Kids Cook Too, A Guest Blog Post
Kids cook too guys!!! I am so honored to share my space with a dear friend and colleague, Sonya Angelone MS, RDN, CLT. She has some amazing insight about how she has gotten her kids to spend time with her in the kitchen. And, if you ask her, it’s been seriously valuable time too! Thanks so much Sonya for your great post!
Healthy eating habits begin at home!
By: Sonya Angelone
My boys love a variety of soups and enjoy eating them for lunch, dinner, a quick after school snack, and even breakfast (when oatmeal just won’t do). We usually don’t use a recipe, but instead just combine a variety of vegetables, beans or lentils, herbs, broth occasional meat and cook until done. It’s fun to use kitchen toys like a garlic press, chef’s knife (with supervision), onion goggles, flexible cutting board, immersion blender, herb mincer, etc. It’s even fun to watch red lentils turn yellow! There is a job for every kid from cleaning the vegetables, rinsing the beans, chopping the vegetables, choosing ingredients, and stirring the pot.
Cooking is About More than Just the Food
Time together with kids in the kitchen provides a special opportunity to teach cooking skills AND life lessons at any age.…be patient (let the soup cook before serving), there is a right time for everything so don’t rush into things (not undercooked or overcooked), try something new since you might like it (turnips), don’t be distracted or you could get hurt/burned (using knives, stirring hot soup), your dish is only as good as the ingredients you put into it (“trash in, trash out”), keep it simple (not everything needs to be difficult to be good), be creative, strive to do a good job. You don’t have to be perfect (the vegetable pieces don’t have to be the exact same size), some herbs/spices aren’t appropriate in certain dishes (certain behaviors aren’t appropriate in certain situations either), “I’m here to help you. I’ll put the pot on the stove” (I’m also here to help you with homework, etc), “You did a great job, thank you for helping me!” (your work is important and significant). And, sometimes, it’s just easier to talk about the day over a pot of delicious soup!”
There are several lessons to be learned in the kitchen so allow ample time for helpers. And remember, kids cook too!