At Free Rangers we aim to provide children with a healthy, nutritious and varied diet of foods. We also aim to support children to gain and develop important life skills in a fun and interactive way.
For those of you who are unaware, we have recently gained Jayne as our chef. A small group of children joined Jayne for a cooking activity upstairs in the kitchen. This will hopefully become a regular occurance and we plan to get more children involved in the preparation and cooking of foods.
To begin the activity we made sure that we all had clean hands and we spoke about the importance of good hygiene when cooking. We were reminded that even though the foods that we are using are really tasty, we cannot put our fingers in our mouths when we are cooking.
Our activity today was to make a fruit smoothie. We closely examined the fruits together, naming them and talking about their qualities (colour etc). It is important for children to interract with healthy foods, and by preparing healthy snacks themselves, children are more likely to develop healthy choices regarding the foods that they eat. Today we used bananas and avocado.
The children were asked to chop the fruits using knives. This was closely monitored and guided by the adults, although the children used them independently and were developing their confidence in gaining real life skills.
There was a constant chatter amongst the group, which proves that cooking with children is a great language rich activity. There was lots of talk about the fruits, our likes and dislikes, and talking through our actions, including asking "what do we do next?" with excitement and anticipation.
The children were introduced to the food mixer, giving them an insight into the use of ICT in the kitchen. After the fruits and milk had been added, each child had a turn at turning the dial and pressing the on and off buttons. There was a lot of interest in watching the fruit and milk change texture and look as the mixer worked it's magic!
Then, the best bit ..... taste testing! The children tasted the finished smoothie and all gave it the thumbs up. "I like it!" "I would like some more", "it tastes like banana", "it feels like goo!" "it smells like slime!" Due to the green appearance of the smoothie, there was talk about the Incredible Hulk from our Superhero enthusiasts!
This was a really great activity, I cannot wait to see what else our 'little chefs' get creating in the kitchen!