Thursday, March 12, 2009

123 Snack with Me

For this week's 123 Learn with Me Math Activity, I wanted to share a simple and fun way to get your kids involved in making a nutritious lunch that also has them practicing their counting. The combinations are endless and kids like eating it cause they got to decide what went on the plate. You could also make a trail mix snack out of small things like chex cereal pieces, pretzels, nuts, dried fruit, and m&ms.
123 Snack or Meal
Learning Objective: Counting, 1:1 Correspondance, Healthy Eating Habits

Materials: A variety of foods that your child enjoys eating, smaller bite sized pieces each placed in their own seperate bowl, work best for toddler that won't eat a lot at one time.

Procedure: A Lot of Description for an Easy Process, Really I Mean It!
  1. Prepare 7-10 small dishes of bite sized food items that your child likes to eat, placing each type of food in it's own dish.
  2. Help your child assemble their 123 Snack by choosing one food item at a time, counting out pieces one at a time, and placing them on their plate. For example: Count out 1 cheese stick, decide what to add next, count out two of that food item, etc.
  3. It makes more work and might result in a bit of waste but it's nice to give your child autonomy and let him or her choose what they want to put on their plate. They really like being able to make decisions and since you're the one deciding what they choose from you're still in control of what they're eating.
  4. Go in number order or to make it tougher you could also go in reverse number order.
  5. You can count out food items until you have enough for one meal on the plate. I counted to seven with my kiddo, but there is no way she'd eat a full plate like that at one time.
  6. Discuss healthy eating practices while counting, for example if cake is a choice encourage your child to choose that first so just one slice is added to their meal and not at the end, where it'd be seven! Although they might want to do that! You can also talk about how eating a rainbow helps them get a variety of nutrients, ideally I'd have preferred for the bell pepper to be yellow but green is what we had onhand.
  7. For a quick version, you can assemble the 123 Snack, give it to your child, and then count the various types of food on the plate together. Make sure they point or pick up each piece to work on 1:1 correspondance.
  8. You can probably tell from the picture above, but ours ended up being one cheese stick, two grape tomatoes, three green bell pepper strips, four cucumber pieces, five clementine slices, six spirals of turkey meat, and seven mini marshmallows for dessert.
A Side Note: Yesterday as ER was eating her 123 Snack, she was took a piece of turkey and wraped it around her cheese stick as a bandage where she'd taken a bite. It had gotten a boo-boo. We thought that was a pretty darn funny toddler moment!

Be sure to hop on over to A Listmaker's Life, Katie has the cutest bunny hop game to share today and link up something you've done while you're at it!

This post is also part of Kid Friendly Friday, at I Blame My Mother. Go get some ideas of fun things to do with your kids and share one of yours with us all too!

8 Friends Said:

k-e-household said...

This snack looks like something we would eat at our house too! Minus the mini marshmallows, but I am going to remember to pick up a bag for a treat.
Great idea.

Heidi Boos said...

Genius idea! It's always those simple things that work so profoundly. We'll be trying this for sure!!

Gift of Green said...

I am so trying this this weekend!!

Tonja said...

That is a great idea! I am going to have to try that after next grocery trip.

Seener Beaner said...

I really have to bookmark your blog, and then follow it a year behind, so I can get ideas for Erik when he is a toddler! Fantastic!

Mama King said...

That would have worked beautifully for lunch today...Lulu was helping spread the avocado onto her sandwich today and always tells me how many pieces she would like it cut up into. We'll will definitely try it tomorrow!

Sarah said...

Our toddler likes lunch like this. Thank you for linking to Kid Friendly Friday! Love your abc 123 site!

Shelley @ My Treasure Hunt said...

I have never heard of this and I love the idea! Thanks!!

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