The cool weather arrives and appetites increase–especially those of your grandchildren. To fill their little tummies with nutritious fare (rather than cookies and candy), try whole-grain breads. Your grandchild may balk at first, but not if you start by visiting Great Harvest Bread Company, where whole wheat flour is freshly milled early each morning and bread is made from scratch each day. Nothing snags a hungry grandchild’s interest like the heady aroma of bread fresh from the oven.
The bakery is highly kid-friendly, with a special corner for the little ones. The owners, Tracy and Mike Vanzura, host a children’s story time at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesdays. Grandparents will enjoy the complimentary coffee and warm bread. The children receive a snack after the 20- to 30-minute story time. Best of all, children can peek over the counter and watch the bread being made.
Great Harvest Bread Company provides a free coloring page. Before you visit, download the page for the month and ask your grandchild to color it. Children who color the page and bring it to the bakery receive a free freshly baked cookie.
Another way to increase your grandchild’s interest in nutritious whole-grain breads is to make some with him. Making bread from scratch is usually not something young parents manage to fit into their schedules, so it’s a great special activity only done at the grandparents’ home. Use a recipe you have enjoyed in the past, or use a kid-friendly bread recipe from allrecipes.com.
Start with a large, unbreakable bowl (a metal one works well). Make sure your grandchild can reach the counter easily (use a sturdy chair or a non-skid kitchen stool). When you come to the kneading part, move the bowl to the floor so that your grandchild can put his full weight into his punches. Let him enjoy the texture. This is the time to encourage your little one to expend all his energy!
Making bread is a process that teaches children that patience (waiting for the bread to rise) has a delicious and nutritious reward. Send your grandchild home with a loaf of his own bread, and watch his face light up as he shows it to his parents. You may even change his eating habits!