Preparing food is a great way to teach children healthy eating habits. They are also preparing for life through learning grace and courtesy skills, as well as self-care skills. Here are some tasty ideas to try in the Practical Life area around the Valentine’s Day holiday.
Combine food preparation and food tasting activities by exploring different kinds of apples. Set out several bowls of a variety of red apples, each one labeled with its name. Allow for individual apple slicing activities with an apple corer. Taste them at group, making charts and Venn diagrams of their characteristics. Graph class favorites.
Take apples further by making them into applesauce by combining apple chunks with water in a food processor. Add red berries to the food processor as you make the applesauce for added color.
Work on that pincer grip by using a strawberry huller to remove stems and leaves. Blend strawberries and red raspberries with yogurt and milk for a berry smoothie. Use a masher on strawberries and serve them over biscuits either purchased at the store or homemade in class, for tasty strawberry shortcake.
Purchase Bing or sweet cherries. Children have to use the pincer grip to remove the stems. Then they can use a cherry-pitter to remove the pits.
Use a melon baller to scoop chunks of bright pink seedless watermelon. Use the pincer grip to remove red grapes from the stems.
Use any of the red-colored Jell-o flavors (e.g. cherry, strawberry) to make Jell-o Jigglers. Use heart or cupid cookie cutters to cut them out, or a heart-shaped pan. Add berries to Jell-o for a healthy, tasty snack!
Bagels and Cream Cheese
Serve strawberry cream cheese with mini bagels. Add red food coloring to regular cream cheese. Make a cream cheese and jelly sandwich by spreading one side with cream cheese and the other with red raspberry or strawberry preserves.
Make a jelly sandwich, using whole-grain bread and red raspberry or strawberry preserves. Have a “heart-y” twist by using a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the sandwich.
Bake sugar cookies from scratch, a mix, or a refrigerated roll. Cut them out with a heart cookie cutter. Sprinkle them with red sugar prior to baking.
Frost freshly baked or store-bought heart-shaped cookies. Color the icing pink either with food coloring, strawberry syrup, or maraschino cherry juice. Add colorful sprinkles and cinnamon candies.
Children can practice measuring and stirring by making drinks. Give an appropriate measuring spoon to measure powder into a glass. Fill the glass with cold water. Enjoy pink lemonade, tropical punch or berry Kool-Aid, or Crystal Light.
Use a fine grater and grate cinnamon sticks. Use the freshly grated cinnamon either on cookies or use it to make scented sachets as Valentine’s Day gifts.
Use these tasty treats to enhance your Valentine’s Day celebrations while teaching about healthy foods.