When it comes to kids, cooking provides one of the best ways for learning about healthy eating without them being aware they are learning! At holiday time, simple mixes make a festive snack and can provide many teachable moments. Try it. You may like it!
If you are a classroom teacher, consider giving the following recipe to room mothers for holiday party preparation rather than having the kids mix it up. However, with teachable moments you can still give kids some touch, smell, taste and learn experiences!
Snack Mix Recipe
4 cups Wheat Chex cereal
4 cups Cheerios
2 cups mini pretzels
6 cups packaged popcorn
1 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)
1 cup dried fruit (such as cran-raisin)
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients. Makes approximately 25-¾ cup servings.
Note: Save the Nutrition Facts labels for each ingredient.
- Identify MyPlate food groups for each ingredient. Discover which ingredient does not belong to any food group.
- Look at the Nutrition Facts label and ingredient list.
- Look at each label for the serving size. Use a measuring cup to demonstrate the size.
- Look at each recipe ingredient for the amount of sugar it contains. (As a reference, four grams of sugar is about 1 teaspoon.) Which ingredients have the most sugar? Look at the recipe and amount of each ingredient in the recipe. Related to healthier balance, ask why the recipe has smaller amounts of dried fruit and chocolate chips than cereal.
- Find the products with whole grain listed as a first ingredient. Point out that MyPlate encourages us to eat more whole grains.