A must have recipe for teachers is Play dough
Eating is a necessity! Cooking can combines science, health, creativity and fun if you look at it right. Food is the nurtition that fuels us and gives us comfort. In my home and my classroom, we do a lot of cooking. The Classroom actitives combine healthy knowledge of food with the tactile fun of work with your hands and activating the sences. At home, it is more about convenance and stable health diet with easy clean up to save time. I have tips and tricks for both cooking enviroments that I excited to share.
Food to go
We are an active on the go family. Having food on hand that easy to grab and go helps get us out the door and keeps us on time for next event. Pre-cooking large quaities, divide and freeze for later helps eat healther. Canning and presevering has been a huge time saver to. Planning is key, to having food that travels and supplies on hand for quick fix sit down meals.
In the classroom, cooking is fun. The kids really love it. Keeping the food prep area clean and sanitary is always a huge concern with food that we will eat. Creating healthy eating habbits can start very young. Combining education with health and adding cooking skills in class projects is so exciting. There are a lot of easy recipes that can be used in the classroom. I have blessed by amazing parent voluteer helpers that were will to jump in with cooking and clean-up.
Sending the recipes home in printed form or in emails have been requested, so now I make it part of my routie to have it on hand or put in on the website for my tech savvy parents and teachers. Try My Guacamole. & Growing a Avocado Seed.
Cooking is a Sensory experience
Some times the cooking for kids, is all about the sensory experience. They just enjoy stirring, pouring and mixing more than you think. I have tried to make a simple recipe fit a whole class of kids, by dividing the 2 cups of flour into small little spice bottles shakers. Divide the water & oil into little jars that they could measure with teaspoons. Everyone would get a turn to pour something in and stir was the plan. This was a great plan, with a parent helper. Specially when we were making something that needed them to grated things like carrots or zucchini. The helper was told, everything is measured out, just let the kids grated some vegetables & pour in one thing and it will turn out fine.
Preparation is a good plan
Planning ahead makes your life easier. It is not cheating to have already cooked ahead of time. Many times I have baked the item earlier in my clean kitchen at home to make sure it is done right. All the professional cooking shows have one already cooked waiting in the oven. This same type of plan, has save me many times. For example making zucchini bread takes 1 hour to cook, plus the time to cool. Not every school has a kitchen oven. It is easier to have one pre-cooked hidden off to the side, so the kids can eat the finished product. They have the joy of making the dough and tasting the fruits of the labor, I don’t have to work about something burning in the oven while I read at circle time. Win! Win!
I have a tip for knife safety here.