Sleepover Food Preparation Teaches Kids Life-Long Lessons

Tips for a sleepover party that gets kids cooking!

According to Holly Clegg, author of Kids Cooking for Mommies, kids love to be creative in the kitchen, making a host of theme based goodies. Let them join in the fun of creating some exciting dishes that teach them about cooking and that help them learn to take responsibility.  Kids learn by doing and they can learn math skills by measuring ingredients. Cooking also helps kids learn to follow through with tasks.

Kids of all ages can learn to cook, but kids holding the ever popular sleepover will enjoy getting involved in the preparations. Making food for the event helps kids understand what it takes to put a sleepover together.

An assortment of recipes in Kids Cooking for Mommies lets kids get creative anytime. Some are especially fun to make and serve at their “no-sleep-over” parties. Let kids help make a “veggie face” by spreading tomato sauce on a biscuit, topped with cheese and some veggies to form the face. Try using a green pepper for a mouth, mushrooms for a nose, and olives for eyes.

You might also serve up some sweet potato “fries.” Simply cut up some strips of yams or sweet potatoes and bake, rather than fry. Let kids sprinkle on some cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger for an extra sweet taste. This dish offers a powerhouse of nutrition! The sweet potato is a delectable vegetable that offers a wide variety of ways to prepare it, as well as offering amazing health benefits. Sweet potatoes are a very high source of Vitamin A and they also contain good amounts of Vitamins B6 and C.

Did you know that yams are really the sweetest sweet potatoes and grown in Louisiana? Teaching kids where food comes from or where dishes originate helps them understand the cultures that have an effect on what they get to eat each day.

Since kids don’t really get sleep at sleepovers they need something to re-energize them. For a surprise breakfast that the kids can make ahead of time, try placing some crescent dinner rolls in the oven with a special surprise inside. Pinch the borders of the rolls to seal in a buttery marshmallow, brown sugar, and cinnamon mixture. Experiment with what goes inside.

Be prepared for a mess with several kids in the kitchen, but this too presents an opportunity to teach kids a few life-long lessons. They can divide up the cleanup duties as part of the fun.

Don’t expect perfection! Let kids be kids and be glad they pitched in to help. Kids love sleepovers, but moms get to have some fun too by showing off what’s in the kitchen. Hold a show-and-tell that helps kids learn about the different instruments used to create healthy meals. Let them guess what they are named and how they are used.

Add a few lessons on manners and let kids try them out when they sit down for breakfast. See how many they can remember. Some simple dining manners include placing a napkin on the lap before eating. Place butter on the edge of the dinner plate and not directly on the food. Some respectful behaviors include the traditional sitting up straight and keeping elbows off the table, taking small bites, and chewing food well with a closed mouth. Still they bear remembering.

Kids should try out conversing politely and complimenting the meal. This one should stir a few giggles, but lessons are learned all the same.

Look for more ideas and recipes that kids love to make in Kid’s Cooking for Mommies! Holly Clegg is also the author of the trim and Terrific® cookbook series.

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