Fall is an ideal time to teach children about healthy food and enjoy family food activities together. Fresh apples, pumpkins, winter squash, sweet potatoes, apple cider and many other fall foods are the basis for fun cooking activities we are doing in our classrooms and you can do at home too. When children help cook healthy food themselves, they are more likely to eat it. Some of our favorites are:
- Homemade Applesauce: Apples are a favorite children’s food. Children love mashing the cooked apples and adding cinnamon (no sugar needed).
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: After carving a pumpkin, roast the seeds with oil for 10-15 minutes and add seasonings for a healthy, crunchy snack.
- Pumpkin Purée: Many children love the color, texture and taste of pumpkin. As a purée, even babies can eat it. Children can experiment with spices to add.
- Twelve Vegetable Soup: Children love the challenge of seeing how many vegetables they can add to the soup. If you use a combination of tomato and spicy vegetable juice as a base, it develops an amazing flavor.
- Roasted Root Vegetables: Carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes, radish, celeriac, parsnips and other vegetables are great when roasted with onions or garlic and topped with spices. Children love exploring the vegetables whole and then helping to wash, cut and prepare them.
With Thanksgiving approaching, the time is perfect for involving children in the preparation of healthy foods and the development of good eating habits. For more information, kid-friendly recipes and ideas, see:
For other amazing resources on health, nutrition, exercise and general wellness, see http://eatwellandkeepmoving.org/Home/Resources.