Kat Eggleston | 98five blogger
My daughter Ashleya is 10 and can now cook dinner for the whole family. As a toddler she ‘helped’ me, by putting veggies in a pot, even though it made things take longer and was a hindrance, BUT I persisted because I had a vision of my child knowing how to cook by the age of 10.
She is now a confident cook and will probably overtake my cooking ability at this rate. Bring it on ?
So be patient, and when you can, as much as possible, teach kids to cook, by letting them ‘help’ you with cooking, even if it takes longer. When you teach kids to cook, it is an investment of your time that will pay off once they can cook for the whole family.
It’s a great opportunity to:
1. Teach about basic nutrition
- Vitamin C from citrus fruit helps you absorb iron
- Homemade chicken stock is liquid gold that lines your digestive tract, and if you add a dash of vinegar to the stock it helps to break down the chicken to ensure all the goodness is extracted
- Eating fruit and veg — all the colours of the rainbow — is an easy way to make sure you’re getting all the goodness you need from fresh produce (tip from my clever nutritionist friend)
2. Teach kids to have a balanced lifestyle
I’ve taught my kids that we eat healthy food at home, and when we’re out at someone else’s house or at a party, they can eat whatever they want. If visitors come over we usually bake a cake or a treat. So we eat healthily about 80 per cent of the time and eat whatever others feed us/have treats 20 per cent of the time. If it’s someone’s birthday we say yes to the cake and don’t ever feel guilty or worry about it because food is to be enjoyed and everything is OK in moderation.
3. Bond and create a food culture at home
After school I usually ask the kids if they want to help me cook, and some of them love to help everyday with dinner, while others prefer to only cook on the weekends. That’s OK. When you teach kids to cook, there are many opportunities to show them it is OK if they make a mistake. If my kids break an egg on the floor, they won’t get yelled at. They clean it up and are reminded that the more they practice cooking, the better they will get, and I encourage their effort. While we are cooking we talk about their day at school or any problems they had, which is bonding and home economics in one. We also eat together at dinner time, and whoever has helped make the meal gets thanked by everyone else at the table.
4. Teach kids to cook for when they leave the nest
It’s hard to imagine, but one day your kids will move out. If they don’t know how to cook, they may be more likely to eat fast food/takeaway most of the time, which is not a healthy or affordable lifestyle. When you teach kids to make wholesome meals, you are teaching them life skills, and giving them the gift of health that will last a lifetime. If you don’t teach them to cook, who will?
Here is a list of 10 things a 10-year-old kid can make from scratch:
Chocolate collar cheesecake
Corn on the cob
Freshly baked bread
Herbal tea with fresh ginger, lemon juice and honey
My next goal is for everyone in the family to cook one day per week on rotation, and with six people in our family, that means I’ll only cook about once a week. I believe it is important for the kids to contribute to the family and work together as a team.
Kat Eggleston is a stay-at-home mum of four and is passionate about making a difference. As a singer-songwriter (Ezereve), $35K has been raised through her music for charities that rescue children from trafficking. While auditioning live for the X Factor judges in 2016, Kat had a revelation that the best way to make a difference, was by being the best mum she could be. Kat is a parenting blogger, regular parenting columnist for the Northern Valleys News, and facilitates the ‘Setting up Generations’ Facebook group to support mums on their journey through motherhood. ezereve.com/blog | Follow Kat on Facebook | Instagram |Twitter
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