Teaching your children the joys of cooking
Introducing your children to new foods can be as easy as getting them in the kitchen to help you prepare a meal. When my children were little I mean at the age of 2 to 3 you pick them up and set them on the counter top. I know, I know 2 years old seems young but the younger you start the more comfortable they will feel in the kitchen. I remember their first experience of trying to crack and egg. The look on their face when you tell them its ok to hit the egg on the counter or the edge of a bowl. Put the egg into their little hands and help them crack that first egg, then watch the magic happen. Their little eyes will light up and the expression on their faces will forever be in your memory. Give them as many jobs as you can in the kitchen even if their help is not really help but a deterrence and makes making dinner a 2 hour project instead of the usual half hour. I use to let my kids beat the eggs before scrambling, measure the flour for baking and always they get to taste as you progress through the recipe.
Letting kids in the kitchen opens up a whole new way to teach and expand their culinary experiences. Teaching good cooking skills at and early age will never be wasted, even if you find that this is not something they like or would do on a regular basis. I believe that giving kids the chance to experience the touch , the feel and all the smells related to the culinary field will widen their minds to questioning and being curious of the foods of the world.
I remember letting my kids pick one exotic fruit or vegetable from the produce department at the grocery store if they accompanied me. This didnt happen too often because my trips to the grocery store use to be the only time I got away for the kids. They only got to pick something out if they behaved in the grocery store and then the sky was the limit. We all have fond memories of the time one of them picked a coconut and trying everything to crack that thing open., or the time they picked a fresh pineapple and their tongues and lips swelled because of too much acid from eating the whole thing. One of the funniest stories I remember was the time they picked a kiwi and insisted on taking it to school for show and tell. They wanted to put it in a brown bag and not let the kids see it, just put their hands in the bag and feel it. Knowing that if you didnt see the kiwi you would probably think it was some type of small animal. They could picture the squeals now from most of the little girls in the room.
Being busy that morning I didnt notice that they put the kiwi in a brown paper bag and dropped it into their back pack. My children rode the bus to school, and have you ever seen the abuse a back pack gets from and elementary school age child. To say the least, by the time that kiwi got to class it was pretty much squished and oozing juice. There plan was foiled but I still laugh at the thought of those little hands reaching into that bag to feel that kiwi.