Kids Just Want to Have Fun with Food
Boost the 'fun factor' of healthy foods with these tips and recipes.
Fun Cooking and Serving Tips
One important way to increase the fun factor of healthful foods is to
involve kids in the cooking and serving process, experts say.
"Cooking is fun, and kids who like to cook generally like to eat,"
advises Sam Mead, senior editor of Family Fun magazine.
Some healthful foods can't help but be fun: "Smoothies, for instance,
are fun to make and delicious to drink," says Mead.
5 More Tips
Here are 5 more tips for making cooking and eating fun:
1. Baking is a great way to get kids into the kitchen.
"Kids like the magic of seeing things change in the oven," notes
Ginny Callan, a former vegetarian chef and author of the Beyond the Moon
Callan says her two children often stand before the glass window of the oven
door, watching the muffins rise. Bread dough is tons of fun because kids can
handle it by kneading, braiding, rolling or shaping, like when making pizza or
2. Learning to make ethnic dishes is not only fun, but helps teach
children about other cultures.
Compared to standard American fare, ethnic foods are often more healthful
alternatives. Check out our recipes below for some kid-friendly versions of
foods from other countries.
3. Cooking can help introduce children to new foods.
Kids aren't always eager to try new foods, but Callan believes a sure way to
get children to try something new is to let them help make it. For example,
kids might be more willing to taste soy milk if they're pouring it into a
smoothie they're whipping up. And they might be less green-phobic if spinach is
an ingredient in the dip they are blending.
4. Make the eating as much fun as the food by using interesting
Try using small plates, dessert forks, bamboo skewers, chopsticks, and
similar wares to promote a fun atmosphere at the table. Have fun with your
garnishes and table settings, too.
5. Don't forget to show appreciation to your little
Kids are natural performers and they love to hear the "oohs" and
"aahs," Mead says
Fun and Kid-Friendly Recipes
Try these parent-and-child recipes to boost the fun factor in your own
Make-Your-Own Pocket Bread
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal 1 pocket as 3 slices
of "sliced bread, toast, whole grain bread."
You'll need a bread machine for this recipe.
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
- Pour the water into the bread machine pan. Add the sugar and flour. Make a
well in the center of the flour and pour in the yeast. Pour the salt into a
corner of the pan.
- Set the bread machine for the dough cycle (usually 1 hour and 40 minutes),
and press the start button. When the cycle is finished, remove the dough from
the pan and divide it into about 6 pieces.
- Preheat the oven to 500°. Dust the cutting board generously with flour.
With a rolling pin, flatten each piece of dough into a circle about 5-6 inches
wide and 1/8 inch thick. Place these pitas on a cookie sheet.