One of the best ways for kids to learn about healthy food choices is to let them have some fun preparing and cooking food. This selection of food-related activities is sure to put healthy meals on plates… as well as smiles on faces!
- Introduce students to a range of cooking challenges from basic to more challenging and create a supportive cooking environment.
- Help students take their newfound food preparation skills home by encouraging students to try recipes for their families at home. Include parent/carer volunteers in classes.
- Invite parents, carers and members of the community from various backgrounds to share cooking skills and recipes from different cultures.
- Source fresh local produce for your recipes. Teach students about planning recipes and shopping for seasonal fruit and vegetables.
Create a poster with students to display common cooking terms or words they need to understand in the recipes they choose to prepare.
- Teach students about hygiene and safety, including washing hands, handling/washing food, safe storage and safe preparation.
- Teach students about cooking terms such as measurement, weight, volume, time, cups, spoons, fractions, and temperature.
- Teach students about various kitchen utensils and what they do, using fun games such as a scavenger hunt.
- Create a poster of definitions with students, to display common cooking terms or words they need to understand in the recipes they choose to prepare.
- Teach students how to perform a ‘healthy makeover’ on a recipe using your knowledge of the National Healthy School Canteen Guidelines. With just a few simple changes to ingredients and preparation methods, almost any recipe can be made healthier.
- Visit a local hospitality training centre, such as CIT, to observe students preparing for dinner or lunch.
- Create a recipe book of meals made at school (online and/or a hard copy) which students can use at home. This could even be a fundraising opportunity for the school.
- Prepare take-home meals. Students can practise cooking a meal and take the recipe and ingredients home to cook the meal for their family.
- Invite the Principal, teachers or a special guest to share a meal prepared by the students/participants. This could also become a cooking competition.
Note: Always be aware of children’s food allergies and religious cultural preferences, and also ensure you’re aware of students with medical conditions and treatment plans.