Summer is more than halfway over for school-age children and youth! How are they getting along with stretches of down-time at your house? If they could use a little infusion of energy and meaningful activity, you might check out Utah State University Extension’s Kids Create website.
Kids Create is part of Utah Food $ense Education Program (SNAP-Ed) specifically offering nutrition education to families and youth eligible for SNAP (food stamp) benefits under the general jurisdiction of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, the website and its resources are open to the general public for use at https://kidscreate.wordpress.com/ .
For Mom and Dad- Not only does Kids Create have information to help your kids learn tips and tricks for general food preparation and cooking, there are also optional fitness and general health challenges. Plus, there are ideas for the entire family to keep active. Additionally, there are links for adults to register for free Food $ense lessons at home through the link: https://usu.instructure.com/courses/345410 and you have access to a wonderfully fun and informative blog endorsed by Food $ense, Snappily Ever After (A spin-off from the name- SNAP Ed). That link is available at: http://snappilyforever.blogspot.com/ .
Activities for healthy kids-Click on the Kids Create “Jump Zone” link and you will find answers to Why and How kids should be active. For example, it is suggested to choose four new ways of being active that have never been tried before using suggestions to get ideas started:
Shoot some hoops/learn to play basketball; find a 30-minute workout video on YouTube, ride a bike for with a friend choosing a new route every week (approved by parents). Your kids may think participating in physical activity mainly provides health benefits. However, social, emotional and intellectual benefits are also described.
Activities for Kids in the Kitchen- Depending on the age of your child(ren), parents can help their youth select food to prepare from a wide variety of recipes. Categories of recipes include: breakfast, fruity desserts, healthy snacks, main dishes, and side dishes.
Simple Salsa is an example of a simple healthy snack. This particular recipe is similar to Pico de Gallo. The step-by-step process is accompanied by related photos. Lest parents think asking a younger child to prepare salsa would be overwhelming, this recipe only has four ingredients: 4 Roma tomatoes, ½ yellow onion, 1 bunch cilantro, ½ fresh lime (or 1 Tbs. bottled lime juice) and then salt may be added to taste.
Yes, younger children will need some knife skills or supervised use of knives to prepare the recipe but it is very simple; the instructions are very straight forward. There are even ideas of different ways to include the salsa in conjunction with other foods like scrambled eggs or burritos.
Scrumptious Strawberry Sorbet is a simple refreshing dessert on the list under fruity desserts category. Again with only four ingredients: ½- ¾ cups buttermilk, 1 16 oz. bag of frozen fruit (or 2 cups), 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, ½ C. sugar. The recipe does require the use of a food processor or blender and 4-5 hours in the freezer to complete a perfect sorbet. Other favorite fruits may be substituted for the strawberries.
What else will you and your kids find on the Kids Create site? You’ll never know unless you visit. Again, the site is: https://kidscreatesite.wordpress.com/ . If parents want to see what else is available for them, first go to: https://extension.usu.edu/foodsense/ and along with the Kids Create blog option, there are others.
Kathleen Riggs is the Utah State University Extension family and consumer sciences professor for Iron County. Questions or comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 435-586-8132.