You and your kids can get your Mainely Dish with UMaine Cooperative Extension

ORONO, Maine (WABI) Many parents are working from home along side their kids.

After almost two weeks of this, you might be wondering, 'What else can we do?'

The UMaine Cooperative Extension says get in the kitchen.

Staff with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension say getting kids in the kitchen teaches valuable skills.

Things like following directions, reading, multi-tasking and motor skills.

If you're not sure where to start, don't worry they've started a brand new video series for that.

It's called Mainely Dish.

The videos will guide you and your kids step by step through a recipe.

From washing your hands all the way to the first bite.

The extension says they've tried to make the videos appropriate for all ages.

Some skills will be better for the older ones while many are simple enough for the youngest ones.

Alex Gayton of The Extension says, "It's important to start all the way from the beginning. So, not just the cooking aspect but also making a grocery list and all the way through the process of cooking and cleaning up after too. What you teach your kids around food can really help build confidence and really help develop those important skills that will be used all they way until they are adults."

Folks from the UMaine Cooperative Extension say cooking with your kids also promotes health and wellness.

Now is as good a time as any to start forming those healthy habits.

Staff at the extension says start by teaching your kids how to build a healthy plate.

That means having a balance of fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy.

They say creating a meal plan together can not only create healthy habits but alleviate stress when it comes to cooking meals for the week.

Plus, teaching your kids simple preparation techniques for sandwiches and fruits can foster independence in the kitchen when preparing breakfast, lunch, or afternoon snacks.

They say cooking meals together also encourages quality family time which is healthy for anyone during this pandemic.

Gayton says, "It's a totally different world for kids and adults, and I think it's important that families can be together more often as well, so it's a time to work with your kids and teach them basic life skills that they might learn in school. Laundry or helping to clean around the house, cooking in the kitchen. I think it will help push families to eat meals together more and be more involved with each other. So, it's kind of crazy situation, but it has some good outcomes to it as well."

The extension will be posting a new video every Monday.

They have also partnered with 4-H for a broader series called Learn at Home.

In that series they provide more activities for families to do at home together.

The Mainely Dish videos will be posted here every Monday along with nutrition education: https://www.facebook.com/UMaineEFNEP/

For people to share their at-home food creations add #MainelyDish to your post!

The EFNEP Mainely Dish series also has a web page, a new video will be posted every Monday: https://extension.umaine.edu/food-health/efnep/recipe-video-series/

This is the link to the broader "Learn at Home" series that the University of Maine Cooperative Extension EFNEP and 4-H collaborated on to provide activities for families to do at home together: https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/learn-at-home/