Summer cooking with yogurt ice cream, slushes and smoothies is fun for the whole family. They involve measuring that increases math skills and emphasizes the importance and usefulness of math.
For more cooking and math fun see the authors' books "Learning Through the Seasons" in English and Spanish at museums, their website grandparentsteachtoo.org and pod casts at wnmufm.org, soon broadcast on wnmufm.
ANDEREGG, MACALADY, FOX, HETRICK, KATERS
This exercise takes only minutes and has 30 percent of daily vitamin C. It's also a good source of protein. Help children gather ingredients and other materials. They can measure 2 tablespoons of sugar and 8 ounces of frozen or pitted dark cherries and frozen strawberries in a food processor. Supervise while they push the buttons on a covered food processor. They will probably want to plug their ears. Once the berries are finely cut place in a bowl. Add 16 ounces of plain Greek yogurt and teaspoon vanilla extract. If children eat nuts or granola, sprinkle on top.
Blueberry fruit smoothie
Here is a low fat substitute for malts. Place glasses in the freezer for at least one half hour. Children can combine 1 cup reduced fat vanilla ice cream or 1 vanilla yogurt, 1-cup fresh or frozen blueberries, cup peeled fresh or frozen sliced peaches, pineapple juice in a covered food processor. Serve immediately while the smoothie is thick. Children can eat with a spoon or jumbo straw.
Peanut butter banana smoothie
This is a very creamy smoothie. Chill a glass in the freezer for 30 minutes first. Help children measure cup plain Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt has a creamy taste and is not sour. Add 1 medium ripe banana, 2 tablespoons nonfat dry powder milk, 1-tablespoon honey, 1-tablespoon creamy peanut butter, and 2 ice cubes. Cover and process for about 40 seconds and serve immediately so the drink is creamy.
Making berry slush
Children combine cup sugar and cup water in a pan. Adults can cook and stir over high heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Press 1-cup fresh or frozen raspberries through a sieve to remove seeds. Discard seeds. Combine berry puree, sugar syrup, cup lime juice and 1 cup water in a large bowl. Place in 1-quart freezer container for 12 hours. Stir occasionally. To make slush combine cup mixture and cup chilled ginger ale per serving in a glass. Children can mush the slush and eat with a spoon. Experiment with different fruits like mangos and strawberries.
Creamy orange pops
Adults dissolve 3 ounces of orange gelatin and 1 cup boiling water. Cool to room temperature. Children can add 1-cup vanilla yogurt and cup milk. Pour into small plastic cups or popsicle molds with popsicle sticks. Freeze.
Editor's note: This column is penned by retired Marquette Area Public Schools teachers Iris Katers, Jean Hetrick, and Cheryl Anderegg. Esther Macalady is from Golden, Colorado. Tim Fox currently teaches at Superior Hills Elementary. It's supported by Northern Michigan University Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, the School of Education, U.P. Children's Museum, U.P. Association for the Education of Young Children, and U.P. Parent Awareness of Michigan. Their book "Learning Through the Seasons" is available at area stores and www.grandparentsteachtoo.org. Their mission is to provide fun standards based activities that adults can do in the home to prepare children for school and a lifetime of learning and reduce the stress of child care.