Christmas and the holidays are a chance to relax and unwind. But, for some parents and carers, it can be a challenge to keep school-aged children entertained while at home. The festive period can serve as the perfect opportunity for parents to spend quality time with children while engaging in fun and educational activities.
These activities could also teach children essential life skills around food and cooking. The education programme, Food – a fact of life*, offers up-to-date, evidence-based, consistent, and accurate messages around ‘food’ to all those involved in education. While the majority of the content is aimed towards teachers teaching food and nutrition to children across the UK, there are also many activities from these freely accessible resources that can be used at home as well!
Below is a list of light and engaging activities we have curated that parents can undertake with their children over the holidays and/or when time permits!
- LEFTOVERS GAME – From thematic games like ‘the Eatwell game’ and ‘space race’ to ‘daily bread game’, take your pick and gamify the cooking experience!
- PHYSICAL ACTIVITY DICE – While holidays are mostly about relaxing, keeping active is equally essential for our overall health and well-being. Make keeping active enjoyable for children with the physical activity dice game. Jump, run or bounce a ball? – roll the dice to find out!
- SANDWICH GENERATOR – Arguably one of the easiest snack options for children – the humble sandwich can be customised at every step and making one from scratch can be an enjoyable activity to do together! Pitta, wrap or bagel – which bread will you choose? Hummus, chicken or egg – which filling will you use? Roll the dice and see which option you get.
- RECIPES FOR CHILDREN WITH ADDITIONAL NEEDS – These recipes also come with instructions that use Widgit©Symbols and have been designed to enable children and young people with additional needs to become more independent. Why not explore easy to make mince pies, English muffin pizzas or scrambled egg on toast? There are also easy to follow recipe videos.
- REMOTE LEARNING – The lockdown last year taught many of us how cooking is an important life skill. Also, that ‘food’ can involve numerous aspects like hygiene and safety, food choices and where food comes from to name a few. Educate and equip your children with age-appropriate information while keeping the atmosphere light-hearted and fun so they don’t lose interest in the activity mid-way!
- EXPLORE FOOD – An easy way to encourage children into eating healthy food is by helping them ‘analyse’ the recipes. Explore Food allows you to look at the nutritional content of the recipes of your choice thereby giving you the freedom to experiment and create new versions of dishes you like with new flavours and foods.
Designed to make learning about food and nutrition enjoyable, these activities will also serve as great bonding opportunities for parents and children whilst making fond memories over the holidays together. You can find more activity ideas, resources, and recipes on https://www.foodafactoflife.org.uk/
Written By: Eisha Sharma