How to we encourage our children to eat vegetables, boost their self-esteem, teach them life skills and get something done all at once? I choose to hand her a knife, a cutting bird and a vegetable that is easy to cut (cucumber, mushroom, tomato, melon eye.) and send her to work.
I initially learned this from observing my sister with her not yet three-year-old son. He was using a real knife to cut zucchini while she stood by him and put the pieces in a pot. He is her fourth child and with that status comes a relaxed and experienced mom. And all the better for me because I was with my first child learning from my sister’s experience.
One of the points they touched was self-esteem. When a child is trusted with a real grownup task their self worth is enhanced even more than if a child is praised for completing a ‘children's’ task such as drawing a picture or filling out a worksheet. They feel genuinely helpful and trusted.
Another benefit is kids tend to eat what they made, and while that makes it. While My girl was cutting the melon for the popsicle she ate at least half of what she cut before it ended up in the immersion blender.
I also really get something done. If we let go of doing things perfect and/ or fast and let the kids work at their own pace we can enjoy the result.
In the long run, they will have cooking skills and self-sufficiency abilities. And in the short term, you get to delegate.
Melon Yogurt Popsicles
½ of a big mellon
½ cup yogurt or cream (I do not have good quality cream available where I live so I went with the yogurt)
2 tbsp of maple syrup or to taste
½ tsp vanilla extract
Place pitted, peeled and cut melon in a blender (I used an immersion blender) add the rest of the ingredients and blend thoroughly. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.