“Lo, Children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.”
As mothers, we take great pride in feeding our family. It’s embracing our womanly virtue which sparks inspiration motivating us to cook our meals as that old saying goes, “as if we stuck our foot in it.” We even get to sit back and watch our family enjoy the fruits of our labor. I know you must smile within knowing that what you feed them is nourishing (I do). At some point, your children may ask if they may help you while cooking. This is wonderful because you have willing minds, and because our children are growing up and becoming more responsible, let them help! Cooking is indeed a very needful and special knowledge to begin teaching our children. And I mean not just for our daughters but for our sons as well. Remember, they are growing up and will be men before we know it, so cooking or at least the basics is important for both our daughters as well as our sons.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” ~Proverbs 22:6
Here are five cooking tips to get started with when teaching our little chefs;
1. Keep the mood light.
Kitchens are filled with potentially dangerous equipment like hot stoves to sharp knives, there’s plenty around to make you nervous, but calm yourself. Kids can read anxiety, and if you’re not relaxed, they won’t be either. Supervise them closely and be aware of hazards, but proceed anyway, with an upbeat voice and a smile.
No not this smile! This is clear nervousness…
ALSO, don’t forget to demonstrate proper hand washing before beginning. Advise that booger picking, or the touching of anything other than the food is called contamination and leads to a very undesirable outcome. Explain what cross-contamination is and how cleanliness is next to holiness.
2. Strike a deal.
Kids take to new learning opportunities best when they have a stake in the outcome, so make them part of the process. If they want to make cookies, let them. But the next lesson is yours to choose. Alternate between treats and more healthful, everyday fare, from cookies and pies to salads and smoothies.
3. Don’t neglect terminology.
Kids are blank slates, and words like fold, sear, and sauté are meaningless until properly defined. You can use easier words if you like, but why bother? Mastering a new lexicon is part of skill-building; plus, kids are sponges anyway. Soon they’ll be using these terms like pros.
For Example, Me and my oldest son the other day:
Me: “Yahawadah, why did you leave those sticks down by the stairs?”
Yahawadah: “Opps momma, I think the sun has seared my brain because I didn’t think.”
4. Dig deeper.
Teaching kids to cook also presents opportunities to talk about our Israelite culture and family history (about cooking), nutrition, food politics, and hunger. Depending on your child’s age, consider sprinkling your lessons with gentle forays into these deeper waters, avoiding heavy-handed moralizing but introducing your kids to some of the broader issues surrounding food. You’re not just educating a future cook; you’re influencing a lifelong eater.
5. Keep your eye on the prize.
Your ultimate goal is not the creation of restaurant-quality dishes, but boosting your child’s self-esteem, encouraging their burgeoning independence, and fun bonding experience. If, at the end of your lessons, you’ve got a happy young chef who’s excited to spend time in the kitchen, you’ve done your job, and done it well!
YOU GO MAMMA CHEF 😉
“And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” ~Deuteronomy 11:19
One last thing! For sisters that have children in their lives, share a picture of you and your children in the kitchen!