At this age, your child can prepare really simple meals with some supervision from you, of course. So sit back and enjoy this terrific opportunity for sharing the events of the day with each other.
Mom's Night Off! Let your child plan a dinner that includes foods from at least three of the four food groups, for example, the Grain Products Group, Vegetables and Fruit Group, and the Meat and Alternatives Group or the Milk Product Groups. Help your child decide which dishes he or she is going to make.
Sandwich Bar: Work together to create a wrap sandwich bar for family members to fill and roll up their own sandwiches. The challenge is to think of at least two items from each Food Guide food group to offer as fillings Here's a hint to get you started - grated cheese and cheese slices are in the milk group.
Foods From Many Lands: What country or region is your child studying in school? Browse through cookbooks, websites, and magazines with your child to find recipes from that area to make for the family. Create a theme night around a specific country and its culinary traditions. It's a tasty and fun way to reinforce what's being learned at school!
Great Shakes: Set out the blender and encourage the kids to whip up some tasty shakes. Use fat free or low fat milk and replace the ice cream with nonfat frozen yogurt. Add a better-for-you twist to regular milk shakes by adding fresh fruits, such as strawberries, bananas, peaches, kiwi, and fruit juices. Have a contest to see who can come up with the best tasting fruit combo!
To Market To Market: Get your child to expand their vegetable horizons by taking them to the farmer's market or grocery store and asking them to pick out a new vegetable to try. Ask them to research the vegetable a little: Where does it grow? What nutrients does it contain? What other vegetables is it related to? Help them find recipes using that vegetable and then let them prepare it for a family dinner. They might even have second helpings!
Mini Fruit Tarts: For a nutritious sweet treat, let the kids whip up some instant vanilla pudding. Have them spread the pudding on some graham crackers and top with dollops of their favourite fruit pie filling, such as cherry, blueberry or strawberry.
Grow a Garden: Involve your children in gardening. In early spring, let them select seeds for growing various veggies and herbs. Help them plant the seeds indoors, then transplant later outdoors. Let them tend the garden by weeding and watering and at harvest time they can reap the benefits by serving the family fresh-picked veggies for dinner.
Lunch Bunch: Get your kids to eat a better lunch - and avoid the morning rush - by asking them to pack their own lunch the night before. Have them come shopping with you or write down their favorite sandwich and other lunch fixings. Ask them to use Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating to see that they are creating a balanced meal.