How to Inspire Kids to Learn Cooking

Anfernee Antonio

Leander Kastroulis - Our Young Entrepreneur

If you haven't seen it already, we at Collected Foods have proudly revealed our latest product: Where's the Bagel, which happens to be by one of our very own junior chefs! We'll let him speak for himself, and hopefully inspire you as he did us!

 

The success of our own Chef Leander's new product can be credited to innovation in his hour of need: his taste buds would not abide by mere plain bagels! But then the question has to be, how can one inspire their own children to such culinary heights?

How to Inspire Children to Cook

After all, many of our own readers here at Collected Foods have young ones of their own, and they might be interested in seeing their own kids someday taking to knife and cutting board, like how noble knights of old would take on the sword and shield from their own elders.

Ultimately it's important for all of us ambitious, dreaming adults to take a step back.  Can you really make a child want to do anything?  Hardly, as we all know. But the key word there is want, because kids are usually willing to do almost anything!

Those of us with tots of our own know all too well. Young ones will naturally want to explore.  They will be interested in bonding with their parents through the experience.  A little older, and they just might jump at the chance to independently plan their own meals without reliance on any adults.

There is a natural streak to learning and exploring that we should never underestimate. One day it might be picking up a few new cooking skills.  But maybe a year or two later you have a brand new entrepreneur making a mess out of the kitchen with their own blog or social media profile!

Parents Are the Key

So, how can you tap into that creative spark, finding the ways to help your child discover the joy of the culinary arts and make it their own? It's probably a gentle, subtle process, but it can make all the difference in expanding mind and skillset.

messy kitchen
Collected Foods takes no responsibility for results like this!

We believe that parents are very important to the process! Even the most rebellious and difficult of teenagers can be engaged by their parents with the right offer. After all, all of us can remember at least a few of our parent's recipes, right?!?

There is power in that connection, in the nostalgia that comes with inheritance. If you want your child to pick up that creative spark in the kitchen, you have to be leading the charge as the adult. Even a little time makes a big difference.

How Often?

Sometimes we can fall into the trap of not starting something because there doesn't seem to be any time to really devote to it, but that's a pretty major mistake! Once a week, once a month? "One" is still an infinitely bigger number than zero!

Even one occasional session can really stick in your child's mind! They'll remember something, which might someday become a recipe on their own online blog or something they serve their own children. A weekend breakfast is a perfect time to set up these crucial foundations.

But you may know when to teach, but do you know what?

What to Teach

Basic skills are the important things. Every kid is different, some will want to be challenged and will be open to new flavors.  Some will want to stick to familiar territory. But either way, the basic cooking techniques and flavor palettes are crucial. Preparing notes or a small booklet (if you want to get fancy about it!) with the absolute basics in terms of easy to follow, friendly recipes can make all the difference. When you're not there, that book might become something for them to flip through.  Idle reading may turn into busy kitchen hands!

Cutting skills are critical! Even the adults should probably brush up.

Fussy eaters might be less of a problem than you expect. As long as you don't throw an entire recipe worth of things they're unfamiliar with at them, they'll be willing to latch on to the familiar and at least taste-test. This is an important aspect of cooking together, involving both parent and child means the food has the safety that comes with your authority... and the personal connection that comes with having come from your child's own two hands! You'd be surprised at what they'd be willing to eat if it satisfies their inherent need to create and express themselves.

Ultimately? Remember, it's about the basics, and about the exploration. Don't be too concerned about the right equipment or following of the recipe exactly. Most kids want to make their own mark on the world, so let them! You might be surprised by what they come up with.

Final Thoughts

Here at Collected Foods we're all about the family, and it doesn't get more about that then the passing on of skills from your generation to the next! Just remember, as we always emphasize here at Collected Foods: keep it simple, and don't fear the spice. Don't fear anything! Your kids certainly won't!

Just be prepared for quite the clean up after!

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