Books and Cooks: Promoting Literacy and Healthy Eating
Childcare providers all over the world know the importance of early literacy. Reading a story to a child engages their vocabulary, imagination, creativity, and cognitive skills. We also know the importance of healthy eating habits!
What’s better than merging the two and forming a weekly routine called: Books and Cooks!?
Creating routine in a childcare center is necessary.
Much like a Park Monday, a Books and Cooks Wednesday can create a wonderful opportunity for childcare providers to be intentional in their weekly planning.
Literacy is essential.
There are a variety of ways your can promote literacy every day. However, the easiest, most engaging way is to read stories!
Learning to cook is a life skill.
Teaching a young child life skills such as cooking can be a life changing practice. Not only does it promote healthy eating, it also teaches children skills they may not learn at home: how to use a measuring cup, names of ingredients, names of cooking utensils, how to pour, how to mix, reading a recipe, and so much more!
Put literacy and cooking together and you have: Books and Cooks!
Choose a day to promote healthy eating, life skills and literacy! For my childcare program, Wednesday afternoons work best. After nap/clean up, the children are refreshed and ready to help in the kitchen! We sit together and read a quality children’s book. I then link a recipe with that book. Some books are easy. For example, Curious George Makes Pancakes by HA Rey, Thundercake by Patricia Polacco, If You Give a Dog a Doughnut by Laura Numeroff, or Bee-Bim Bop by Linda Sue Park all have recipes or a direct food connection in the book!
However, you can be creative as well! After reading the book, Seeds, Sprouts, Pumpkin Pie by Jill Esbaum, make yummy cream cheese swirl pumpkin muffins!
Or after reading The Way I feel by Janan Cain, make cut out cookies using Pampered Chef’s Emoji cookie cutters!
There’s really no wrong way you can incorporate books and cooks!
The beauty of this weekly literacy-cooking connection is that children gain both literacy skills as well as life skills! You can adapt it to fit your program; just remember to have fun with it!