Your guide to parenting in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts

I would like to introduce Leah Cherry, a new Kidoinfo food contributor. You may recognize her from Kidoinfo Conversations  – she has been instrumental in helping me plan and coordinate these local events. Passionate about food and making things from scratch, Leah Cherry recently started Skill It, teaching children and their families how to cook, sew, make and grow — traditional talents that remain essential for living well today.  Skill It is founded on the belief that working with your hands nourishes your spirit and connects you to family and community. In addition to after-school and community events in Rhode Island, Skill It offers an online class, Season’s Eatings, to create joy, fun, and connection around food and family dinnertime. You can read the Skill It blog and sign-up for the newsletter to receive class updates. - Anisa

Here at Skill It we know that kids are capable, talented, and enthusiastic chefs and eaters. Cooking with kids in community and after-school classes has proved to us that if kids make it themselves, they'll eat it!

As you ease into a new school year, think about how your kids can take an active role in making their lunches.  Perhaps they can wash & portion out grapes and baby carrots.  Or they can help you make a batch of Orzo Salad on Sunday that becomes their main lunch dish in the beginning of the week.

The Orzo Salad we’re sharing can be cooked and assembled quickly and is full of delicious vegetables. In the Skill It kitchen, children cut the peppers, parsley and tomatoes with scissors and table knives. And they love rinsing and de-stemming the spinach, and making the dressing in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Whatever you and your little chef decide on, once you’ve assigned a new task, let them rise to the challenge.

Trusting our children and giving them responsibility instills confidence, joy, and satisfaction as they grow into healthy, happy adults.

Speaking of happiness, having a smile on our face when we sit down to a meal literally makes it taste better! Taking the time to tuck in a little love note or put a fun sticker on a piece of fruit helps set the scene for a satisfying meal.  We created a page of printable Lunchbox Love Notes for you, an easy and thoughtful way to bring a happy mood to your little chef while they’re eating at school.

Click here to download the Orzo Salad Recipe and Lunchbox Love Notes!

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