Playing with Dough and the Edible Gift of Thyme
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Playing with Dough and the Edible Gift of Thyme

Sweet Alex had her 5th birthday last month. I’ve never racked my brains as hard as I did trying to come up with a gift for this little girl who literally has everything. Refusing to buy one more gift that would be looked at once, maybe twice and tossed in the closet with gifts of years past, my creative juices finally took over. The cooking class gift idea was born.
As someone who loves, respects and enjoys food, I realized this golden opportunity to teach Alex about my passions. Just as important, I could give her the gift of my dedicated time, energy and enthusiasm for her and only her.  Often, we think that our children “crave” sweets, junk or even carbohydrates. In reality,  our time and attention is all that any child craves.  We also know that kids eat better when they are involved in the process of creating food.
“By far, this was the best present Alex received for her 5th birthday.” said Alex’s mom, Stacey Gaswirth. “ The gift of time is such a precious commodity.  People often forget that!   They are so anxious to run to the store and purchase something. When in reality it is far more creative and memorable for our kids to get something they don’t get to unwrap.”
If you love food and cooking, consider the gift of a cooking class taught by you! 
  • Take the birthday boy or girl grocery shopping and allow them to select the actual ingredients you’ll be using 
  • Provide the child with age appropriate cooking utensils and tools-think mini cutting board, plastic whisks & spoons or a children’s apron, chef’s coat or toque (hat)
  • Provide recipes for the kiddo to take home to share with Mom and Dad 
  • Take pictures of the process and snap a finished product to place on the recipe
If you love food and cooking but the idea of having kids in the kitchen makes you break out in hives:
  • Consider food related gifts that are age appropriate- a gift certificate to an actual cooking school, cookbooks, dinner or lunch at a restaurant of their choice or cooking utensils
  • A trip to a local Farmer’s Market or U-Pick farm 
  • A trip to a bakery, chocolatier or cheese maker to watch true artisans at work. Ask for a behind the scenes tour and samples!
  • Make a donation in the child’s name to a food bank, pantry or soup kitchen and volunteer with the child at the organization of his/her choice
The class is happening on May 22. Alex hasn’t stopped asking about it since she received the certificate and has inquired as to how she might go about obtaining a six week class instead of just one.

Don’t stop here! Join the carnival and read other Eat, Play, Love blogs from dietitians and moms offering the best advice on raising healthy eaters. And if you don’t get enough today, for more positive, realistic and actionable advice from registered dietitian moms, register for the free, live webinar Eat, Play, Love: Raising Healthy Eaters on Wednesday, May 18.
The Best-Kept Secret for Raising Healthy Eaters, Maryann Jacobsen, MS, RD 
Feeding is Love, Jill Castle, MS, RD, LDN 
5 Quick Ways to Prepare Veggies with Maximum Flavor, Dayle Hayes, MS, RD 
The Art of Dinnertime, Elana Natker, MS, RD
Children Don’t Need a Short Order Cook, Christy Slaughter
Cut to the Point – My Foodie Rules, Glenda Gourley
Eat, Play, Love – A Challenge for Families, Alysa Bajenaru, RD
Eat, Play, Love ~ Raising Healthy Eaters, Kia Robertson
Get Kids Cooking, Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RD, CDN  
Kid-Friendly Kitchen Gear Gets Them Cooking, Katie Sullivan Morford, MS, RD 
Kids that Can Cook Make Better Food Choices, Glenda Gourley
Making Mealtime Fun, Nicole Guierin, RD 
My Top Ten Tips for Raising Lifelong Healthy Eaters, EA Stewart, RD
My No Junk Food Journey – Want to Come Along?, Kristine Lockwood
My Recipe for Raising Healthy Eaters: Eat Like the French, Bridget Swinney MS, RD, LD
Playing with Dough and the Edible Gift of Thyme, Robin Plotkin, RD, LD
Picky Eaters Will Eat Vegetables, Theresa Grisanti, MA
Putting the Ease in Healthy Family Eating, Connie Evers, MS, RD, LD
Raising a Healthy Eater, Danielle Omar, MS, RD
Raising Healthy Eaters Blog Carnival & Chat Roundup, Ann Dunaway Teh, MS, RD, LD
Soccer Mom Soapbox, Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD 
Teenagers Can Be Trying But Don’t Give Up, Diane Welland MS, RD
What My Kids Taught Me About Eating Mindfully, Michelle May, MD
  • nutritioulicious
    Posted at 13:40h, 06 May

    What a great gift idea! I am sure you and Alex will have a blast cooking together. What are you going to make?

  • Danielle Omar
    Posted at 19:35h, 07 May

    What an awesome gift! And if a cooking class is not possible, even cooking-related gifts would be a welcome change. Thanks for the great idea!!

  • robinplotkin
    Posted at 21:19h, 08 May

    She chose the Sweets and Treats cooking class. We'll be doing 3 recipes–all TBA! Planning on doing a follow up post once we've had our class.

    Thx for the comments!