Teaching children about nutrition and what is healthy for their bodies is a passion of Little Prints, so we created a take home bag for each child that included some lentils, and either chickpeas, green peas or barely; along with an information booklet that talked about the health benefits of lentils and barley and provided recipes that the children could make at home with their families.

As part of programming, the children made lentil soup together, using the recipe we provided in the take home bags, which you can see from the photos below from our St. Cyril location. Encouraging children to cook healthy soup offers numerous health benefits, both physical and developmental – find 10 benefits listed below!

1. Nutritional Awareness
Cooking healthy soup helps children learn about various vegetables, proteins, and grains, fostering an understanding of balanced nutrition and the importance of including a variety of food groups in their diet.

2. Healthy Eating Habits
Children who participate in cooking are more likely to try new foods and develop a preference for healthier options, which can lead to better long-term eating habits.

3. Enhanced Motor Skills
The process of chopping vegetables, stirring, and measuring ingredients helps improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

4. Cognitive Development
Following a recipe and engaging in cooking activities can enhance a child’s math skills (measuring ingredients, counting, and timing) and reading skills (reading recipes and instructions).

5. Creativity and Experimentation
Cooking allows children to experiment with different ingredients and flavours, fostering creativity and problem-solving skills as they adapt recipes to their tastes.

6. Family Bonding
Cooking together can strengthen family bonds and create positive memories. It also offers opportunities for parents to teach children about family traditions and cultural heritage through food.

7. Self-confidence and Independence
Successfully preparing a meal boosts a child’s confidence and sense of accomplishment. It encourages independence and teaches them valuable life skills that will be beneficial in adulthood.

8. Healthy Weight Management
Home-cooked meals are typically healthier and lower in calories, fat, and sodium compared to processed foods and restaurant meals, which can help in maintaining a healthy weight.

9. Stress Relief and Mindfulness
The act of cooking can be a therapeutic and calming activity, helping children to focus and be present, which can reduce stress and anxiety.

10. Improved Social Skills
Cooking together requires communication and teamwork, helping children develop their social skills. They learn to follow instructions, ask for help, share responsibilities, and work collaboratively, which are essential skills for their personal and social development.