The kitchen can be a fun place for kids and parents to spend time together. Parents can help foster a positive relationship between their children and food by letting them help in the kitchen. Kids ages 1 to 5 are curious, eager to learn and want to spend time together. Here’s a guide on how to get your little ones engaged and having fun in the kitchen.
Before getting in the kitchen together, prioritize safety. Clear the cooking area of any hazards, like sharp objects or hot surfaces. Use kid-friendly utensils with blunt edges, and make sure to supervise closely during all kitchen activities.
Create a Kid-Friendly Space
Set up a dedicated area within the kitchen where your little chef can comfortably work alongside you. A step stool (depending on age) can make reaching the counter easier or using the kitchen table, allowing them to feel more involved in the cooking process.
Let them get involved in washing vegetables, tearing lettuce, or stirring ingredients. Praise their efforts and celebrate their accomplishments to boost their confidence.
Engage the Senses
Cooking is a sensory experience. Encourage your child to touch, smell, and even taste different ingredients. Allow them to explore the textures of flour, the aroma of herbs, and the vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables.
1 sweet potato
1 can chickpeas or bean of your choice
1 cup brown rice
2 zucchini squash
½ cup onion
1 ½ cup lettuce
1 lemon or lime
Seasonings: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Paprika
Makes 2 servings
½ medium avocado
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp plain yogurt
Juice of ½ lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
4 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Blend ingredients together to make a tasty creamy avocado sauce to top off your bowl.
Cook the brown rice to package instructions and preheat the oven to 425. Wash and peel your sweet potatoes and cut into diced chunks. Add to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and seasonings and add to a baking sheet lined with foil. Peel and chop the onion and zucchini squash into strips, then add onions to the baking sheet along with the diced sweet potatoes. Roast for about 25 minutes or until the edges of the potatoes are golden brown and they can be easily pierced with a fork. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, heat a skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, add 2 tbsp oil, chickpeas, zucchini, and seasonings. Stir frequently for about 10 minutes. They are done when they’re slightly browning on the outside.
To serve, add brown rice to a bowl and add the roasted sweet potatoes, onion, chickpeas, zucchini, lettuce, and avocado. Drizzle your desired amount of dressing on top and garnish with cilantro if you like.
Green Fruits, Vegetables Packed With More Than Good Luck For St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than by incorporating some delicious green foods into your meals! Not only are green foods a festive way to celebrate the holiday, but they’re also packed with essential vitamins and nutrients that are important for overall health. These green fruits and vegetables are available through the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program so you can celebrate the Luck of the Irish while eating healthy.
6 Green WIC Foods For St. Patrick’s Day
- Broccoli: This green veggie is a great source of vitamin C, folate, and fiber. It can be steamed, roasted, or stir-fried to make a delicious and healthy side dish.
- Limes: These fruits are small, green citrus fruits that are packed with nutrients and health benefits. They are a great source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, and can be used in a variety of recipes to add a zesty flavor and boost of nutrition. Plus, they taste great squeezed into water. Looking for a recipes for broccoli? Try this recipe for broccoli tater tots.
- Lettuce: This leafy green is a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and iron. Lettuce also contains fiber and antioxidants, which can help to promote digestive health and protect against chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Additionally, the high water content of lettuce can help to keep the body hydrated and promote healthy skin. Lettuce is versatile and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, making it a great addition to any healthy diet. Here are a few recipes for salads we love.
- Avocado: This creamy green fruit is a great source of healthy fats, fiber, and potassium. Mash it up to make guacamole, spread it on toast, or use it as a topping for tacos or salads. Avocado Toast Recipes To Try
- Peas: A nutritious vegetable that is high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are a great source of plant-based protein and are also low in fat and calories. Peas contain a range of important nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, iron, and zinc. They are also a good source of antioxidants, which can help to protect against cell damage and chronic diseases. Enjoy them in a variety of ways, from salads and soups to side dishes and main meals, making them a versatile and delicious addition. Try this recipe featuring peas
- Cabbage: We can’t leave this one off for St. Patrick’s Day. This vegetable is high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and may help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and even have anti-cancer effects. Additionally, cabbage is low in calories and can be easily incorporated into a healthy diet. Whether enjoyed raw in salads, fermented as sauerkraut, or cooked in a variety of dishes, cabbage is a nutritious and tasty addition to any meal.
These are just a few examples of the many WIC green foods that you can incorporate into your St. Patrick’s Day celebration. By choosing these healthy WIC options, you can ensure that your family is getting the nutrition they need while celebrating the holiday in a fun and festive way. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Here are a few recipes your family will enjoy:
1 head of green cabbage
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional toppings: grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh herbs, lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove any damaged outer leaves from the cabbage and slice it into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Brush both sides of the cabbage rounds with olive oil and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Season the cabbage rounds with salt and pepper to taste. Roast the cabbage in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, flipping them halfway through, until the edges are crispy and golden brown. Remove the cabbage from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Top the roasted cabbage with grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh herbs, or a squeeze of lemon juice, if desired. Enjoy your delicious and healthy roasted cabbage.
EASY WIC GROCERY SHOPPING
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Let’s Celebrate Healthy Choices
Calling all moms! National Nutrition Month is a time to celebrate and promote the importance of making healthy food choices and creating eating habits. With all the nutrition information floating around, it is easy to get overwhelmed.
