We’re happy to share this guest post written by Melissa
A lot of families work on teaching their kids how to cook as early as they can, which is completely understandable since we don’t want our children growing up to know nothing about their food. We don’t want them ending up with the “M diet” – McDonald’s every day.
But the solution depends on the parent’s initiative to do what is needed – children refuse to do cooking because they see it as a task rather than something they can enjoy. I remember reading somewhere about children who watch cooking shows are much more likely to not only start cooking for themselves, but perhaps choose cooking as a career.
At first I was skeptical, as this contradicted everything I had read about the negative effects of watching television. But then it hit me: children and teenagers are wired to follow those characters and trends they see on TV as idols and it is much easier for them to be persuaded to do something they’ve seen on a show.
Great Kids Cooking Shows!
I started to try out different ways of controlling the viewing habits of my children and tuned in to Rachael Ray’s TV series titled “30 Minute Meals.” The television show demonstrated to my kids how to make healthy foods from start to finish. Well, I have to tell you, that show did not just teach them how to prepare healthy, tasty, and easy to cook food, but it taught me some new techniques as well. Imagine my surprise the first time I heard them ask me if they can help in the kitchen!
We then started to cook simple meals and to do some fun activities in the kitchen. A very good thing about my kitchen though is I have my own home meat slicer. Therefore, one of our first activities was to make subs and they loved it! They started experimenting on what to add to their sandwiches and I started putting more leafy stuff in the fridge to add to their choices.
My kids started to learn the difference and the importance of eating the right types of food for their own health. We expanded the variety of shows we watched, like Iron chef America and Paula Deen, and that gave us inspiration on what to cook for the weekends. Cooking now was a part of my family’s lifestyle. As Thomas Keller says, “Food should be fun!”
Teaching Kids the Value of Good Health
Did I mention that my son says he wants to be a chef someday? My goal of making them eat healthy foods and to prepare them for their future of living independently also gave them a new dream to follow in life. I was happy about all the good things can branch out by just learning to take care of your health. I am really thankful that I chose to start with them as early as I can with regards to their eating habits and cooking styles. This way not only was I able to make them live healthy but I also gave them a reason to pursue a habit, pursue a dream and be successful.
What I have learned through these experiences is that cooking is more than just an obligation. It is about bonding, love and tradition. In Italy, a lot of families have this tradition of not just eating together but also cooking for their family and spending quality time while cooking. It is their way of life. If you want your kids to enjoy and make fun of cooking, don’t let them feel that cooking is an obligation that they must do but use it as a motivation for them to enjoy and pursue their dreams!
Melissa Cameron is a freelance writer who started her career online in 2003. She knows just how to succeed online and how to use social media as a form of marketing. In her free time, she spends her afternoons with her children making all kinds of healthy snacks she learned from SimpleItalianCooking.com and preparing light and healthy salads as well.