15% percent of children today are overweight and one of the many major reasons is their easy access to unhealthy food and the preconceived ideas that cooking is hard. Obesity, diabetes and liver disease are some of the consequences of kids not being comfortable in the kitchen.
The new Web series “Jr. Chefs of America” paves the way for kids to not just help in the kitchen but also to lead the cooking process. The program features confident teenagers giving live cooking demonstrations of their own recipes, showing that cooking is fun and easy — and one avenue to help stop the junk food epidemic.
“Jr. Chefs” is both entertaining and educational for children — with delicious looking food and a catchy theme song.
My most recent personal experience of cooking with kids was with my girl scouts a few years ago on some simple tasks and the time with Amber a couple of summers ago. What readily comes to my mind though is my grandma teaching me way back when.
Grams would let me wear her apron which she so cleverly converted into a size that fit me pretty well. Then she would bring a kitchen chair over to the counter and let me climb up on it. She would let me help her do simple measurements or read her the recipe (that she already knew by heart, but wanted me to learn to understand) or stir pancake batter. When she taught me to measure it was EXACT, (though she didn’t herself and I grew into a by sight and feel cook myself). You used a table knife to level off the top of the measuring cup. She also taught me how to make the best cakes with double sifting. These days they say you don’t need to sift, but I feel I get a better texture and moister cake by still sifting.
As for that meat cleaver task at hand, you can take turns so that their tasks don’t involve the sharp implements, but yours do. Most importantly make it fun for you and them. The more fun they have, the more likely they are to want to learn more and more.