Combine books and food for fun: Eggs

Easter celebrations bring the opportunity to get kids into the kitchen, and it all starts with a book.

As we near Easter, eggs seem to be all the rage. In my house, we try to keep protein-packed hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator as a quick snack or an addition to a meal that needs to be packed. This trend seems to be catching on. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) results show that eggs are lower in cholesterol than previously recorded and healthy adults can include an egg a day in their diet. Eggs are a staple food item because they are versatile and inexpensive. Eggs are easy to prepare for those learning their way around the kitchen, or eggs can be used to get kids into the kitchen.

An excellent way to peak interest in eggs is by reading a book. Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham is fun and silly. Chickens Aren't the Only Ones, by Ruth Heller introduces readers to the diversity of egg-laying animals. To inspire creative egg decorating, read Rechenka’s Eggs, by Patricia Polacco to introduce the beauty of pisanki. The beauty of pisanki is, according to the Polish Genealogical Society of America, “an egg that has designs drawn in beeswax on it with a pisak. The egg is then dipped in a dye, dried and the process is repeated until the designs are finished.” Begin with a book and then continue the theme with an activity like decorating eggs and preparing an egg recipe from the American Egg Board.

A go-to egg preparation is the hard-boiled egg. The American Egg board shares a three-step preparation for easy hard-boiled eggs.

  1. Place eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in single layer. Add cold water to cover the eggs by one inch. Heat over high; just to a boiling. Remove from the burner and cover.
  2. Let eggs stand in hot water about 12 minutes for large eggs (nine minutes for medium eggs; 15 minutes for extra large).
  3. Drain immediately and serve warm; cool completely under cold running water or in bowl of ice water, then refrigerate.

Michigan State University Extension recommends that attention is paid to keeping food safe. Follow the two hour rule, if eggs sit out at room temperature for more than two hours, they should not be eaten.

When you find something that interests a child, use books to provide them with more information. Extend the learning and interest through activities like egg decorating. Activities in the kitchen can also extend learning in a fun way that can teach skills that will last a lifetime.

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