Photo by: Prasad SR via Wikimedia Commons

Teaching Moments Making Lemonade

Photo by: Prasad SR via Wikimedia Commons

I am constantly hearing “I don’t like that” at mealtimes, and the phrase is usually thrown towards something that has never been tried before. I’ve talked myself in circles trying to explain to my young children that you cannot really know if you like something unless you try it, and it might taste different cooked in different ways.

Then I got a juicer from a promotion we did at work and I had a fabulous idea: how to make lemonade with kids and learn something, too!

How to make lemonade – with kids

You will need:

• An electric or handheld juicer (we used electric)
• 6 large lemons
• 5-6 cups of water
• 1-2 cups of sugar
• Pitcher
• Long wooden spoon
• Ice cubes (optional but worth having)
• Thirsty people

1. Pick out clothes you don’t mind getting a little dirty. It’s not a super messy activity, but it has the potential to be. If you do a lot of messy crafting, or baking, it might be worth investing in aprons.

2. Wash hands and prep the area you’re going to use.

3. Use the juicer to squeeze the lemons. After you’ve strained all of the lemons, allow your kids to taste a bit of the juice. It’s okay to enjoy the cute “sour” faces they make. It’s one of the many perks of being a parent.

Explain that lemons are an ingredient and you make different things by mixing multiple ingredients, but things change taste depending on what you mix with it. Ask them if they like the lemon juice. Once they yell “no”, ask them to remember that answer.

4. Make homemade lemonade. Add the lemon juice to the water. You can add ice cubes to ensure it remains super cold. I personally think it makes it taste much better that way. Add one cup of sugar and mix with the wooden spoon. Give it a taste.

If it’s not sweet enough, continue to add sugar a little bit at a time. Eventually you will find the perfect balance.

5. Enjoy your refreshing treat and talk about what you did. Give each kid a big glass of their hard work and watch the smiles grow on their faces. It’s good!

Now ask them if they remember what the lemon juice tasted like before you added other ingredients. Ask them how it changed, and if they like it now. Point out how they didn’t like the lemon when they tried it before, but now they love it. Explain how that could be the same for other ingredients like green beans and broccoli. (Okay, I know I’m reaching, but you get the idea!)

Watch the wheels turn in their heads. Ask them if they would be willing to try other ingredients they didn’t like before if they were mixed with other things to change the flavor?

Bringing it all together

My kids absolutely loved doing this. Mostly they enjoyed playing with the juicer, and the two cups of sugar helped my case quite a lot, too, but they did understand the point that I was making. Since then, they have been more open to the idea of trying different “ingredients.”

This really is a great way to show your children that things taste different depending on how they’re prepared. Just because you don’t like peas doesn’t mean you won’t like pea soup.

Try to find other recipes that incorporate the same idea and use them in the same way. Tell us your story with ingredients below in the comment section and follow us for more great ideas!

Meagan Ireland spends most of her free time finding new and entertaining ways to teach her children amazing life lessons, while having fun! She loves sharing advice and experiences, on her blog, with other parents.

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