Eating whole foods and having meals prepared at home is growing in popularity – thank goodness for that!
The comments I most often hear from parents are:
He’s too small to use a knife / stove
I don’t have time, it will take too long (I may as well do it myself)
I have a picky eater, there’s nothing she likes to eat
I don’t know where to start teaching them
Start at the market: Kids get bored there, so have them help out by picking ingredients; ie:I need 5 green apples, 2 red onions, 3 zucchini. If they don’t know what a zucchini is, that’s a new lesson learned! Teach them the importance of bringing your own reusable bags. Explain the differences in meat cuts. Show them what a nutritional label is and where to find it.
Baby steps: Start with easy tips that everyone must know: Why butter/oil must go on the pan when you’re sauteeing; how to make your own salad dressing; which way to cut a lemon, etc.
Pick a recipe: Make it an easy one that they’ll be able to understand, and use in the future: How to boil an egg; cook up pasta & drain it; how to grill a sandwich. Then work your way up to bigger recipes like making rice; frying up a stir-fry; throwing everything in a pot to make home-made chicken broth; frying an egg.
Cooking is a fun experience when shared with someone – especially children, as they realize where their food comes from and what goes into making their dinner. Their attention span may be as short as they are, but when you start with easy recipes you’ll keep them interested. If they lose their focus have them sit by your side and chat about school while you finish the recipe.
Cooking also helps picky eaters by growing their curiosity to try new foods, for example, if they already like pasta maybe they’ll have a taste of Rotini pasta with corn and red peppers. If they like hamburgers maybe they’ll consider making meatballs with you.•
Make it a point to teach your kids one recipe per week… Just imagine, by the end of one year they’ll know how to cook up 52 new recipes! You’ll be amazed at what they can cook for YOU when they’re teenagers!