Celebrate Nutrition Month with Your Kids

posted 3/2/23 -- National Nutrition Month started in 1973 as National Nutrition Week and it became a month-long observance in 1980 in response to growing interest in nutrition. The theme for National Nutrition Month® 2023 is “Fuel for the Future.”

Teaching Kids to Cook

The best way to teach kids about eating right is to get them into the kitchen to prepare healthy meals with you. Cooking is a valuable life skill that teaches children about nutrition and food safety and is useful for building math, science, literacy and fine motor skills.

Food Safety Basics

  • Before you enter the kitchen, cover the ground rules with children first:
  • Wash hands in warm, soapy water before and after handling food.
  • Pull back long hair, off the shoulders.
  • Keep counter tops and working surfaces clean.
  • Don’t let them lick their fingers or put their hands in their mouths, especially when working with raw foods such as cookie dough and raw meat or poultry.
  • Avoid double dipping or putting spoons back into food after using them for tasting.
  • Remember, young cooks need supervision.

Young children love helping out, but need very close adult supervision since their motor skills are still developing. Teach these youngsters the importance of washing produce and using clean appliances and utensils.

Appropriate Tasks

Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Make it a game by singing the “Happy Birthday” song together twice as you wash your hands.

  • Wash fruits and vegetables in the sink with cool tap water.
  • Wipe up tabletops.
  • Mix ingredients like easy-to-mix batters.
  • Brush (or “paint”) cooking oil with a clean pastry or basting brush on bread, asparagus or other foods.
  • Cut cookies with fun shaped cookie cutters (but don’t eat the raw dough!).