August 2019 Issue
Culinary Corner: Fresh Summer Peaches
By Jessica Ivey, RDN, LDN
Vol. 21, No. 8, P. 66
This nutrient-rich fruit takes center stage in a tasty breakfast or brunch dish.
Summer is quickly coming to a close and soon school buses will be picking up children for the first day of classes. Before school gets started and life gets busy, encourage clients to bring their kids into the kitchen and enjoy cooking together.
Although I don’t have kids of my own, I love teaching cooking classes for children and teens because I believe that time spent in the kitchen will translate into healthful habits that last a lifetime. A 2014 study involving 47 children aged 6 to 10 found that those who helped a parent prepare a meal ate significantly more salad and chicken than children eating the same meal prepared by their parent.1 Involving children in food preparation is an opportunity to teach them about nutrition, expose them to new healthful foods, and encourage increased intake of vegetables. In addition, cooking can be a platform for teaching math, literacy, science, and food safety.
We’re all in a hurry, so for many parents it can be easier to prepare meals alone without involving their children. As dietitians, we can educate clients on the potential benefits and encourage them to involve their kids in age-appropriate kitchen activities. It may take a little longer and be a little messier, but the benefits are worth the inconvenience. Children as young as age 2 to 5 can wash produce, wipe countertops, transfer ingredients from one location to another, tear lettuce, stir ingredients, shape or roll dough, brush oil onto vegetables or bread with a pastry brush, help measure ingredients, and crack eggs. Children aged 6 to 7 can help with more detailed work, such as peeling potatoes or carrots, rinsing and cutting lettuce leaves or fresh herbs with kitchen shears, and juicing citrus fruits.
This French toast recipe highlights nutrient-rich summer peaches. Sautéing the peaches with a touch of maple syrup and ground cinnamon enhances their natural sweetness, creating a flavorful topping. Children can assist with sautéing the peaches, assembling the French toast sandwiches and dipping them in the egg mixture, and plating the final product.
— Jessica Ivey, RDN, LDN, is a dietitian and chef with a passion for teaching people to eat healthfully for a happy and delicious life. Ivey offers approachable healthful living tips, from fast recipes to meal prep guides and ways to enjoy exercise on her website, JessicaIveyRDN.com.
1. van der Horst K, Ferrage A, Rytz A. Involving children in meal preparation. Effects on food intake. Appetite. 2014;79:18-24.