by Natalie

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

* Large container of vanilla flavored yogurt
* 1 box of Cheerios (or other cereal if preferred)
* Cut fresh fruit of choice

1. Have the first child set out clear plastic cups or glasses.
2. Another child measures ¼ cup of yogurt into each glass.
3. The next child pours 1/3 cup of Cheerios into each glass.
4. Ask the fourth child to measure another ¼ cup of yogurt over the Cheerios.
5. Finally, the next child gets to add the cut up fruit to top off the parfait!

This not only tastes delicious, but it’s a healthy snack. And it’s pretty!

The children are measuring (although the children in my program were younger, so rather than measuring, they just put in a big spoonful of yogurt each time). Each one of the ingredients has different colors, shapes, textures and densities so you can talk to the children about each of these properties while they are working.

We can also discuss nutrition and the fact that this yummy snack includes the bread, dairy and fruits/vegetable food groups. We can extend the experience by asking questions like “What other fruits and/or cereals would taste good with the yogurt?” or “What might be a good substitute for the yogurt?”

Manipulating Cheerios offers an opportunity to work on fine motor skills and measuring or spooning the yogurt into the glass requires eye-hand coordination. We are promoting language and literacy when we talk about the experience, and by having a recipe written out and calling attention to the labels on the yogurt and cereal containers. Following a recipe requires that the children follow a sequence. And, finally, the children are building social skills as they collaborate and take turns adding ingredients, and self esteem in the knowledge that they are contributing to the class by making the day’s snack!

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