Let’s Get Cooking: Part 2

In our last blog, we talked about the some of the benefits of cooking in your toddler and preschool classrooms.  Let’s get you started with something simple that doesn’t require actual “cooking”.  This recipe is great for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners!


Ingredients Needed:

1 slice of bread per child

Peanut butter or peanut butter alternative

Bananas (1 banana for every 3 children)


Additional recommended supplies:

Before cooking with children, you need to give some thought to the process.  Sometimes, especially with young toddlers, there may be some prep that needs to be done ahead of time, such as setting out supplies at each place setting with peanut butter on the knife and an already peeled section of banana.  With preschoolers and kindergartners, you may want to have the snack helper pass out plates and plastic knives and let each child peel their banana and then practice slicing their banana on their plate and then using the other knife, scoop out their own peanut butter.  We always want the kids to do as much hands on as they can manage.

You should always start with something simple (like the above recipe) to help introduce children to cooking and the health and safety rules that goes along with cooking.    It will take some practice with rules and safety before you can move on to more advanced cooking projects, but I guarantee, the pay- off will be worth it!!

So, let’s get started!

  1.  Start with some basic health and safety rules.  We must wash our hands with soap and water before we cook.  Show them the tools they will be working with (in this case, a plastic knife) and how to use that tool safely. (oh, by the way, did you know that you are teaching “technology” in STEAM by teaching them how to use a tool?)
  2. With older kids,  print the recipe with simple, step-by-step written instructions and pictures. (Literacy)
  3. Talk through the process while the kids are doing the work.  Be intentional…..we are really working on building those brain connections!  Want to add in math?  Count banana slices and raisins.  More science?  Time to use our sense of smell, touch and taste!  Be descriptive and encourage your kids to talk about what they are smelling, touching, etc.
  4. After product is finished, it’s time to eat our creations.  Research shows that kids are more likely to eat what they make themselves or had a hand in making.  This is a great way to introduce some new and healthy foods.
  5. Clean up!  Always make sure that kids are part of the process of cleaning up, no matter how young.  They will soon understand the routine, which helps make things run smoother for you and teaches them responsibility. 

Extending the learning:

Literacy:  Pick books for the week with a teddy bear theme.  Have them recall parts of the story and help them connect their cooking project to a book you read earlier.  

Dramatic Play:  Set up a doctor clinic with teddy bear patients or set up a tea party and invite children to bring a favorite teddy bear.

Math:  While children are eating, ask who liked raisins more than bananas and then graph the results

Science & Social Studies:  Talk about where bananas are grown and how they grow.

Want to learn more on how to incorporate cooking into your classrooms?  Contact us at ktummons@gmail.com to learn about our on-site, hands-on training where we teach your staff how to incorporate cooking into your classrooms in a meaningful way!

What are your ideas for extending the learning for this recipe?  Comment below.  We would love to hear your ideas!

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