Eat Well

Turn Mealtime into Learning Time

Feb 22, 2012

At school, children learn about topics ranging from the periodic table to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but you can turn your home into a place for education as well. Here are some tips to subtly turn mealtime into learning time.

  • Time to count those peas. Addition and subtraction are two of the most basic arithmetic skills, and the easiest to practice in a fun, at-home setting. While you enjoying your Libby’s Sweet Peas tonight, ask your kids to count how many peas are on their plate at the start of the meal. Ask again about halfway through, and see if they can calculate how many peas they ate!
  • Kitchens can be chemistry labs, too. There are two types of cooks: those who are precise and those who are intuitive. When you cook with your kids, take a chance at being the spontaneous chef – add a “pinch” of salt, a few “shakes” of pepper or “three seconds” of paprika. Your kids will love pretending to be scientists while they create a complex concoction. You can even get a few giggles by dressing in lab coats and goggles!
  • Four score and seven bites ago. Everyone has a favorite food, including our nation’s leaders. With Presidents’ Day still on our minds, conduct a lesson during dinnertime through that follows the history of presidential food. The Food Timeline says Barack Obama loves trail mix and chocolate, while George W. Bush prefers a hearty chicken potpie. Serve dishes your family and the First Family share in common as favorite food, and sneak some American history facts in there while you are on the subject. The kids are likely to remember historic facts if they have fun while learning.