In addition to loving, nurturing, protecting and caring for them, we all
want our children to be able to cope with life once they grow up and spread
their wings. One of the most practical and crucial lessons we can impart to our
kids is the ability to cook. The best way to get them to learn is to teach them
to love it. Cooking can be great fun. Sharing that experience with kids can not
only teach them important skills but can also be a wonderful bonding experience
for you all. Here are a few suggestions for how to get your young ones excited
in the kitchen:
Before you start on the skills, kids need to know
what’s what in the kitchen. Showing them which piece of cookware to use for what, the right knives and utensils for
each job and similar basics will help them to get their bearings. We all know
that children’s minds are like sponges. They will absorb everything quickly,
and soon be chomping at the bit to get started with the practical stuff.
Meet Your Food
Knowing where your food comes from is important for everyone to gain a
healthy dose of respect for what arrives on our tables. Just as importantly, it
can arouse a real passion for food. Take your children fruit, berry or
vegetable picking, then use the produce that you collect in dishes at home. They will be
fascinated to see the progression from the fields to the plate and gain immense
satisfaction and appreciation from the process. There are also opportunities to
visit dairies or cattle ranches that many children will love, although at times
these may be a bit confronting. If you have the space and the wherewithal,
consider planting a vegetable patch or herb garden to keep your kids
Food should stimulate all the senses. We’re used to our food looking,
smelling and tasting great and even hearing the sizzles, pops and dollops of
the preparation process. When you add the sense of touch into this mix, you add
a whole new dimension to the experience. Kid’s love to get their hands dirty
and will be delighted to be given the license to do so in the kitchen. Let them
roll or knead dough, crumb fish, shape meatballs, peel vegetables or any number
of processes. Sure, you might have a bit extra mess to clean up, but allowing
them to experience the textures and
feels of various foods in a tactile way will excite and inspire.
Go, Go Gadgets
Technology is an inescapable part of our kids’ lives. If yours are
anything like mine, it can be a struggle to prise them away from their devices
at times. Encouraging the little ones to use the gadgets and appliances that
you have in the kitchen will harness the tech-obsession for the positive.
Obviously, you will want to ensure that you strictly supervise the use of items
such as blenders to prevent mishaps. However, children will be fascinated by
the intersection of technology and food. You can also give the kids simple tasks like toasting some toaster pastries for breakfast for the family.
Give Them the Lead
Giving your children control over the direction of the cooking is sure
to inspire and thrill. Rather than have them follow instructions, allow them to
use their imaginations to experiment with different flavour and texture
combinations. You will certainly have a few disasters along the way, but that’s
all part of the learning experience.
Trust me, you will have a blast getting your kids
involved, and it will set them up with skills and passion that will serve them
well for years to come.
I think it is a great idea to start teaching how to cook at a young age. My daughter was very interested and now she is older but a super cook.twinkle at optonline dot net
I have a nephew who took cooking classes and he loved it. I think this is a great way to encourage a love of cooking at an early age as well as learning basic skills.