Mealtime Memories Begin in the Kitchen

LIBERTY, September 6, 2014 – A good way to get young children excited about new foods and healthy eating is to get them involved in the kitchen. Young children like to imitate their parents, and this is especially true during meal planning and food preparation.

Young children can:

· wipe and help set the table,

· select fruits or vegetables for the meal,

· rinse vegetables and fruits,

· snap green beans,

· stir pancake batter, and

· help assemble a pizza and make sandwiches.

Parents need to remember some safety tips when children are in the kitchen:

· Cook with pots and pans on the back burners.

· Keep hot dishes where children cannot touch or pull them down on top of themselves.

· Children should not remove cooked food from the microwave.

· Keep knives and other sharp objects out of children’s reach.

Watching children closely and giving them specific, child-appropriate tasks can help to increase your child’s interest in new foods and food preparation. Dr. Sharon Robinson, Associate Professor and Nutrition Specialist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, recommends that parents teach children to wash their hands with warm, soapy water before helping in the kitchen. This lifelong habit will keep children from getting sick or making others sick with a foodborne illness.

Extension Celebrates Family Mealtime during September! September 22nd the Liberty County Extension Staff will host a Family Day Celebration and light breakfast at 9:00 a.m. at the Extension Office for anyone interested in joining us. It will be an informal conversation and a chance to meet new people and gain new recipes. Each participant will leave with goodies!

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offers free and low-cost nutrition and health classes and other events. To find out what is available or more about the Family Mealtime Day Celebration, please contact Alexis Cordova or Grace Juneau in Liberty County (936) 334-3230 or visit the office at 501 Palmer Ave. in Liberty, Texas.

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