We grow vegetables year-round in our garden at Little Wonders, and recently we noticed that the zucchini’s were ripe and ready to eat. The children picked this particular zucchini and were inspired to find a recipe to cook with it!
The children went online and search for a recipe together that included zucchini (and that they would like). Eventually, they discovered a recipe for Zucchini Pizza Bites.
The recipe called for us to cut the zucchini into thick slices, layer it with marinara sauce, and top the bites with mozzarella cheese. Cooking provides a unique learning opportunity for children because they often see their parents cooking or grilling in the kitchen. Cooking encourages responsibility and ownership while working on areas such as mathematics, science, and life-skills.
Before we started, we had to count how many zucchini’s we needed in order for everyone to have a slice of zucchini-pizza. We also wanted to make sure that there would be enough marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese for each slice of zucchini, so we hypothesized and calculated how many zucchini’s it would take in order for each slice to have the same amount of marinara sauce without any left over.
While the recipe called for thick-cuts, measuring the zucchini’s length, deciphering between thick and thin, and figuring out what constitutes as a “thick” cut for zucchini pizza bites was a unique learning opportunity in itself.
While the zucchini pizza was in the oven, we discussed why cheese melts but none of the other ingredients melt. We talked about what happens when you heat up food, why heat changes the food, and how heat can make certain foods better or worse (for example, nobody liked the idea of hot strawberries).
In the end, it was a delicious treat when they came out of the oven. The children felt a unique sense of pride in being able to enjoy a meal that they prepared themselves. Cooking and baking is a great way for parents to learn with their children, and we encourage you to cook with your kids! Make sure to include them in everything, from picking the recipe, measuring, mixing, and serving while discussing each step along the way.