Let me start off by sharing that I think this picture is absolutely hysterical. I defnitely laughed out loud! I am so excited that more and more educational materials that are being created for us to teach our children how to cook according to the dietary principles we teach!
We believe that kids will benefit greatly if they learn to cook earlier rather than later in life. Cooking can help children with math skills as they measure, learn about fractions, learn how to double a recipe or conversely how to reduce a recipe. Cooking develops fine motor skills as children cut and peel. They learn about the ingredients used in recipes. Reading recipes provides practice in phonics and comprehension. Cooking together, especially if you have more than one child, helps children learn to work cooperatively in a group. It can serve as an opportunity to experience the sense of satisfaction that comes from making a dish or a meal that will nourish us.
Also, parents can benefit from the assistance of their children in the kitchen! Sous chef, anyone?!
If we don’t teach our children to cook nourishing foods, who will?
Sally Fallon Morell and Suzanne Gross, authors of the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook for Children, assert that learning how to cook is just as valuable in life as knowing how to read or write.
Food is one of our basic needs. And the quality of our food has a profound impact on our health and ultimately, the quality of our life. Cooking is rarely taught in schools and even when it is, there are often compromises made regarding the quality of the food that we wouldn’t recommend.
The authors also point out that children are more likely to eat food they’ve helped prepare. Cooking with children provides an opportunity to teach them which foods are healthy and why. It can spark questions about where our food comes from and how it is made.
Kids Cook Real Food
If you want your kids to learn how to cook and would enjoy some support, Katie Kimball at Kitchen Stewardship is offering a e-course called Kids Cook Real Food that I am excited to serve as a referral partner for. I actually think the course if worthwhile for adults learning how to cook for the first time as well!
Katie is a trained teacher with four children of her own and has created an extensive curriculum complete with professionally produced videos, over 250 pages of .pdf lesson plans, five sets of printables and a 50-page recipe e-book.
The full e-course includes 45 videos that cover over 30 basic cooking skills at three different levels: beginning, generally ages 2-5, intermediate which is age 6+ with beginner proficiency, and advanced, considered 8+ with intermediate mastery. The course includes all-kid-videos whereby Katie teaches a group of children together. There are 8 classes in each level.
If you would like to see a preview of the class, view 3 videos that cover Knife Skills For Children for free until January 18, 2016.
Katie sent me access to the full course with all three levels which I have reviewed, and decided to wholeheartedly recommend! I find that the content as extremely well-organized, clear, and quite supportive to both the teacher and the student! Katie teaches the adult how to teach the course. For example, she identifies 3 steps for training kids in the kitchen:
- Coach to independence
She reminds the adults not to forget to encourage and practice, practice, practice. It is abundantly clear to me that Katie is a former third grade teacher! She provides flash cards that succinctly summarizes a particular lesson, in addition to daily nugget cards such as “Don’t slip on skin”. She explains that there are lots of nutrients in and near the edible skins of many fruits and veggies – so if you don’t have to peel something, don’t do it! I find that Katie as very personable and authentic in the videos, speaking from first hand experience. I actually learned some kitchen skills myself watching the videos!
Honestly, considering the amount of content that is offered, and how professionally it is created, I think this e-course is an incredible value. A bargain! You have the option to purchase a single level: beginner, intermediate or advanced for 29.95. Alternatively, you can purchase all levels for 59.95 – a savings of 29.90, which means you are essentially getting one level for free.
Beginner lessons focus on small motor control, dexterity, and basic kitchen skills for ages 2-5.
- Spreading and peeling
- Slicing soft foods with a dull knife
- Cross-hatch pattern cuts
- Measuring ingredients
- Soaking dry beans
- Pouring skills
- Washing and tearing salad
- Working with dough
Intermediate lessons focus on recipe independence, intro to sharp knives and stovetop safety for age 6 +.
- Following a recipe well
- Intro to sharp knives
- Cracking eggs
- Making a recipe without help
- Stovetop safety and cooking rice
- Flipping pancakes
- Rolling dough
- Browning ground meat
Advanced lessons focus on sharp knife skills, oven safety and making meals independently for age 8+.
- Sharp knife skills, levels 1-4
- Slicing and dicing vegetables
- Crushing garlic
- Cutting whole fruits
- Sauteing vegetables
- Cooking dry beans
- Cooking eggs
- Homemade white sauce and steamed vegetables
Katie has generously offered our community one full course which includes all the levels, valued at 59.95. I will randomly pick one qualifying comment on January 17 at 6:00P Pacific.
Enter in the comments with at least 5 sentences on why you’d like this course and/or why you think it is important that children learn how to cook. Note: at least 5 sentences. Be sure to include the name of the course: Kids Cook Real Food.