I just love to cook. It's one of my greatest passions. I get giddy just thinking about it. I love the whole process -- the deciding what to make and what needs to be gathered in order to make it, the preparation and when finished, getting to enjoy it myself or giving it away so others can enjoy it, too. It really does delight the soul!
A love of food was fostered in me from a very young age, even though I didn't grow up in the kitchen and wasn't specifically taught how to cook by my mother or father. My family is a 'foodie' family. We just love food. We are obsessed with it, we constantly talk about it and feast on it. In fact, most of our gatherings or times of connection revolve around, or are really all about, the food (and I support this 100%!).
I took one cooking class when I was in junior high, but it wasn't until my late twenties that I became really interested and passionate about cooking, and even then I think it was only born out of the necessity to provide sustenance for myself!. Once I was began to cook though, I was hooked, and have felt a deep affection for it ever since.
Over the years I've had the opportunity to teach several cooking classes for kids, and seeing their excitement and joy over it is such fun to witness. I think they could probably teach us a thing or two about what it is to love food and to love to cook. And I'm sure Julia Child would agree with me on this!
Kids get so so excited about cooking. They love it! They are just jazzed, even when they have no idea what it is they are about to make or even how to make it. They're incredibly enthusiastic about taking part in the whole process, and it's incredibly important to include them in it too. Celebrate it! Encourage it!
Allowing your kids to cook can benefit them in many ways because it...
Builds confidence and self-pride when they see what they are actually able to cook or when they take a risk and try a new recipe;
Fosters a creative spirit;
Provides something for them to be passionate about, participate in and be good at, especially for those that don't think they are very good at school, sports, dance, art or music;
Allows them to learn from mistakes or any unsuccessful attempts. Not every dish is going to turn out just right the first time (that can be super disappointing!) These times can foster self-acceptance, the application of problem solving skills and perseverance as they try, try again;
Utilizes sequencing and math skills when they are required to follow the step-by-step directions in a recipe or when they need to half or double a recipe;
Presents them with opportunities to be generous when they choose to share what they create with others;
Teaches them responsibility when it's time to clean up. When kids cook, it's going to be messy. Let it be! Expect them to help make the kitchen look 'spic and span ' after all of the cooking is done. They can tidy up, wash dishes, sweep or even mop.
Julia left us with this charge, "Learn how to cook - try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all have fun." I hope you encourage your kids to get themselves into the kitchen and to cook their hearts out. To be able to do so truly is a gift and does bless in so many ways!
Want to introduce your little one to cooking and the wonderfully creative Julia Child? Be sure to get your Creative Chef crate today! Orders close on March 15 and supplies are limited! Head on over to girlscancrate.com and order yours today!