Parenting is an enormous responsibility. The knowledge, wisdom, values and ethics we impart to our offspring will shape their approach to the lives that lie ahead of them. A large part of our mission is to teach our kids practical skills that will help them navigate the day-to-day challenges of their lives as they blossom into productive members of society. In a world where everything, including food, seems to be getting faster, many children miss out on the simple joy and practical benefits of learning to cook. If you’re thinking about how to ensure that your young ones enjoy the social, health, financial and other benefits of knowing their way around the kitchen, we’ve got a few tips for you:
The Right Tools
Like any fine art, cooking excellence begins with the right tools. Instructing your kids on selecting the right cookware sets, utensils and other equipment for the job is a fundamental requirement. Mastering the equipment that they will use to create beautiful dishes will save them enormous time and effort, as well as improve the results of their work.
The Cutting Edge
So much of our time in the kitchen is spent on preparation. Much of this time is dedicated to chopping, slicing, dicing, julienning and other knife skills. Instructing budding chefs in the safe, effective use of knives will make a world of difference to their enjoyment and proficiency in cooking, Let them understand the correct use for every kind of knife in your kitchen, and see the difference that correct technique can make to their precision, consistency and quality.
The Spice of Life
Herbs and spices bring life to any dish. Teaching your children about the wide variety of flavours and aromas available will enhance their ability to mix and match to express their creativity. Encourage them to experiment with new spices and interesting combinations so that they develop an intrinsic understanding to what flavours pair well with which ingredients. You might get a few disasters on the way, but the result will be a more sophisticated, complex repertoire.
Food is a delight for all the senses. Obviously, the food needs to taste great. However, the way it looks and smells can also play an enormous part in our perceptions of flavour. Unfortunately, we often spend too little time concerned with the texture and feel of food. The reality is that texture plays a crucial role in our gastronomic experience and can make or break our experience of a dish. It’s no surprise, then, that an entire science has been created around food texture. Giving kids a basic understanding of the role that texture plays in our enjoyment of food can help them add that additional sensory element to their cooking that will help them take it to the next level.
Bake My Day
Baking is a separate skill unto itself. Understanding the chemical reactions taking place when making bread, cakes, pastries and the like will open up a whole new world of fascination and intrigue. Working with doughs is a wonderfully tactile experience that keep kids enthralled. They will love eating their handiwork, not to mention possibly licking a bowl or two along the way.
There is no escaping the march or technology into every aspect of our lives and the kitchen is no exception. Giving children the freedom and trust to experiment with kitchen appliances and gadgets will keep them interested and excited about their work.
There is so much to learn in the kitchen. Following these tips in a fun, interesting way will ensure that the young ones have all the motivation, excitement and interest they need to grow in this essential life skill.