Cooking With Kids
Since I am a reality show junkie, I tuned into a new show. It is a spin off of one of my favourites, called Junior MasterChef. I tuned in quite hesitantly because the thought of children competing on a reality show made my ethics kick up in the pit of my stomach. However it turned out to be quite endearing & entertaining. The children had cooking skills that far surpassed my own, with one child chopping at the speed of light with only his eyes and nose peering over the counter due to his height. They plated meals that looked like they came straight out of the Hardware Grill kitchen, and the judges were encouraging and kind. I was learning new techniques from watching these children cook! It reminded me of two lessons I like to live by: 1) Never underestimate a child, and 2) Children are wonderful teachers.
In ABC Head Start classrooms we like to provide cooking experiences for the children. They help with our nutrition program preparation and special projects. The children are so creative and always end up thinking of something the adults wouldn't have - like, did you know, most things taste better dipped in milk? ABC Head Start parents and community members also provide wonderful learning as this is one of the volunteer opportunities in the classroom. We have had volunteers, including ABC Head Start parents, come in a teach the children how to make cultural foods, help prepare them and then the best part - taste them. Having children in the kitchen not only is a great chance to teach them about nutrition but there are so many other skills involved. There are math & measuring skills, how to follow a recipe or instructions, motor skill development just to name a few. And the best part of all...time spent creating something special with your child. Maybe they'll teach you a thing or two. ;)