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Children and Cooking
children and cooking
Children learn by doing and they will imitate what others, especially their parents, do, at least while they are young. In their teens, and perhaps even earlier, they may rebel against their parent’s examples, in order to assert their own identity and become independent.
If you want your children to eat healthy you must eat healthy, and if you want your children to understand and appreciate where their food comes from and how to cook tasty healthy food, you have set the example, and you have to show them how. In other words, children need to learn about purchasing food and preparing food.
A home vegetable garden can help children discover many things, how vegetables are produced is one. A garden at school can enhance this learning.
If the child grows carrots and then learns how to cook carrots, for example, they not only develop useful skills, gain important knowledge but by doing so, they take an important step towards independence and self-sufficiency.
If you can give your child some space to grow a few things and work with them to let them make a meal from the things they have grown. A tomato and lettuce sandwich makes a tasty and healthy lunch and both the lettuce and tomato can be grown in fairly small spaces and in containers.
It is not necessary to wait for the gardening season, however, to teach a child how to prepare at least basic meals. Parental supervision is an absolute necessity at all times and tasks requiring the use of a sharp knife or other cutting object are best done by the parent.
What is important is to get them involved in the process, have them boil the eggs for the egg salad, or make toast, at least until you are confident they know about food cooking and preparation safety issues.
Spend time with them searching out recipes, let them teach you how to do an Internet search or spend time together going over cookbooks, looking for foods they are interested in and then making a list of the ingredients that are required to make those dishes.
You may even want to watch a cooking show and talk about the meals and methods that are being used. Perhaps, together, you can develop your own recipe file with recipes that you and your child or children have made or plan to make. Comments on the ones you have tried can help tweak those recipes so they are your very own.
Children will increase their sense of self-worth through learning about food, how to grow, buy it and prepare it.