Kids and Pots and Pans! Oh My!

It is a given that kids are picky when it comes to food. They would not touch anything that has not appeared in Cartoon Network. Different strategies may be employed, and some of them do work. Every parent knows what what goes on with their kids, at least have an idea of what ticks in their heads. Most effective way for kids to a kids culinary heart? Get them involved in the cooking. And here are the reasons why:

  1. They get to try new foods – they will always be fascinated with things that are new, and curiosity usually leads to discoveries. They will discover where certain ingredients come from and be more aware of the culture from that place.  As they get more accustomed and familiar with the colorful world of ingredients, they tend to eat more fruits and vegetables.
  2. Do the math – recipes call for amounts of the ingredients needed. And the cups and tablespoons that come with it. Is it really Junior’s fault for wanting to double the cupcake recipe?
  3. Reading – kids nowadays are smarter than when we were their age. So reading a recipe seems pretty rote for them. Since there are no pictures, it would be a challenge for them to keep interested. How about the power of association. Sugar? Which is that on the kitchen table?
  4. Chemistry – They learn what yeast does, how it farts to inflate a loaf of bread. They learn that adding sugar actually sweetens the sauce, and makes cake dough finger licking good.
  5. Bonding – gathered around the table, kids will feel great being a part of the bigger picture: their family. And fussing around the prep table with flour coated hands adds to the bonding experience. And the tedious kneading allows story telling.
  6. Life Skill – they will eventually leave the nest. And on those depressing lonely first nights in the big city they would love some home cooking instead of stale pizza.  And starting kids early builds self esteem, after having proudly produced a perfectly baked tart.

Cooking is really a passionate activity. Why not share it with the very people you are very passionate about? How would you encourage kids to try new foods? Know a good technique that would get them interested in peas? Any nightmares when it comes to having little Curly Sue try out new pasta dishes?

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