By Chef Shai Mandel, Rooks to Cooks
Learning about food is a very important step in helping kids make healthy choices. Balanced, nutritious meals will enable them to feel fit, strong and ready to take on their daily activities – both at school and at play! It is ideal to teach your children about good eating habits from an early age because those healthy habits are more likely to stay with them throughout their lives.
The best place to learn about good food is in the kitchen, so here are the Top 5 Reasons to get kids, of all ages, to help with food preparation!
Spend family time together preparing a meal.
Sure, it might take a bit longer and it could get a bit messy but it’s quality time to spend with your kids! It’s a great opportunity to talk and share your stories from the day. So call the gang into the kitchen and divide up the duties; younger children will need one-on-one help with the tasks.
Learn new skills.
You can find age-appropriate tasks for kids of all ages so that everyone can help with preparing a meal. The little ones can assist by adding ingredients to a bowl and then mixing or whisking it together. They can help wash the veggies. There’s also setting the table, clearing the table, and washing up.
Help kids develop a healthy relationship with food.
Children can look through recipes to learn about the ingredients that go into their favourite dishes. Work through recipes together so that they learn how to cook from scratch to create amazing meals that are healthy and delicious! You can also discuss the advantages of a home-cooked meal versus store-prepared foods.
Expand their palate with new foods.
Children are more inclined to try different foods if they helped to create the dish. You may be surprised when your picky eater decides to try something new because they were involved in the preparation. Take your kids grocery shopping and pick out a “new” vegetable or fruit that they have never had before – then look for ways to add it to your next meal. Get creative and have fun!
Explore the potential within your child.
Give children a chance to try a new task and you will see that they can accomplish way more than you may have expected. Sometimes, as parents, we may underestimate our children, or we feel the need to protect them by limiting their exposure to things that pose an inherent risk. Although that is completely understandable, it may inadvertently lead to children developing learned helplessness behaviours and a skewed mentality of what they can accomplish. There is so much potential within every child, so let’s use cooking as a way to unlock it.
Working together in the kitchen creates great family memories.
It also enables children to explore different foods and makes them feel like they are part of the process of creating delicious and nutritious meals for everyone to enjoy!
Our friends at Rooks to Cooks offer valuable cooking programs that were developed specifically with children in mind. Their lessons enable kids, at any age, to be involved in the kitchen. Classes always start with their important safety orientation so that children learn how to safely navigate a kitchen. This will include explanations and demonstrations on how to correctly use kitchen utensils and appliances. They also discuss sanitation and cleaning. Their chefs know the importance of learning how to cook and enjoy sharing their experience with children. Staff encourage and guide children throughout the entire cooking process and enable them to feel more confident in, and out, of the kitchen.
About Chef Shai: Inspired by her passion for food and education, chef and teacher Shai Mandel founded Rooks to Cooks with the goal of teaching kids cooking, life skills, and important lessons they can use both in and out of the kitchen. Chef Shai’s student-centered workshops emphasize empowerment, healthy eating, and fun. To learn more about Rooks to Cooks visit: www.rookstocooks.ca
Contact info: Chef Shai Mandel | 833-243-3862 | [email protected]