Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Cooking/Language
- Bananas, apples, and pears
- Vanilla yogurt (1/2 cup for each child)
- Frozen orange juice concentrate
- Maple syrup
- Small plastic bowls or cups
- Paper plates
- Plastic spoons
Objective: Children will develop fine-motor skills and language skills and make choices while they taste different types of dip flavors and fruits.
In Advance: Peel, core, and slice apples and pears. Slice each banana into thirds or fourths, leaving the peel for the children to remove. Place the fruits on paper plates.
1 Invite the children to the table for snack. Explain that they will be having sliced pears, apples, and bananas - along with a special yogurt dip that they will help make.
2 Place the yogurt into three separate bowls. Place a teaspoon of frozen orange juice concentrate into one of the bowls and a teaspoon of maple syrup into another. Label with words and pictures each yogurt bowl to indicate the flavors: maple, orange, vanilla. Pass the bowls around the table for each child to stir. Give each child a small cup of granola.
3 Set out the variety of fruits and paper plates. Invite the children to choose several nieces of fruit. Select a piece of fruit and show the children how they can dip their fruit into the yogurt and then into their granola mixture.
4 Pass the dips around, one at a time, and ask each child to place a spoonful on his plate or in a small plastic cup. Taste each dip with the children. Ask: Which dip did you like best? Which fruit did you enjoy most? Did you like the granola? Which foods are crunchy? Which foods are soft?
Remember: Not all children are adventurous eaters and some may be reluctant to try new foods or mix foods together. Though it is important to expose children to different healthy food options and cooking experiences, don't push children to eat foods.
Pretend Play: Wash empty yogurt containers and lids and the frozen juice container and place them in the pretend-play area. Provide the children with plastic spoons, bowls, and plastic fruit or small colored blocks to represent the fruits. Encourage the children to use the snack props as they incorporate dolls and their classmates in pretend play.
Apples by Samantha Berger and Betsey Chessen (Scholastic Inc., 1999)
I Eat Fruit! by Hannah Tofts (Larousse Kingfisher Chambers, 1998)
What's for Lunch? by Eric Carle (Scholastic Inc., 1998)
This activity originally appeared in the November, 1999 issue of Early Childhood Today.