Twelve pairs of eyes were staring at me with excitement and eagerness. Everyone was pining for the exclusive job of cracking an egg. The cookie recipe called for 2 eggs- you read that right- baking sugary cookies with ingredients I brought from home- it was a different time then! We has washed our hands, talked about how many and the shape, and where eggs come from. The moment of truth has arrived- whose tiny hands were going to smash into the goop?
Thankfully I had thought ahead and brought 2 dozen eggs so no hands were left untouched by the sticky mess. We measured and mixed until we had something slightly resembling a dough. We mushed and mashed the dough into specific shapes and put them on a cookie sheet to be transformed during nap (at which time I pulled out premade dough balls to bake and discreetly disposed of the gooey mess we had prepared).
Years ago, cooking in the classroom meant decorating cookies during holidays or making pudding as a special reward. It was usually sugary and fatty and almost always looked at as a treat. Fast forward to today when research shows how diving into healthy cooking and intentional meal planning can easily be brought into the classroom. Children are no longer sitting passively hoping to take part in a rare cooking lesson, but many are given the opportunity and resources to learn how to shop, meal plan, and share cultural favorites with their classmates.
As teachers, this presents itself with challenges. How do we maintain a safe environment while giving children the space to cook and bake? We are inspired to acknowledge and celebrate that there are cultural differences in meal planning and a range of availability of affordable food. We are challenged with continuing to learn how to provide intentional nutritional opportunities, all while following the professional learning standards.
Don’t worry- you aren’t alone in trying to squeeze a fun nutritional lesson into your packed day. We are here to help!
Over the next few weeks we are going to highlight several professional development opportunities that will be offered at the 2019 Early Childhood Summit. Registration information can be found at the end of this post.
Jacqueline Amor-Zitzelberger, Extension Educator from Penn State Extension, is joining us at the 2019 Early Childhood Summit in the first session and is planning to dive into the meat meal planning, shopping, proper storage tips and safe cooking techniques.
This cooking class explores different ways to engage children in the meal planning and safe cooking process to eat healthy, tasty and kid-friendly foods. Learn the basics of cooking with kids during this hands-on cooking class. You will learn The presenters will help you with hands-on recipe preparation. You will be able to taste test what you cook!
Please join us in the following weeks as we give a sneak peek into what professional development opportunities are offered at the 2019 Early Childhood Summit.