Cooking with Kids: Game Day Turkey Meatballs
Encouraging Speech & Creating Yum! Game Day Turkey Meatballs
Meatballs don’t have to just be spaghetti’s “sidekick”. These turkey meatballs can take center stage in any dish you create. You can enjoy them by themselves, or pass the barbecue sauce and make a meatball touchdown. The point is you can score big with these easy to bake Turkey meatballs. Get your kids (team) involved in helping you prepare the Super Bowl spread and let the good times roll.
- 2 lbs ground turkey
- 1/2 cup oatmeal (uncooked)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 4 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp dried onion powder
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp salt
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Adult: Preheat oven for 400 degrees.
Adult/Child: Line baking dish with tinfoil, or spread olive oil on bottom of 13 x 9 baking dish.
Tip: Line pan with tinfoil for easy clean up.
Adult/Child: Measure out all ingredients and thoroughly mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Use a large serving fork (or clean hands) to mix ingredients together.
Child: Using a cookie scoop, scoop mixture into meatballs and place them into the baking dish closely together. If you do not have a cookie scoop, just roll the mixture into golf ball sized meatballs and place them into the baking dish.
Adult: Cook the meatballs in the oven for 20 minutes.
Once the meatballs are cooked, serve them with spaghetti and sauce, or, as part of a barbecue meatball slider. You can enjoy them by themselves, or however you please! Store extra meatballs in Ziploc bag in the freezer for a quick meal.
Language Time Tips:
Cooking together is a great way to bond with your child and work on facilitating language. It’s a perfect opportunity to expand on your child’s vocabulary and be involved in a fun and interactive activity. There is also a reward in the end:meatballs!
Before beginning the recipe, review the ingredient list with your child. This will help prepare your child for cooking and become familiar with the ingredients. Discuss food groups and ask your child what ingredient belongs in each group (e.g. tell your child “Dairy is a food group. Milk and yogurt are in that food group. Can you find an ingredient that belongs in that group?”). As you are reviewing the ingredients, explore them by looking, smelling and touching them. Describe the ingredients by giving your child models (e.g. the parmesan cheese feels powdery, the garlic feels smooth, etc). Model various actions that are occurring as you are making the meatballs (e.g. measure, pour, mix, scoop, bake, etc)
Have your child help with measuring each ingredient and taking turns. Use different strategies to help elicit language (e.g. put the whole egg in the bowl and wait for your child to tell you to crack the egg). Give your child the opportunity to ask for help and problem solve through specific situations.
Since many children are visual learners, it can be helpful to take pictures as you are preparing the recipe. Use the pictures in a social story to retell to other family members, teachers, etc. With the pictures printed out, have your child create a sentence about each picture and create a book. The book can also be very useful the next time you make meatballs together.
Eat! Talk! Enjoy!
Carryover Activities: Read Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Becca Eisenberg is a mother of two young children and a speech language pathologist, author and instructor. Her website, www.gravitybread.com encourages learning time during mealtime. On her website, she writes children’s book recommendations, app recommendations, as well as child friendly recipes with language tips their family.
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This post originally appeared on our January/February 2014 Magazine