through food. You could simply count individual pieces of food (such as six
potatoes), or you ask your child to fetch you a certain number of items from
the fridge or pantry.
Once a child’s maths skills become more advanced, you can start
introducing simple sums using food. Also, fractions can be very effectively
demonstrated through cutting a piece of fruit into halves, quarters and
eighths, or by using different sixed cup measures.
There are a number of great craft ideas that utilise food and get kids busy in
the kitchen. For example, try making ‘grape necklaces’- different
colours of grapes, skewered through the middle with cooking string threaded
through to create a necklace made of grapes. It’s fun, tasty and
Alternatively, try ‘potato painting’ by carving different shapes
into potatoes, dipping into paint and stamping onto butchers paper.
Finally, as well as teaching things such as new words, colours, shapes,
counting and maths, spending time in the kitchen and around food is an
excellent opportunity to begin ‘planting the seed’ of what healthy
lifestyle is all about — eating a variety of healthy foods, combined
with plenty of activity.
Even simple messages such as ‘our bodies love vegetables’ will
stick in a child’s mind and encourage them to eat healthy foods.
Have fun in the kitchen!
Mixture of fresh fruit in a variety of colours
Square ice-cream cones
Wash and chop fruit into 1cm cubes. Drain the fruit of
excess liquid and pile into the cone. Top with yogurt or a dollop of ice cream
if desired. Serve immediately to prevent the cones going soggy.
Cover tinned or fresh fruit with jelly and allow to set.
Chop with a fork and fill ice cream cones.