Access to Education

Exploring Math in Holiday Meal Preparation

Adrienne D. Dixson, PhD
Assistant Professor
The Ohio State University
School of Teaching and Learning

Including your children in everyday activities helps make important connections between school learning and daily life. Consider taking time with your children during the holidays to share the fun of holiday meal planning and preparation.

Grocery Shopping

  • Read a recipe and prepare a list of needed ingredients
  • Estimate quantities needed of each item purchased
  • Estimate serving size
  • Compare prices
  • Estimate total cost

Encourage your child to identify math skills that are useful for these activities. Discuss the steps of problem solving, rounding, and front-end estimation.

Food Preparation

  • Expand a recipe to feed more people
  • Reduce a recipe for fewer people
  • Find the difference between measurements
  • Add fractional measurements
  • Convert from one measurement to another

Help your child make the connections as concepts such as proportion, fractions, and logical thinking are used in the process of food preparation.

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