Studies have shown that families that take part in group activities together share a stronger bond; one that improves communication builds kids’ self-esteem and fosters positive behaviors. If your kids are nature lovers, and they enjoy off-the-beaten-path adventures, why not organize a cooking escapade with them? You don’t need to go very far to combine their love for the Great Outdoor with good food. If you’re looking for a little inspiration on what type of activity to organize, read on!
A Barbecue With a Difference
Imagine a barbecue that is entirely prepared outdoors, beneath the shade of your favorite tree in your backyard. For kids, preparing a barbecue can seem like little more than popping meat, vegetables, or shrimp on a grill. However, you can show them all the techniques and skills it takes to make a perfect barbecue, ranging from your main dishes to salads and sides. Marinade your meat the night before, showing kids your favorite marinade recipe. The next day, about an hour before you start grilling, set up an outdoor table, so your kids can help you make a couple of sides and even a raw dessert. Make sure they have child-friendly cooking equipment such as safe knives, kids-size equipment (such as beaters and mixing spoons), and cute aprons that will make them feel like chefs. Teach them skills such as slicing, dicing, juicing lemons, and chopping uniform pieces of vegetables and fruits. Follow a recipe for a simple salad or a raw apple pie made by slicing apples finely and covering it with a Medjool date-orange juice ‘syrup’. For the base, use medjool dates blended with raw almonds.
A Tasting Experience
Consider taking a cheese tour in an area close to home, or take a small road trip, so they can sample regional wares such as traditionally made bread, milk, yogurt, and sweets. Encourage children to try a range of new items, so that the textures and flavors can expand their palate. Take the array of items you have bought and have a picnic in a beautiful park or forest, encouraging your kids to open their senses to the beautiful sights, sounds, smells, and textures that surround them.
Camping is an excellent way for children to build a bond with nature. Study after study has shown that spending time in green areas like forests and bodies of water like lakes and oceans has a powerful ability to lower stress. Going camping and preparing foods like bread or soup from scratch (instead of bringing pre-made goods) is a magnificent way to acquaint children with different types of produce and cooking techniques. It will also teach them how to build a fire, which is an important skill that may come in handy when they are older.
If your children love outdoor adventures, then introducing food into the equation is an ideal way to up the fun factor. There are so many ways you can prepare and enjoy meals outside. Have a barbecue with an array of side dishes, go on tasting tours, and embrace camping adventures, opening your children’s minds to the beauty of sleeping beneath the stars.