Kids in the Kitchen...
There is an amazing explosion and movement happening everywhere. Kids are getting into the kitchen and creating. Have you seen it? Can you feel it? Are they being encouraged and given independence and creative license?? Are they trying new things? Experimenting and pushing the boundaries? Is food even fun?
Yes, my answer to this is a resounding YES! We've all been home more and there's time for cooking, baking, learning in the kitchen and it's miraculous. I don't think my kids are the only ones eating copious amounts each day and growing taller it seems overnight!? I think they're eating more nutritious stuff because they're actually making it! It's fun to see their growth spurts and I do believe that the beautiful healthy food kids eat only enhances growth both in stature and brain cells!
When I was younger I was allowed free range in the kitchen on the proviso that I tasted whatever it was I was making. This ensured I didn't use crazy ingredients as I actually wanted it to taste good. I give my kids the same freedom.
My tween loves creating in the kitchen and when he has a friend over they can often be found in the kitchen 'making bread'. He's watched me enough to know the basic ingredients, but I don't get involved. I let them have fun and wing it without measuring ingredients and always getting their hands dirty. They cook by test driving a bit of this and a bit of that. Their latest invention is to add nutella to the sourdough before it rises which creates a beautiful marble pattern and it isn't as sweet as you might think. We use real ingredients and almost never have kitchen disasters but I wouldn't mind if we did!
My teen comes home and says, I'm making cinnamon scrolls. Bring it! I love this! He asks for a bit of guidance and then he's off. He knows where to find me if he needs any assistance, but for the most part, he's pretty confident in the kitchen. He's been cooking with me since he was younger which prompted us to create our silicone baking mats! Quality tools are important and make such a difference.
My boys will make dinner for the family and one of their specialties are Fresh Vietname Spring Rolls (thanks Get Kids Cooking for teaching them!). They assemble all the ingredients and then put them together one roll at a time like an art project. Using their hands is probably the best part of cooking so be sure that mess is allowed. Everything can be tidied up later so let go of control and see the magic unfold! You'll be surprised by how much your kids are capable of and will encourage a wonderful independence and give you a break!
My mission as a parent is to ensure my boys have 20+ good healthy YUMMY meals in their repertoire when they eventually move out of home. I want my boys to be independent and continue to be creative and have fun with food. This is such a fun way to nurture the art of cooking and I believe, we're well on our way! ;)