Why your kids should be cooking

Why your kids should be cooking

As soon as Lilia walked in the door from school today she pulled out a cookbook that she checked out from the school library. "I know what our new thing can be today. We can make something from this cookbook!"

It's always nice when someone comes in for the save with a new idea. I was running around all day and hadn't even thought of anything myself.

We paged thorough the book and found that it seemed like we were missing a couple of ingredients from almost every recipe. That is, except for the desserts, but I figured we would save the giant chocolate cake for another day.

A recipe for glazed fruit sounded fun. They suggested peaches, but we substituted pears because we have plenty of those. I helped slice up some pears and Lilia and Franky mixed in 1 tbsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.

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Lilia put the pears on a baking sheet and we put them under the broiler for 3 minutes, flipped them and broiled the other side for 3 more minutes. After we took them out of the oven, Lilia drizzled 1 tbsp of honey on them.

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Both of my kids have taken an interest in baking and cooking. This is pretty much the complete opposite of me.

I baked sometimes as a kid, but really because I just wanted the treats. I had no desire to learn anything kitchen related.

In college, and soon after, people would talk about their favorite celebrity chefs, cookbooks or what they liked to watch on the Food Network. I thought the only thing that could be more boring than cooking would be to watch other people cook.

Then I had Lilia and things changed. I figured I probably shouldn't subject my kid to eating frozen prepared meals day in and day out. Also, fresh food could also do my exhausted new mom self some good.

Armed with cookbooks and the internet, I taught myself how to cook. I was home during the day so I used that time to try new things. Some were tasty, some were a complete bust. (Overly wet tofu, Italian style, anyone?)

I'm still trying new things today with the same 50/50 success rate. After all, I am an executive chef now (in my kitchen) so I have to keep trying.

Cooking is really a critical skill to teach your kids for their physical health and well being. Of course, I was a hard sell, but since my kids seem interested for now, I'm going with it.

Where else are they going to try bites of kale or couscous to find out if they like it? How about learning to measure out a teaspoon or a cup? (When I was little, I made fudge with a cup of salt instead of a cup of sugar. Tasty!)

The kitchen is called the heart of the home for a reason. That's where my kids gather when I'm cooking. They either help, ask questions about the food or just talk about their day. Sometimes when I tell them what's for dinner I get a "Yum!" or a face that looks like I'm trying to poison them.

Either way, they're interested and they're excited about cooking. Who knows. Maybe the tables will turn and they'll cook me a gourmet meal one day. A mom can dream.

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Filed under: kids

Tags: cooking, kitchen

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