One of the best ways to make nutrition a focus in your life is by discovering easy ways to make the most out of mealtime while still getting essential nutrition for your family. Here are a few tips from EatingRight.org, created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic:
- Eat Breakfast Start your day with a healthy breakfast that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
- Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables Fruits and veggies add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber to your plate.
- Watch Portion Sizes Use half your plate for fruits and vegetables and the other half for grains and lean protein foods.
- Be Active Regular physical activity has many health benefits. Start by doing what exercise you can. Children and teens should get 60 or more minutes of physical activity per day, and adults at least two hours and 30 minutes per week.
For more information about nutrition, visit eatingright.org. Texas WIC is also a great way to learn healthy habits for you and your children.
CHILAQUILES & SALSA
Makes 2 servings.
1 large onion
4 – 5 large tomatoes
(remove seeds from jalapeno, or replace with ½ bell pepper if you don’t want it spicy)
Juice of ½ lime or lemon
1 cup cilantro
Salt and/or sugar to taste
For extra flavor, add a whole bulb of garlic to the veggies!
Cook vegetables in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, turning the veggies over halfway through. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then add veggies into a blender along with cilantro and lime or lemon juice. Blend until there’s no chunks, then it’s ready to serve!
2 tbsp Vegetable oil
6 Corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges
1 cup of Salsa
(To save time, you can use WIC approved Always Save Mild Salsa from JC Food Mart instead of making your own)
Additional Optional Toppings – Sliced avocado, shredded cheese, onion, cilantro, or even more salsa!
In a large non-stick pan, coat generously with about 2 tbsp vegetable oil and heat on stove top to medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the tortillas and fry until golden brown. Remove from heat and move tortillas to a paper towel lined plate to soak up any excess oil. Remove any remaining brown tortilla pieces in the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, add the salsa and let cook for a few minutes while stirring occasionally. Add the fried tortilla wedges to the pan and gently turn over until tortillas are coated with salsa. Let cook for a few more minutes until tortillas are thoroughly soaked in salsa, yet still slightly crispy. Remove from heat and move tortillas to the plates. Return the pan to the stove top and fry the eggs. On each plate, top the tortillas with the fried eggs. Top with your choice of favorite toppings like shredded cheese and/or avocado for some extra flavor!
WIC Food Tip Perfect For Busy Moms
Toddlers love snacks! Moms of little ones may find themselves running around trying to find snacks on demand. Here is a great WIC food tip to use your WIC foods to make a perfect snack box for your little one.
One stress-free way to help busy moms looking to save some time, are pre-made snack boxes. Dig around in your cupboard for some plastic containers with lids. It doesn’t have to be fancy. One with compartments is perfect, but a food storage container without dividers also works. (TIP: You can use cupcake liners to make your own compartments)
Grab a few of your toddler’s favorite WIC foods. Create a fun assortment of 3 to 4 single serving snacks in each container to make a perfect toddler-size snack pack to store in the fridge. Some ideas for your containers include: cheese cubes, sliced strawberries, orange slices, blueberries, avocados, healthy WIC cereal (without the milk), yogurt, peanut butter and whole wheat bread. Make a whole peanut butter sandwich and cut into 1/4ths. Put one fourth in a container.
Store the snack packs in the fridge until needed. Making 2 or 4 containers at a time is perfect to have on hand when your little one wants something quick to eat.
This is a great way to help make sure your little one is eating healthy WIC foods. You can also get your kids involved in making their “snack packs” so they are excited to eat healthy foods.
HAVE TODDLERS ON WIC? SHARE YOUR MOM HACKS
Do you have a great mom hack? Leave it in the comments below. We would love to hear some of your favorite tips/tricks that save you time.
Looking for more helpful ideas? Check out our post about WIC Snacks.
There are so many things to love about Texas WIC.
For starters, it’s a great place for parents to turn for help. The pros at Texas WIC can also show parents the ropes for self love during pregnancy and after. Plus, nutrition tips and free healthy food packages help moms and babies eat healthy.
PRO PARENTING TIPS
Texas WIC is the perfect place to turn for your parenting questions. Whether you are pregnant and wondering what is safe for expecting moms to eat or you want help feeding your infant, Texas WIC has the answers. Plus, the program is free for qualifying Texas mothers.
As your baby grows, Texas WIC offers tips and guidance about developmental milestones and how to care, feed your baby so they grow up healthy.
SELF LOVE DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY
Texas WIC also helps mothers stay healthy. A healthy mother helps create healthy babies. Texas WIC pros offer tips on how to eat, exercise and take care of you and your baby while you are pregnant and while breastfeeding.
Some might say the best part of Texas WIC is the free healthy food packages for WIC clients. The packages start when moms learn they are expecting. They are also adapted for children until they turn 5 years old. So mom and babies can get free, nutritious foods like milk, bread, healthy cereal, baby formula, fruits and vegetables and so much more. The Texas WIC program is for qualifying Texas mothers and children up to age 5. To apply for Texas WIC, visit them online at Texaswic.org.
JC FOOD MART
JC Food Mart stores help WIC clients get all their WIC foods in one easy stop. Bilingual clerks help customers shop for their foods. Find out how easy WIC shopping can be, and visit a store today. JC Food Mart is a service provider for the WIC program, not a part of the WIC program.