Thursday, May 7, 2020

Teaching Children About Cooking is Essential

As I was putting Jack to bed tonight, I heard Scarlett asking the Echo Show how to make homemade ice cream.  Although we weren't going to make ice cream, it made me smile because I knew that seeing the video recipe would pique her interest.  

I started having Scarlett help me in the kitchen at around 3 1/2 years old.  She would mix or stir something I was cooking and it was a great way for her to feel involved.  We graduated to kid-safe knives later on that Scarlett enjoyed using to help me cut potatoes or raw peppers with.  

As my prep chef helped me, I explained to her along the way what exactly we were making and what ingredients were needed for the dish.  For example, if we were making roasted potatoes I would show and tell her how exactly to cut the potatoes, what seasoning was needed, and how long to cook them in the oven for.  Even though some of my teaching would go over her head, I knew teaching her to cook at a young age would be beneficial. Cooking is a life-skill that everyone needs to know.  I definitely want Scarlett to have the basic knowledge of how to boil water for pasta, as well as how to make easy dishes for herself, like scrambled eggs.  

Scarlett's favorite thing is helping me bake sweet treats though.  It makes my heart happy to know that she knows the basic ingredients of baking are flour, sugar, and eggs.  She also knows that you grease baking pans so the baked goods don't stick.  I have a passion for cooking and baking, so of course I'm thrilled to pass my love for it on to her.  Scarlett helps me measure, pour, and stir and the measuring helps to teach her math.  What can be better than making something tasty while gaining valuable math skills at the same time? 

Lately, I have been supervising her as she cooks ground beef or chicken with the stove burners on.  Scarlett knows that once the meat is no longer red or pink, it's done. She's excited to cook and it gives her a feeling of accomplishment which is mandatory for self-confidence.

As she gets older, I will teach her more and more and answer any questions she has.  I hope we can cook together for many years in the kitchen and her love for cooking deepens over time.  Maybe eventually she'll teach me some recipes I've never made. 

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