Let them take over the kitchen

“We don’t have any more milk,” says my daughter.  “Let’s go to the store and get some more.”

A girl after my own heart, she loves getting the chance to go to a supermarket or a farmer’s market.  Not to just get milk (which I forgot – again – to buy) but to smell the fresh fruits and vegetables, selecting one, and developing a recipe around it.

From garlic scapes to lychees, from kohlrabi to loquat,  an adventure awaits for the daring. We focus on learning where things are grown and how to make delicious, healthy meals.

Studies show this type of ‘farm-to-table’ kids cooking fosters enthusiasm around fresh fruits and vegetables and empowers children to make healthier choices that are often better for the environment.

Since September 13th is Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day, why not use the day to help kids you love to learn more about the foods they eat? Here are some tips:

  • Slow down. Teaching takes longer than just doing it yourself. Add time so that no one gets the ‘hangries’ because dinner ended up late.
  • Really let them cook. Of course we need to make sure young kids aren’t handling sharp knives or the hot oven, but really let your kids get their hands dirty and not just stir ingredients in a bowl. Let them crack eggs (just be ready to scoop out shells), pour and measure out ingredients, and chop or cut when age appropriate.
  • Be ready for the mess. Your kitchen will probably get messy and your kids will probably be even messier. So expect the mess, don’t get angry about it, and teach your kids to clean as they cook.
  • Teach them how to read a recipe. From ingredients, prep work, to putting it all together, talk to your kids about the recipe so they know what step is coming up and how all of the steps come together to make the meal.  It’s also a great time to discuss where food really comes from.

Speaking about where food comes from, have you heard about the Grazing at the Kitchen Table event from our project Kitchen Table Advisors on October 5?  Find out more about this delicious evening that celebrates sustainable farms, ranches, and the community who supports them.  Go to https://www.grazeandgive.org 

In the photo above: Sophia and Lyra Cherry, daughters of T4CI’s Director of Communications and Outreach, Shannon Cherry.

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