Empowering Kids in the Kitchen

Empowering Kids in the Kitchen

One of the great benefits of “mommyhood” is to watch your children discover things for the first time. It may be watching them see, taste, learn or experience something that really gets them excited. The foundations we lay in our children have long term impact. It is great to know that the precious time that we invest in their lives will prove to be profitable and equate to large dividends.

The same is true for exposing your children to no pressure food experiences. As parents, we wonder why our children are such picky eaters, or apprehensive to try new flavors – yet we don’t allow our children to “experience” food. Our family recently bought Adobe Premiere Elements, which is video editing software, so we could play around with making our own videos. Over the holiday break, my 6 year old, Hannah and I, spent some time playing around in the kitchen. Hannah loves to be in charge, so we decided to film her very first video of her showing people how to make a tropical fruit smoothie. Hannah’s grandmother got her Disney’s Magic Kitchen Cookbook for Christmas and we are planning to make every recipe.

Hannah was the leader – she decided which recipe she wanted to make and even which fruit she was going to choose to put in the smoothie. We had a discussion about what her viewers might want to know while she is making the recipe – handwashing, cleaning the fruit and safety in the kitchen. As you watch the video, take notice of Hannah’s glances over at me to see my approval. As we let our children take the lead, encourage and commend them on a job well done. Remember their age and their capabilities! Don’t expect perfection. I thought Hannah did wonderful for her very first video shoot! We originally planned it to be just Hannah by herself, but at the last minute, I was added as the “host” so I could assist with filling in any missing gaps. It’s a raw, homegrown video, but I cherish the video documentation of our experience together.

You don’t necessarily have to shoot videos with your children, but I do encourage playing in the kitchen with them.  Allow them to role play as the “chef teacher” so they can gain confidence and learn vital leadership skills in the kitchen and life in general. In our busy everyday lives, let’s all remember to take time out to invest in those ways to build our children up in the kitchen. Hannah and I had a lot of fun, spent some great time together and we look forward to doing some more.

My next post will be a book review of the cookbook. Stay tuned!