Food is a love language in our house. So, in our some-type-of-hybrid-of-traditional-and-unschool-y-homeschool, we decided to use food as a lesson! More specifically, we decided to make homemade ravioli. If you don’t want to make ravioli with your kiddos, no worries! There are lots of ways to use food in your homeschool. I’ll tell you what we did, and I’ll share more delicious food-related family activities too.
Pasta La Vista, Baby! We’re Making Homemade Ravioli!
We used a yummy Homemade Pasta recipe from Gimme Some Oven to make our pasta dough. But, as with all food-related things in this house of big boys, we doubled the recipe–which means we brushed up on fractions for the 5th grader and continued teaching them to the 2nd grader, spoke about *how gluten is created and what it does, and made dinner in the process! It was also a great mini-team-building exercise and reading practice all in one!
*NOTE: This could also lead to a discussion of gluten sensitivity, food allergies, information about why some people are sensitive to or allergic to certain foods, etc.
Here’s How We Did It
NOTE: Be sure to read through all of these instructions before you begin.
- First, we used the recipe above to make our pasta dough in our food processor. We let it rest, and then it was time to roll it out.
- We rolled it out as thinly as we thought would still be manageable and made sure it didn’t stick to the counter.
- We made our cheese filling using this quick and easy Cheese Filling for Ravioli recipe.
- Then we stopped for a quick picture break with the two-year-old, who is magnetically drawn to anything anyone else is doing. (If you don’t have a two-year-old, you can skip this step or improvise. It’s up to you!)
- Next, we put the first sheet of dough into our ravioli mold (You can find a ravioli mold on Amazon if you don’t have one.), added our cheese filling, rolled out the second sheet of dough, placed it on top of the initial ravioli sheet, and popped the ravioli out of the molds.
- We cooked our ravioli in a pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes, seasoned with salt, pepper, and oregano, and topped with grated parmesan cheese. Or, if you prefer, you can add your choice of sauce.
One of my top five homeschool goals is to teach the total person. In other words, I want my children to gain knowledge and intelligence, but I also want them to be prepared for life as adults. This activity was a great way to practice that!
Want more ideas for food-related family activities to use inspiration in your homeschool? Try one (or more!) of the ideas below!
There are lots of wonderful books you can use as guides to help incorporate food-related family activities into your homeschool. Below, I’ll share some food-related books you can use to study about countries all over the world, do kitchen science experiments, and even practice math skills!
Learn About Countries All Over the World Through Food
I suggest choosing a country to study (or use a country you’re already studying in your homeschool) and making one or more of the recipes associated with that country.
There are also lots of fun books you can use to find out about some of the strange (well…strange to us) foods people in other countries eat. I’ll list some of those too.
While you’re at it, you might want to look for some fun unit studies or hands-on activities for the country too! The more hands-on activities you can do with your children, the more they will enjoy learning and remember what they learn.
- Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World – This beautiful book isn’t a recipe book, but it is such a lovely book that it still deserves to be considered. The book includes a short rhyme to introduce each country’s popular breakfast foods. It includes illustrations of the food(s) and a paragraph with more information about them. It’s meant for children from preschool through about 3rd grade, but I think everyone will enjoy it!
- It’s Disgusting and We Ate It! True Food Facts from Around the World and Throughout History – This book is just as disgusting as it sounds, so your kids are sure to love it! (Roasted spiders, anyone?)
- Cooking Class Global Feast! 44 Recipes That Celebrate the World’s Cultures – This book gives children practical kitchen skills while sharing recipes from all over the world! You’ll learn about children from other countries and experience the foods that are traditional for them. Includes a pop-out food passport, world language flashcards, and flag stickers for extra fun.
- Eat Your Way Around the World – This wonderful book includes recipes for a 3-course meal from each included country. The reading level is for 8-12-year-olds, but it can be used and enjoyed by the whole family!
- Eat Your Way Through the USA – This book is a fun and food-filled way to learn more about the states in the USA! Whether you’re planning a trip to another state, learning the states and capitals, or just want to give your kids a reason to be interested in learning about the states, I think you’ll love this book and the yummy foods you’ll try!
Or Add Some Fun to Science with Food
- The Science Chef Travels Around the World: Fun Food Experiments and Recipes for Kids – If you’re doing an around-the-world study and want to add science to your studies, try this book! It includes over 60 fun and easy science experiments related to 14 countries.
- The Science Chef: 100 Fun Food Experiments and Recipes for Kids – This is another Science Chef book, but it’s not centered around certain countries. You’ll do food-related experiments and find answers to all kinds of food-related questions like, “Why does popcorn pop?” and, “Why does toast brown?” and lots more! You’ll also learn about making popsicles, fermented foods, cookie mixes, jam, and even dried fruits!
- Awesome Kitchen Science Experiments for Kids: 50 STEAM Projects You Can Eat! – The hands-on experiments in this book include food-related science experiments covering science, technology, engineering, art, and math!
You Can Even Use Food to Study Math!
- The Math Chef: Over 60 Math Activities and Recipes for Kids – We all know that math is necessary for cooking–especially if you follow a recipe. This book makes it easy to incorporate all kinds of math into fun cooking activities! This book will help make it fun for your children to practice measurement, multiplication, division, fractions, percents, geometry, and more!
Printables, Ideas, and Games Related to Food
On our sister site, Only Passionate Curiosity, you’ll find even more food-related family activities and printables! Many of the printables are either free or very inexpensive. (Most of the printables and activities on that site are for children from preschool through elementary ages.)
How about practicing math skills like counting, one-to-one ratio, sorting, or “more than” and “less than” with a cookie-baking activity?
Our DIY Marshmallow Playdough activity is easy enough for young children and can be used for food-related fun, for practice following directions, or even as a food-related activity for younger kids who need something different to do while older ones do school!
We have a series of food chain studies about animals in different areas of the world.
If you decide to give these ideas a whirl, let us know how it goes! Or drop us a comment letting us know what other kinds of cooking/baking or other food-related family activities and recipes you do with your kiddos!