Here are 12 fun, food-related projects you and your children can work on this summer. This will help them further explore their interest in food and cooking. Who knows, your children’s skills and enthusiasm for working with food may be taken to another level.
- begin a food journal by listing favorite foods. Include best food and holiday memories.
- plan certain meals or menus for a week, then note results in journal.
- collect favorite recipes and create own cookbook.
- take a field trip to the farmers market with family.
- grow radishes, green onions, and/or lettuce.
- learn new cooking skill, such as how to cream, whip, or knead.
- find recipes to try from different cookbooks.
- make a list of proper table etiquette and include in journal.
- clip coupons from newspapers and magazines.
- sketch out the grocery store’s layout to help know where items are located.
- when shopping, compare organic food prices to other food prices. Discuss advantages and disadvantages.
- try some dishes with a regional or international flavor.
Here I have included a seafood recipe taken from the cookbook, Cooking Around the Country with Kids: by Amy Houts. Her cookbook shows how different cultures in America came to co-exist, yet continue to celebrate their uniqueness through food. This recipe comes from the section on “Cooking in Regional Recipes and Food ActivitiesNew England“, which describes the region and includes recipes from the breads, soups and salads (like Manhattan Clam Chowder), main dishes/meats, vegetables and side dishes (such as Boston Baked Beans), and dessert categories.
Shake and Bake Scallops
1 pound fresh scallops or 1 pound package frozen scallops, thawed
2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch pan. Children can beat egg in a medium-sized bowl. Add scallops and stir until coated with egg. Measure bread crumbs and pour into a gallon-size zip-top plastic bag. Using a slotted spoon, scoop scallops into bag with crumbs. Pour into prepared pan in one layer. Drizzle with butter. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned.
Peel and chop 1 small onion. Seed, rinse, and chop 1 small green pepper. Rinse and chop 1 rub celery. Saute onion, pepper, and celery in a skillet on medium heat for 5 minutes. After drizzling breaded scallops with butter, top with vegetables. Bake as directed above. Serves 4.
One way to keep children active and interested this summer is through food focused activities. Let this be the start of an engaging summer.
To your health and that of your family,
Lee Jackson, CFCS
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