food activities

Read (and Eat) Across America!



On March 2, 1998, the National Education Association sponsored the first “Read Across America Day.” Organizers chose the date to coincide with the birthday of the late, great Theodor Geisel, author of more than 60 children’s books and the recipient of a special Pulitzer Prize in 1984 citing his “contribution over nearly half a century to the education and enjoyment of America’s children and their parents.” (You might know Theo better by his pen name, Dr. Seuss.)

Almost twenty years later, Read Across America Day is still going strong. Schools, libraries, and community centers across the United States participate by sponsoring reading related activities and events.

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Kids in the Kitchen – Part II



Q: When should kids start helping out in the kitchen?

A: As soon as they are able!

Last week I posted 10 Simple Food Prep Activities That Even a Toddler Can Do—tasks like spreading butter or jam on toast, slicing apples, and scooping melon balls. This week’s food prep activities include tasks easy enough for toddlers, too, but also interesting for older kids who want to expand their kitchen skills.

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Kids in the Kitchen – Part I



Q: When should kids start helping out in the kitchen? A: As soon as they are able!

Innovative educator Maria Montessori, who developed a unique philosophy of education that more than a century later still bears her name, believed that the teacher’s primary job was to provide opportunities for children to learn and flourish by way of their natural curiosity and intuition.

Parents who provide what Montessori called “practical life activities” for their children—the everyday activities of living—are acting as their kids’ first and best teachers. And what life skill is more practical than food preparation, an activity parents can expose their kids to every day?

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Play With Your Food!



Do a quick Google search for images related to “playing with food,” and this is a page that might pop up. What fun!

A further search might introduce you to the delightful food art and photography of Saxton Freymann, published in a series of children’s picture books in collaboration with Joost Elffers.

If it’s one of those days when you’re stuck in the house with kids—a snow day, or the 40th day of rain, or a day just too hot to leave the air conditioning—get out a carving knife and the fruits and veggies from the crisper and create your own menagerie!

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Parsnip Recipes, Kid Approved




Parsnips are not a vegetable I grew up with–and apparently I’m not alone. In one school in Southern California where I was presenting young author assemblies, not a single student or staff member had ever eaten a parsnip. Most of them had never even heard of a parsnip!

In fact, I’d never eaten a parsnip till after I’d already written a picture book called Once Upon a Parsnip. Serendipitously, a friend served apple-parsnip soup for a luncheon I was invited to just a month before Parsnip went into production. Suzanne is an excellent cook who worked as a professional chef for much of her adult life, and her delicious soup inspired me to include an adaptation of the recipe as back matter in my book. You’ll find the recipe below.

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