Teach Your Child Cooking Skills
For applewiches: 1 apple, cheese slices
For funny-face sandwich: 1 piece of bread; peanut butter, cream cheese or egg salad; green pepper, celery, radishes, carrot curls; olives; nuts; hard-boiled egg slices; tiny shapes of cheese; apples and raisins
For fruit Popsicles: fruit juice (any kind), an ice cube tray or small paper cups, yogurt, mashed or crushed fruit, Popsicle sticks
For bumps on a log: celery, peanut butter, raisins
What to do
Choose a safe spot to cook where you won't have to worry about making a mess. Tell your child what the ingredients are. Talk about what you are doing as you go along. Ask and answer questions.
Let him smell, taste, and touch as you go. Let him (with your help) pour, stir, measure and help clean up.
Core an apple. Cut the apple crosswise into thick slices. Put cheese slices between the slices. Cheddar cheese is particularly good. Eat like a sandwich.
Cut the bread into a circle. Spread with cream cheese, peanut butter, or egg salad. Decorate using green pepper, celery, radishes, carrot curls, olives, nuts, hard- boiled egg slices, tiny shapes of cheese, apples or raisins for eyes, ears, nose and mouth.
Pour the fruit juice into small paper cups or an ice cube tray. Place a Popsicle stick in each cup or compartment before the juice is completely frozen. Return to the freezer until frozen solid. For variations, mix yogurt with the juice before freezing for a creamier Popsicle, or add mashed or crushed fruit such as strawberries, pineapple or banana.
Bumps on a log
Spread peanut butter on the celery stalks. Decorate with raisins. Great snacks!
Cooking helps children learn new words, measuring and number skills, what foods are healthy and what ones aren't and the importance of completing what they begin. It also teaches about how things change, and it can teach children to reason better. ("If I want a cold fruit juice pop, then I'll have to put it in the freezer.")