Monday: Weekly Family Acitivity—Guest Post on Learning About the World Through Food

The winner of this giveaway was Allison who said, “All of the videos look amazing!! I think I’ll say Bali, though, because it’s one place I haven’t been yet! Great ideas in this post, too!”


I am thrilled that Angelina from The Little Travelers is our Guest Writer today.

Over the years I’ve been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel a bit and learn from many great teachers around the world. My intention for my blog is to share what I’ve learned in the realm of parenting and raising children. I hope that what you find here has as meaningful an impact on you and your families as it’s had on mine.

Learning about the world through food

One of my favorite ways to explore other cultures is through their food. If started when your children are young enough they will gladly join you in the journey. Remember, children eat what they’re used to eating. Indian children eat curry, Thai children eat Pad Thai and German children eat Schnitzel. If you only offer your children chicken fingers and carrots with ranch dressing they will likely turn their noses up to Persian stew. So start young and really stretch their pallets while they are malleable.

This year we have decided to cook a meal from a different country once a week and go for no repeats the entire year. So by the end of the year we will have eaten 52 meals from 52 countries. We are also coloring in a map each week to keep track of what we’ve made and posting pictures to our website in hopes that other families will join us on our journey and tell us what recipes they’ve enjoyed and share them with us.
The best way to include children in cooking is by them helping to cook. Rather than keeping your children busy while you cook, either pull up a sturdy chair, use a Learning Tower, or set up a small table where they can sit and give them real jobs to help with the prep. Yes, it takes longer when they ‘help’ but it is really worth it in the long run. Give them their own cutting board and if they’re very young a butter knife to cut with.
I also offer this tip to those of you with small children at home. This one small thing saved my sanity when my girls were little. At the time my husband traveled 1/2 the year so I pulled duty as a single mother even when I was married. I was a stay at home mom who often did my outings in the mornings. The girls would nap in the afternoon and then we’d play at home and I’d try to start dinner around 5 and it was rough! They wanted to be held or fussed or fought with each other. And then someone told me this tip. Just before getting ready to start dinner go for a walk outside. No matter the weather, take at least 10 minutes to walk outside- around the block or up and down the street. Then come in and start dinner. Such a simple thing made such a huge difference. They were in a totally different place and were eager to do a focused indoor task again after being outside for a while.
Also, a big tip for those with very young children is to sing while cooking. Here’s my favorite veggie cutting song: “Chipitty chop, chippety chop. Cut off the bottom and we cut off the top. What we have left we throw in the pot. Chippety chop. Chippety chop.”
It can seem silly to the adult but you’d be amazed at how much it helps children relax into what they’re doing and keep focused at the same time. Definitely have the TV in the off position and don’t stress about the mess. If the child spills assist them in cleaning it up. While the meal cooks clean up the prep area together and then set the table together. Lighting a candle at mealtime also makes a HUGE difference to children in the enjoyment of the meal and eagerness to participate in the process.
Angelina from The Little Travelers has been kind enough to offer one of you the chance to win your choice of one of her Little Travlers’ DVDs.
Image of BALI DVD

Join the Little Travelers as they find true paradise in one of the most magical islands on earth, Bali, Indonesia. On their journey they meet new friends, play in the rice fields, hunt for coconuts and run into a little monkey mischief. Start your adventure now!

Image of British Isles DVD

Join the Little Travelers as they spend a week on a horse caravan in Ireland, hunt for Nessie, the Loch Ness monster in Scotland and visit the homes of Beatrix Potter in England. They also go to Knight’s school in Alwick castle, which was used as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies. You’ll not want to miss this one!

Image of Japan DVD

Join the Little Travelers as they travel to Japan and spend three months discovering the culture, food and customs, while making many new friends along the way. From trips to the market to a day in preschool, squat toilets to eating snails, their days are full of adventure. They meet monkeys and ninjas, dress up in kimono, and even take a Taiko drum class. Come discover Japan through the eyes of two young girls and be inspired to become a Little Traveler yourself.

To win this giveaway:
-Comment on this post once.
-Visit The Little Travelers and comment on which DVD you would love to win and learn from.
Thank you Angelina!

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