Books and Bananas

The Benefits of Reading to your Children

Pile of books

My aunt works with teenagers and helps prepare them for the ACT. She also works at an elementary school. She has seen many children progress through school and she told me that she made a realization. She discovered that the number one predictor of students who will excel in school and in the ACT, are those children who have learned to love books. So how do you teach your children to love books? The very best way to do so is by reading to them and reading to them often.

As I was scrolling on social media (as I do far too often), I found a post from a local facebook group a couple towns away from mine. It was from the library encouraging parents to sign up for their program called, "1,000 Books Before Kindergarten". The concept is just what you would expect it to be - to read your child 1,000 books before they enter kindergarten. 

Nellie with books

I saw that idea and ran with it. Though in the official rules it says you can read a book more than once and count it each time, I decided that I wanted to read my daughter 1,000 different books. I have started a list in my phone of every single book we've read her and I think I might get a journal and write it down as that can act as a keepsake for her as she is older too. 
Another social media post I read said "the single biggest predictor of high academic achievement is reading to children. Not flash cards, not workbooks, not fancy preschools, not blinking toys or computers, but mom or dad taking the time every day or night (or both!) to sit and read them wonderful books." This came from a suggested post on my instagram feed from @Blessedpsychmommma. 
Nellie and Taryn reading books
Not only does reading to your child promote academic successes, but it also helps improve your relationship. I have very fond memories of getting a big stack of books and bringing them over to the couch, sitting with my mom, and I would read the left side of the pages, and my mom would read the right side of the pages and we would sit for what I remember as hours and hours just reading together. What better way to connect and engage fully with your child? No phones as distractions, no tv shows playing in the background, just time together. 

tari slicer

Because I have this goal of reading 1,000 different books before kindergarten, it has also helped us make weekly trips to the library. This in itself is a good activity for my daughter, Nellie. We walk over in the stroller giving her fresh air, then she gets to play with the train set that they have there while I pick out a few books for us to bring back home. 

I want her to feel comfortable in the library and have the desire to visit often! I want her to love books and I feel like one great way to help her do so at this age is to have her be around books often. Every night as I put her to bed she says "book" and I give her a little board book to play with as she goes to sleep. She used to have very little patience for books unless she was super tired but I think she is slowly learning to love our book reading time.

This week before our library adventure, I decided to make healthy(ish) banana oat muffins. I used the recipe I got HERE and quickly whipped up these muffins. Thanks to the GEFU Tari Slicer I was able to add in some diced blueberries to the muffins to create variety!
I also used the GEFU Grater to grate some carrots so I could add a bit of carrots to the muffins to add just a touch more "health" to these healthy muffins! I am always trying to find ways to increase Nellie's veggie intake so I loved using this grater to make the carrot pieces super small! 
Taryn and Nellie cooking
muffins on cooling rack
nellie and taryn eating muffins
I hope this inspires you to increase your own reading or add reading to your bedtime routine if you have littles or even just ask your older children what they are reading and start a little book club with them! No matter what stage of life you are in, I hope books are in your near future! 
Our goal here at Gourmet Kitchenworks is to help you spend less time in the kitchen, and more time with your family, all while getting healthier and I hope we can also encourage you to strengthen your family relationships!! Whether that means reading books with your family or making some delicious muffins, I hope you create even more happy memories with those you love!
Taryn Pratt, MPH 
P.S. Have any questions?? The quickest way to get an answer is to DM me on our instagram @GourmetKitchenworks 

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