One of our favorite ways to get the kids into the kitchen is with kitchen science experiments. We especially love science activities that are hands on, simple and can be done using ingredients we already have. This one fits the bill on all points.
Kitchen Science: How does food change when it’s cooked?
It’s a simple question and one that is easy to test! I rounded up a few foods. We used eggs, popcorn kernels, spinach, noodles and carrots. I’m sure you can think of some great foods to test waiting inside your fridge. We did one food at a time. Little M touched the raw food, noted its color and texture. Then she wrote a few descriptive words.
We cooked each food and then she examined it again (she loves a mess, so this was probably her favorite part).
I made a printable as a place for the kids to record their findings. Once you’ve printed the Cooking Food printable there are a few different ways you can use it.
Using the Cooking Food printable
- If you are experimenting with younger kids, let them draw pictures to fill in the spaces.
- For kids who are just starting to write, suggest they add words next to the pictures they’ve drawn.
- Older kids can fill in the space with full sentences.
I gave Little M the print out without any real instruction. She’s been working on sounding out words on her own. She had a great time spelling the names of foods and descriptions on her own. (She also drew some pictures.)
Expanding on this activity
- Before getting started, talk about what you think will happen. What foods do you already have experience with raw and cooked? Will all foods be affected the same way when they are cooked?
- Let your kids pick some of the items you use.
- Vary the method of cooking. Will carrots cook the same in the toaster oven, in boiling water, in a fry pan? What happens when you cook popcorn kernels in boiling water? (I just might be curious enough to investigate that today!)
- Try to find foods that don’t change at all. Or better yet… suggest that your kids find foods that don’t change at all!
- Add a taste test. Taste these foods raw and then cooked. Which way do you like it better?
How do you play with food?
While we’re on the subject of kids in the kitchen! Teaching my kids how to use a knife was one of the best things I’ve ever done for them (and me… hee hee).
I let the Kids Cook Real Food Knife Skills class do the teaching for me. Now when my son wants to bring melons to a school party… he does all the prepping! WIN!
The Knife Skills class is designed for kids ages 2 – teen with lessons divided by skill level.
I’m a proud affiliate of Kids Cook Real Food.